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In amateur boxing, light heavyweight is a weight division above 165 pounds (75 kg) and up to 178 pounds (81 kg), falling between middleweight and heavyweight. In professional boxing, the division is above 168 pounds (76 kg) and up to 175 pounds (79 kg), falling between super middleweight and cruiserweight. The light-heavyweight class has produced some of boxing's greatest champions: Bernard Hopkins (who, upon becoming champion, broke the record for oldest man to win a world title), Evander Holyfield, Tommy Loughran, Billy Conn, Joey Maxim, Archie Moore, Bob Foster, Michael Spinks, Dariusz Michalczewski, Roy Jones, Jr. and Zsolt Erdei, to name a few.
Many light heavyweight champions unsuccessfully challenged for the heavyweight crown until Michael Spinks became the first reigning light heavyweight champion to win the heavyweight championship. Bob Fitzsimmons captured the light-heavyweight championship after losing his heavyweight championship. Two all-time great heavyweight champions, Ezzard Charles and Floyd Patterson, started out as light heavyweights. Charles defeated Archie Moore and Joey Maxim several times in non-title bouts before becoming heavyweight champion and Patterson lost an eight-round decision to Joey Maxim before becoming heavyweight champion himself. Evander Holyfield successfully moved up from the light-heavyweight division to the cruiserweight division and eventually the heavyweight division and became undisputed champion of the latter two.
|Sanctioning Body||Reign Began||Champion||Record||Defenses|
|WBA (Super)||November 8, 2014||Sergey Kovalev (boxer)||28–0 (25 KO)||2|
|WBA||December 14, 2013||Jürgen Brähmer||46–2 (34 KO)||4|
|WBC||June 8, 2013||Adonis Stevenson||26–1 (21 KO)||5|
|IBF||November 8, 2014||Sergey Kovalev (boxer)||28–0 (25 KO)||2|
|WBO||August 17, 2013||6|
Longest reigning light heavyweight champions
Below is a list of longest reigning light heavyweight champions in boxing measured by the individual's longest reign. Career total time as champion (for multiple time champions) does not apply.
|Name||Title Reign||Title Recognition||Successful Defenses|
|1.||Archie Moore||9 years, 4 months, 24 days||World, NYSAC, EBU||8|
|2.||/ Dariusz Michalczewski||9 years, 1 months, 8 days||IBF, WBA, WBO||23|
|3.||Roy Jones Jr||6 years, 9 months, 8 days||IBF, WBC, WBA (Super)||11|
|4.||Bob Foster||6 years, 0 months, 23 days||WBC, WBA||17|
|5.||Zsolt Erdei||5 years, 9 months, 27 days||WBO||16|
|6.||Charles Williams||5 years, 4 months, 21 days||IBF||8|
|7.||Virgil Hill||4 years, 9 months, 15 days||WBA||10|
|8.||Michael Spinks||4 years, 2 months, 3 days||IBF, WBA, WBC||10|
|9.||Battling Levinsky||3 years, 11 months, 19 days||World||N/A|
|10.||Freddie Mills||3 years, 10 months, 25 days||EBU||N/A|
|11.||Victor Galindez||3 years, 9 months, 8 days||WBA||12|
- 1928 – Víctor Avendaño (ARG)
- 1932 – David Carstens (RSA)
- 1936 – Roger Michelot (FRA)
- 1948 – George Hunter (RSA)
- 1952 – Norvel Lee (USA)
- 1956 – James Boyd (USA)
- 1960 – Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) (USA)
- 1964 – Cosimo Pinto (ITA)
- 1968 – Danas Pozniakas (URS)
- 1972 – Mate Parlov (YUG)
- 1976 – Leon Spinks (USA)
- 1980 – Slobodan Kacar (YUG)
- 1984 – Anton Josipović (YUG)
- 1988 – Andrew Maynard (USA)
- 1992 – Torsten May (GER)
- 1996 – Vassiliy Jirov (KAZ)
- 2000 – Aleksandr Lebziak (RUS)
- 2004 – Andre Ward (USA)
- 2008 – Zhang Xiaoping (CHN)
- 2012 – Egor Mekhontsev (RUS)
- In kickboxing, a light heavyweight fighter generally weighs between 77 kg (171 lb) and 82 kg (180 lb).
- In International Kickboxing Federation (IKF), a light heavyweight division is 172.1 - 179 lb (78.3 - 81.4 kg).
- In Glory promotion, a light heavyweight division is up to 95 kg (209 lb).
Mixed martial arts
In MMA, the light heavyweight division is from 186 lbs (84 kg) to 205 lb (93 kg).