List of heavyweight boxing champions

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Championship recognition[edit]

All champions (updated Feb. 2018)

1884–1910[edit]

Champions were recognized by public acclamation. A champion in that era was a fighter who had a notable win over another fighter and kept winning afterward. Retirements or disputed results could lead to a championship being split among several men for periods of time. With only minor exceptions, the heavyweight division remained free from dual title-holders until the 1960s. For an early example, see the 1896 World Heavyweight Championship.

Sanctioning organizations: 1910–present[edit]

Gradually, the role of recognizing champions in the division evolved into a more formal affair, with public acclamation being supplemented (or in some cases, contradicted) by recognition by one or more athletic commissions, sanctioning organizations, or a combination of them. The most notable examples with respect to the heavyweight division have included:

Other bodies also recognize world champions, with varying degrees of legitimacy bestowed upon such recognition by the public at large. Current examples of such groups include the International Boxing Council, International Boxing Organization, World Boxing Federation and World Boxing Union.

List of champions[edit]

Champion Nationality Recognition Reign Began Reign Ended Title defenses Opponents Notes
John L. Sullivan United States United States Universal August 29, 1885 September 7, 1892 0 0 25,4
James J. Corbett United States United States Universal September 7, 1892 March 17, 1897 1 1 5
Bob Fitzsimmons United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland United Kingdom Universal March 17, 1897 June 9, 1899 0 0
James J. Jeffries United States United States Universal June 9, 1899 May 13, 1905 7 5 2,6
Marvin Hart United States United States Universal July 3, 1905 February 23, 1906 0 0 1
Tommy Burns Canada Canada Universal February 23, 1906 December 26, 1908 11 8
Jack Johnson United States United States Universal December 26, 1908 April 5, 1915 8 8 7
Jess Willard United States United States Universal April 5, 1915 July 4, 1919 1 1
Jack Dempsey United States United States Universal July 4, 1919 July 2, 1921 4 4
Jack Dempsey United States United States NBA July 2, 1921 July 24, 1922 0 0
Jack Dempsey United States United States NBA and NYSAC July 24, 1922 September 23, 1926 2 2
Gene Tunney United States United States NBA and NYSAC September 23, 1926 July 31, 1928 2 2 2
Max Schmeling Germany Germany NBA and NYSAC June 12, 1930 January 7, 1931 0 0 1,8
Max Schmeling Germany Germany NBA and IBU January 7, 1931 June 21, 1932 1 1
Jack Sharkey United States United States NBA and NYSAC, IBU June 21, 1932 June 29, 1933 0 0
Primo Carnera Italy Italy NBA and NYSAC, IBU June 29, 1933 June 14, 1934 2 2
Max Baer United States United States NBA and NYSAC, IBU June 14, 1934 June 13, 1935 0 0 9
James J. Braddock United States United States NBA and NYSAC, IBU June 13, 1935 June 22, 1937 0 0
Joe Louis United States United States NBA and NYSAC, IBU June 22, 1937 March 1, 1949 26 21 2 Longest reign
Ezzard Charles United States United States NBA June 22, 1949 September 27, 1950 3 3 1,10
Lee Savold United States United States IBU June 6, 1950 June 16, 1951 0 0 1,10
Ezzard Charles United States United States NBA and NYSAC September 27, 1950 June 16, 1951 5 5 1,10
Ezzard Charles United States United States NBA and NYSAC, IBU June 16, 1951 July 18, 1951 0 0
Jersey Joe Walcott United States United States NBA and NYSAC July 18, 1951 September 23, 1952 1 1
Rocky Marciano United States United States NBA and NYSAC September 23, 1952 April 27, 1956 6 5 2
Floyd Patterson United States United States NBA and NYSAC November 30, 1956 June 26, 1959 4 4 1,11
Ingemar Johansson Sweden Sweden NBA and NYSAC June 26, 1959 June 20, 1960 0 0
Floyd Patterson (Second reign) United States United States NBA and NYSAC June 20, 1960 September 25, 1962 2 2
Sonny Liston United States United States NYSAC and WBA September 25, 1962 July 22, 1963 1 1
Sonny Liston United States United States NYSAC, WBA and WBC July 22, 1963 February 25, 1964 0 0
Cassius Clay United States United States NYSAC, WBA and WBC February 25, 1964 June 19, 1964 0 0 12
Muhammad Ali United States United States NYSAC and WBC June 19, 1964 February 6, 1967 8 8
Ernie Terrell United States United States WBA March 5, 1965 February 6, 1967 2 2 1
Muhammad Ali United States United States NYSAC, WBA and WBC February 6, 1967 April 29, 1967 1 1 Unified NYSAC, WBA and WBC titles.13
Joe Frazier United States United States NYSAC March 4, 1968 February 16, 1970 5 5 1
Jimmy Ellis United States United States WBA April 27, 1968 February 16, 1970 1 1 1,14
Joe Frazier United States United States WBA and WBC February 16, 1970 January 22, 1973 4 4 Unified WBA and WBC titles.15
George Foreman United States United States WBA and WBC January 22, 1973 October 30, 1974 2 2
Muhammad Ali (Second reign) United States United States WBA and WBC October 30, 1974 February 15, 1978 10 10
Leon Spinks United States United States WBA and WBC February 15, 1978 March 18, 1978 0 0 3
Leon Spinks United States United States WBA March 18, 1978 September 15, 1978 0 0
Ken Norton United States United States WBC March 18, 1978 June 9, 1978 0 0 16
Larry Holmes United States United States WBC June 9, 1978 December 11, 1983 16 16 2
Muhammad Ali (Third reign) United States United States WBA September 15, 1978 April 27, 1979 0 0 2
John Tate United States United States WBA October 20, 1979 March 31, 1980 0 0 1
Mike Weaver United States United States WBA March 31, 1980 December 10, 1982 2 2
Michael Dokes United States United States WBA December 10, 1982 September 23, 1983 1 1
Gerrie Coetzee South Africa South Africa WBA September 23, 1983 December 1, 1984 0 0
Larry Holmes United States United States IBF December 11, 1983 September 21, 1985 3 3 17
Tim Witherspoon United States United States WBC March 9, 1984 August 31, 1984 0 0 1
Pinklon Thomas United States United States WBC August 31, 1984 March 22, 1986 1 1
Greg Page United States United States WBA December 1, 1984 April 29, 1985 0 0
Tony Tubbs United States United States WBA April 29, 1985 January 17, 1986 0 0
Michael Spinks United States United States IBF September 21, 1985 February 19, 1987 2 2 3
Tim Witherspoon (Second reign) United States United States WBA January 17, 1986 December 12, 1986 1 1
Trevor Berbick Canada Canada WBC March 22, 1986 November 22, 1986 0 0
Mike Tyson United States United States WBC November 22, 1986 March 7, 1987 1 1
James "Bonecrusher" Smith United States United States WBA December 12, 1986 March 7, 1987 0 0
Mike Tyson United States United States WBA and WBC March 7, 1987 August 1, 1987 2 2 Unified WBA and WBC titles.
Tony Tucker United States United States IBF May 30, 1987 August 1, 1987 0 0 1
Mike Tyson United States United States IBF, WBA and WBC August 1, 1987 February 11, 1990 6 6 Unified IBF, WBA and WBC titles.
Francesco Damiani Italy Italy WBO May 6, 1989 January 11, 1991 1 1 1
James "Buster" Douglas United States United States IBF, WBA and WBC February 11, 1990 October 25, 1990 0 0
Evander Holyfield United States United States IBF, WBA and WBC October 25, 1990 November 13, 1992 3 3
Ray Mercer United States United States WBO January 11, 1991 December 24, 1991 1 1 3
Michael Moorer United States United States WBO May 15, 1992 February 3, 1993 0 0 1,2
Riddick Bowe United States United States IBF, WBA and WBC November 13, 1992 December 14, 1992 0 0 2
Riddick Bowe United States United States IBF and WBA December 14, 1992 November 6, 1993 2 2
Lennox Lewis United Kingdom United Kingdom WBC December 14, 1992 September 24, 1994 3 3 18
Tommy Morrison United States United States WBO June 7, 1993 October 29, 1993 1 1 1
Michael Bentt United Kingdom United Kingdom WBO October 29, 1993 March 19, 1994 0 0
Evander Holyfield (Second reign) United States United States IBF and WBA November 6, 1993 April 22, 1994 0 0
Herbie Hide United Kingdom United Kingdom WBO March 19, 1994 March 11, 1995 0 0
Michael Moorer (Second reign) United States United States IBF and WBA April 22, 1994 November 5, 1994 0 0
Oliver McCall United States United States WBC September 24, 1994 September 2, 1995 1 1
George Foreman (Second reign) United States United States IBF and WBA November 5, 1994 March 4, 1995 0 0 3
George Foreman United States United States IBF March 4, 1995 June 28, 1995 1 1 2
Riddick Bowe (Second reign) United States United States WBO March 11, 1995 May 1, 1996 1 1 3
Bruce Seldon United States United States WBA April 8, 1995 September 7, 1996 1 1 1
Frank Bruno United Kingdom United Kingdom WBC September 2, 1995 March 16, 1996 0 0
Francois Botha South Africa South Africa IBF December 9, 1995 March 27, 1996 0 0 26
Mike Tyson (Second reign) United States United States WBC March 16, 1996 September 7, 1996 0 0
Michael Moorer (Third reign) United States United States IBF June 22, 1996 November 8, 1997 2 2 1,19
Henry Akinwande United Kingdom United Kingdom WBO June 29, 1996 February 17, 1997 2 2 1,2
Mike Tyson United States United States WBA and WBC September 7, 1996 September 24, 1996 0 0 2
Mike Tyson United States United States WBA September 24, 1996 November 9, 1996 0 0
Evander Holyfield (Third reign) United States United States WBA November 9, 1996 November 8, 1997 2 2
Lennox Lewis (Second reign) United Kingdom United Kingdom WBC February 7, 1997 November 13, 1999 6 5 1
Herbie Hide (Second reign) United Kingdom United Kingdom WBO June 28, 1997 June 26, 1999 2 2 1
Evander Holyfield United States United States IBF and WBA November 8, 1997 November 13, 1999 2 2 Unified IBF and WBA titles.
Vitali Klitschko Ukraine Ukraine WBO June 26, 1999 April 1, 2000 2 2
Lennox Lewis United Kingdom United Kingdom IBF, WBA and WBC November 13, 1999 April 29, 2000 0 0 Unified IBF, WBA and WBC titles.3
Chris Byrd United States United States WBO April 1, 2000 October 14, 2000 0 0
Lennox Lewis United Kingdom United Kingdom IBF and WBC April 29, 2000 April 22, 2001 3 3
Evander Holyfield (Fourth reign) United States United States WBA August 12, 2000 March 3, 2001 0 0 1
Wladimir Klitschko Ukraine Ukraine WBO October 14, 2000 March 8, 2003 5 5
John Ruiz United States United States WBA March 3, 2001 March 1, 2003 2 2
Hasim Rahman United States United States IBF and WBC April 22, 2001 November 17, 2001 0 0
Lennox Lewis (Third reign) United Kingdom United Kingdom IBF and WBC November 17, 2001 September 5, 2002 1 1 2
Lennox Lewis United Kingdom United Kingdom WBC September 5, 2002 February 6, 2004 1 1 2
Chris Byrd (Second reign) United States United States IBF December 14, 2002 April 22, 2006 4 4 1
Roy Jones, Jr. United States United States WBA March 1, 2003 February 20, 2004 0 0 2
Corrie Sanders South Africa South Africa WBO March 8, 2003 October 9, 2003 0 0 2
John Ruiz (Second reign) United States United States WBA February 20, 2004 December 17, 2005 2 2 20
Lamon Brewster United States United States WBO April 10, 2004 April 1, 2006 3 3 1
Vitali Klitschko (Second reign) Ukraine Ukraine WBC April 24, 2004 November 9, 2005 1 1 1,2
Hasim Rahman (Second reign) United States United States WBC November 9, 2005 August 12, 2006 1 1 21
Nikolai Valuev Russia Russia WBA December 17, 2005 April 14, 2007 3 3
Siarhei Liakhovich Belarus Belarus WBO April 1, 2006 November 4, 2006 0 0
Wladimir Klitschko (Second reign) Ukraine Ukraine IBF April 22, 2006 February 23, 2008 4 4
Oleg Maskaev Russia Russia WBC August 12, 2006 March 8, 2008 1 1
Shannon Briggs United States United States WBO November 4, 2006 June 2, 2007 0 0
Ruslan Chagaev Uzbekistan Uzbekistan WBA April 14, 2007 June 20, 2009 2 2 22
Sultan Ibragimov Russia Russia WBO June 2, 2007 February 23, 2008 1 1
Wladimir Klitschko Ukraine Ukraine IBF and WBO February 23, 2008 July 2, 2011 6 6 Unified IBF and WBO titles.
Samuel Peter Nigeria Nigeria WBC March 8, 2008 October 11, 2008 0 0
Nikolai Valuev (Second reign) Russia Russia WBA August 30, 2008 November 7, 2009 1 1 1,22
Vitali Klitschko (Third reign) Ukraine Ukraine WBC October 11, 2008 December 15, 2013 9 9 2
David Haye United Kingdom United Kingdom WBA November 7, 2009 July 2, 2011 2 2
Wladimir Klitschko Ukraine Ukraine IBF, WBA "Super" and WBO July 2, 2011 November 28, 2015 8 7 Unified IBF, WBA and WBO titles.
Alexander Povetkin Russia Russia WBA "Regular" August 27, 2011 October 5, 2013 4 4 1,23
Bermane Stiverne Canada Canada WBC May 10, 2014 January 17, 2015 0 0 1
Ruslan Chagaev (Second reign) Uzbekistan Uzbekistan WBA "Regular" July 6, 2014 March 5, 2016 1 1 1
Deontay Wilder United States United States WBC January 17, 2015 Present 9 8
Tyson Fury United Kingdom United Kingdom IBF, WBA "Super" and WBO November 28, 2015 December 8, 2015 0 0 3 Shortest reign
Tyson Fury United Kingdom United Kingdom WBA "Super" and WBO December 8, 2015 October 12, 2016 0 0 2
Charles Martin United States United States IBF January 16, 2016 April 9, 2016 0 0 1
Lucas Browne Australia Australia WBA "Regular" March 5, 2016 May 12, 2016 0 0 24
Anthony Joshua United Kingdom United Kingdom IBF April 9, 2016 April 29, 2017 3 3
Ruslan Chagaev (Third reign) Uzbekistan Uzbekistan WBA "Regular" May 12, 2016 July 25, 2016 0 0 3
Joseph Parker New Zealand New Zealand WBO December 10, 2016 March 31, 2018 2 2 1
Anthony Joshua United Kingdom United Kingdom IBF and WBA "Super" April 29, 2017 March 31, 2018 2 2 1
Manuel Charr Syria Syria WBA "Regular" November 25, 2017 Present 0 0 1
Anthony Joshua United Kingdom United Kingdom IBF, WBA "Super", WBO and IBO March 31, 2018 June 1, 2019 1 1 Unified IBF, WBA and WBO tiles.
Andy Ruiz Jr. Mexico Mexico IBF, WBA "Super", WBO and IBO June 1, 2019 Present 0 0

Footnotes[edit]

  1. Won vacant championship title.
  2. Voluntarily relinquished championship title.
  3. Championship recognition withdrawn by sanctioning organization upon his refusal to fight an opponent of the organization's designation.
  4. In 1882, Sullivan defeated Paddy Ryan to win the bare-knuckle championship of America. A lack of legitimate challengers elsewhere gradually resulted in Sullivan earning worldwide recognition. On August 29, 1885, he defeated Dominick McCaffrey in a bout described as "the Marquess of Queensberry glove contest for the championship of the world."
  5. Corbett announced his retirement from boxing in 1895, nominating Steve O'Donnell as his successor. As tradition demanded the title be won in the ring, O'Donnell was matched against Peter Maher on November 11, 1895 at Maspeth, New York. Maher won via first-round knockout, but the public generally didn't accept Maher and Maher himself expressed a desire to fight Corbett for the "real" title. In Maher's next bout, Bob Fitzsimmons defeated him via first-round knockout on February 21, 1896. Fitzsimmons in turn was defeated by Tom Sharkey of Dundalk on December 2, 1896, in a contest billed as for the heavyweight title. Corbett announced his return to the ring shortly thereafter, at which time the championship claims of Maher, Fitzsimmons, and Sharkey were for the most part dismissed. Sharkey's title claims lapsed when he was defeated by Jeffries in May 1898.
  6. Jeffries announced his retirement, relinquishing the title and promoting a match between Marvin Hart and Jack Root for the championship. Jeffries returned to the ring to challenge Jack Johnson.
  7. The British National Sporting Club withdrew its recognition of Johnson as champion when he refused to defend his title against the British champion William "Iron" Hague. The NSC matched Hague with Canadian Sam Langford for its title on May 24, 1909. Langford won via fourth-round knockout but never pursued a championship claim.
  8. Schmeling earned championship recognition by defeating Jack Sharkey by controversial disqualification. The New York State Athletic Commission withdrew its recognition of Schmeling when he refused to grant Sharkey an immediate rematch. The NYSAC did not recognize a champion until Sharkey defeated Schmeling in 1932.
  9. In late 1934, the International Boxing Union (IBU) ordered Baer to defend his title against European champion Pierre Charles of Belgium. When Baer refused, the IBU sanctioned a bout between Charles and American George Godfrey for their title on October 2, 1935. Godfrey won via fifteen-round decision but never pursued a championship claim. The IBU ultimately recognized Baer's successor James J. Braddock as champion.
  10. Two months after Louis' retirement announcement, the International Boxing Union sanctioned a bout between British champion Bruce Woodcock and American Lee Savold for its version of the title. The bout was not staged until June 1950, however, due to delays caused by injuries suffered by Woodcock in an automobile accident. Meanwhile, Ezzard Charles defeated Jersey Joe Walcott to win the vacant National Boxing Association championship title. Savold defeated Woodcock in four rounds to win the IBU title, while Charles gained New York State Athletic Commission recognition and wide public acclaim as champion upon defeating former champion Joe Louis in September 1950. On June 15, 1951, Joe Louis defeat Savold via sixth-round knockout, after which the IBU withdrew its recognition of Savold and proclaimed Ezzard Charles as champion.
  11. Following Marciano's retirement, Patterson was matched against Tommy "Hurricane" Jackson in a championship eliminator on June 8, 1956. Winning via controversial split decision, Patterson then faced light heavyweight titleholder Archie Moore for the vacant title. Upon defeating Moore, Patterson fought (and defeated) Jackson a second time on July 29, 1957.
  12. The World Boxing Association withdrew their championship recognition of Clay (by then known as Muhammad Ali) upon agreeing to an immediate rematch against former champion Sonny Liston, in violation of WBA rules. The newly founded World Boxing Council and other sanctioning groups continued to recognize Ali as champion.
  13. The World Boxing Association, World Boxing Council, New York State Athletic Commission and others withdrew their championship recognition of Ali following his refusal to be inducted into the United States Army subsequent to his conscription.
  14. To fill its vacant championship title, the World Boxing Association organized a single-elimination tournament involving eight of their ranked contenders (Joe Frazier, who was ranked No. 2, declined to participate): Oscar Bonavena, Jimmy Ellis, Leotis Martin, Karl Mildenberger, two-time former champion Floyd Patterson, Jerry Quarry, Thad Spencer, and former WBA champion Ernie Terrell. In first round matches, Ellis defeated Martin, Quarry defeated Patterson, Spencer defeated Terrell, and Bonavena defeated Mildenberger. In the semi-finals, Ellis defeated Bonavena while Quarry defeated Spencer; and Ellis defeated Quarry for the championship title. Frazier, meanwhile, was matched against Buster Mathis for a championship recognized by the New York State Athletic Commission together with the commissions of Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Similar "world" championship recognition was bestowed upon him by the Texas Athletic Commission following a victory over Dave Zyglewicz on April 22, 1969.
  15. Frazier defeated Ellis to unify the heavyweight championship, but did not gain universal public acclaim as champion until defeating Muhammad Ali on March 8, 1971.
  16. In an unprecedented move, upon withdrawing its recognition of Leon Spinks as champion, the World Boxing Council immediately recognized Ken Norton as champion, based on an earlier victory over Jimmy Young. As a condition of being named champion, Norton was ordered to face the WBC's new mandatory challenger, Larry Holmes within 120 days.
  17. Holmes relinquished his World Boxing Council championship and accepted championship recognition bestowed by the newly organized International Boxing Federation.
  18. Following its 1978 precedent, upon withdrawing championship recognition from Riddick Bowe, the World Boxing Council immediately awarded championship recognition to Lennox Lewis, on the basis of his victory in an October 31, 1992 "championship eliminator" over Donovan Ruddock.
  19. Following its withdrawal of recognition from George Foreman, the International Boxing Federation sanctioned a December 9, 1995 match between Francois Botha and Axel Schulz for its championship. Botha won the bout by split decision, but the bout result and Botha's championship title were vacated after Botha's post-fight drug test revealed he had taken illegal anabolic steroids. A subsequent bout between Schulz and Michael Moorer was sanctioned for the IBF championship.
  20. Upon defeating John Ruiz, Roy Jones, Jr. simultaneously held the World Boxing Association's heavyweight and light heavyweight titles. At his request, the WBA suspended its rule prohibiting simultaneous title holding. It later declared Jones its "Champion in Recess," and sanctioned a December 13, 2003 bout between Ruiz and Hasim Rahman for its "interim" championship. Ruiz won the bout. On February 20, 2004, Jones relinquished his heavyweight title to resume boxing as a light heavyweight, at which point Ruiz was elevated to full championship recognition. On April 30, 2005, Ruiz was defeated by James Toney in a championship defense, but post-fight drug testing determined Toney had taken Nandrolone, an anabolic steroid. The bout's result was subsequently changed to a "no contest," whereupon the WBA reinstated Ruiz as champion.
  21. Following repeated injuries to champion Vitali Klitschko, the World Boxing Council sanctioned an August 13, 2005 bout between Hasim Rahman and Monte Barrett for its "interim" championship. Rahman won the bout, and when Klitschko relinquished his title three months later, the WBC elevated Rahman to full championship recognition.
  22. Following repeated injuries which prevented him from defending his title, the World Boxing Association designated Chagaev a "Champion in Recess," sanctioning an August 30, 2008 bout between former champions John Ruiz and Nikolai Valuev for its "interim" title; a bout won by Valuev. Upon his recovery however, Chagaev opted to face Wladimir Klitschko rather than Valuev, whereupon the WBA withdrew championship recognition.
  23. The World Boxing Association modified its championship structure, creating a new "Super Champion" status to be awarded to champions who hold multiple titles simultaneously. Now subordinated to this was the status of "World Champion," commonly referred to as the "Regular" champion. The organization then sanctioned a bout between Povetkin and former champion Ruslan Chagaev for this "regular" title. Povetkin's reign as the WBA's "regular champion" ended upon a loss to "Super Champion" Wladimir Klitschko, at which point the "regular" title was vacant.
  24. Browne defeated Ruslan Chagaev for the World Boxing Association's "regular" championship title, but Browne subsequently tested positive for Clenbuterol, a banned substance. Following confirmation of the positive result, the WBA withdrew its recognition of Browne's "regular" championship.
  25. On October 29, 1877 a fight between British fighters Tom Allen and Tompkin Gilbert at the Sadler's Wells Theatre, London was billed as for the World heavyweight title under Marquess of Queensberry Rules. Allen won in seven rounds
  26. Botha defeated Axel Shultz for the vacant International Boxing Federation title, but Botha subsequently tested positive for nandralone, a banned substance. Following confirmation of the positive result, the IBF withdrew its recognition of Botha, next awarding its title to the winner of a bout between Shultz and Michael Moorer.

Current status of prominent championship titles[edit]

International Boxing Federation

World Boxing Association

  • Andy Ruiz Jr. is the organization's currently recognized 'super' champion.[2]
  • Manuel Charr is currently recognized as the organization's 'regular' champion.[3] His next defence of this title is scheduled to be against WBA 'interim' champion Trevor Bryan. Agreement for the bout was reached on May 28, 2019, but details have not been announced.
  • Trevor Bryan is currently recognized as the organization's 'interim' champion[4], having being awarded that distinction on August 11, 2018 by defeating B.J. Flores. His next bout will be against WBA 'regular' champion, Manuel Charr for Charr's title, at which time win or lose his 'interim' championship will be vacated. Agreement for the bout was reached on May 28, 2019, but details have not been announced.

World Boxing Council

  • Deontay Wilder is the organization's currently recognized champion.[5] His last defence of this title occurred on May 18, 2019, defeating Dominic Breazeale via 1st round knockout. He has a tentative agreement in place to defend the title against former champion Tyson Fury on February 22, 2020, but is reported to have agreed to a defense against an undisclosed opponent in the interim.
  • Dillian Whyte was recognized as the organization's 'interim' champion having been awarded that distinction on July 20, 2019 by defeating Oscar Rivas via a 12 round unanimous decision. Ten days later, however, this recognition was 'suspended' after a UKAD gathered urine sample "yielded an adverse finding." Per a statement from the WBC, "pending the outcome of the WBC's own investigation and adjudicatory process, the WBC is provisionally suspending the WBC's recognition of Dillian Whyte as WBC interim world heavyweight champion and mandatory challenger of the division."[6]

World Boxing Organization

List of combined reigns[edit]

As of March 5, 2018. This list includes only major titles, and it does not include lineal championships after 1921.

Keys:

     Active title reign
     Reign has ended
WBO heavyweight title bouts before August 1997 are not included[8]
Pos. Name Combined reign Days as champion Number of reigns Title recognition Cumulative title wins Opponents beaten
1. Ukraine Wladimir Klitschko 12 years, 0 months, 0 days 4 382 2 IBF, WBA, WBO 25 23
2. United States Joe Louis 11 years, 8 months, 8 days 4 270 1 NYSAC, NBA 27 22
3. United States Muhammad Ali 9 years, 5 months, 5 days 3 443 3 NYSAC, WBC, WBA 22 21
4. United Kingdom Lennox Lewis 8 years, 5 months, 13 days 3 086 3 WBC, IBF, WBA 15 15
5. Ukraine Vitali Klitschko 7 years, 5 months, 28 days 2 735 3 WBO, WBC 15 15
6. United States Larry Holmes 7 years, 3 months, 12 days 2 661 1 WBC, IBF 20 20
7. United States Jack Dempsey 7 years, 2 months, 19 days 2 638 1 NYSAC, NBA 6 6
8. United States John L. Sullivan 7 years, 0 months, 10 days 2 566 1 Universal 5 5
9. United States Jack Johnson 6 years, 3 months, 11 days 2 292 1 Universal 7 7
10. United States Evander Holyfield 6 years, 1 month, 1 day 2 223 4 WBA, WBC, IBF 11 10
11. United States James J. Jeffries 5 years, 11 months, 4 days 2 156 1 Universal 8 6
12. United States Joe Frazier 4 years, 10 months, 18 days 1 785 1 NYSAC, WBA, WBC 10 10
13. United States Floyd Patterson 4 years, 10 months, 0 days 1 765 2 NYSAC, NBA 8 7
14. United States James J. Corbett 4 years, 6 months, 10 days 1 652 1 Universal 2 2
15. United States Jess Willard 4 years, 2 months, 29 days 1 551 1 Universal 2 2
16. United States Chris Byrd 3 years, 10 months, 22 days 1 421 2 IBF, WBO 5 5
17. United States Mike Tyson 3 years, 10 months, 16 days 1 415 2 WBA, WBC, IBF 12 11
18. United States John Ruiz 3 years, 9 months, 21 days 1 390 2 WBA 4 4
19. United States Rocky Marciano 3 years, 7 months, 5 days 1 312 1 NYSAC, NBA 7 5
20. United States Deontay Wilder 3 years, 2 months, 10 days 1 137 1 WBC 9 8

List of individual reigns[edit]

The list includes both The Ring and lineal championships. Career total time as champion (for multiple time champions) does not apply.

Keys:

     Active Title Reign
     Reign has ended
The WBO heavyweight title bouts before August 1997 are not included
Pos. Name Title Reign Title recognition Successful Defenses Opponents beaten
1. United States Joe Louis 11 years, 8 months, 8 days Universal 26 21
2. Ukraine Wladimir Klitschko 9 years, 7 months and 6 days IBF (+WBA, WBO, The Ring) 18 17
3. United States Larry Holmes 7 years, 3 months, 12 days WBC-to-IBF (+The Ring/Lineal) 19 19
4. United States Jack Dempsey 7 years, 2 months, 19 days Universal 5 5
5. United States John L. Sullivan 7 years, 0 months, 9 days Universal 5 5
6. United States Jack Johnson 6 years, 3 months, 10 days Universal 8 8
7. United States Muhammad Ali 5 years, 11 months, 9 days The Ring/Lineal, (+WBA, WBC stripped) 9 9
8. United States James J. Jeffries 5 years, 11 months, 4 days Universal 7 6
9. Ukraine Vitali Klitschko 5 years, 2 months, 4 days WBC 9 9
10. United States Joe Frazier 4 years, 10 months, 18 days NYSAC (+WBA, WBC) 9 9
11. United States James J. Corbett 4 years, 6 months, 10 days Universal 1 1
12. United States Jess Willard 4 years, 2 months, 29 days Universal 1 1
13. United Kingdom Lennox Lewis 4 years, 2 months, 15 days WBC (+IBF, WBA stripped, The Ring/Lineal) 9 8
14. United States Rocky Marciano 3 years, 11 months, 29 days Universal 6 5
15. United States Chris Byrd 3 years, 4 months, 8 days IBF 4 4
16. United States Mike Tyson 3 years, 2 months, 20 days WBC (+WBA, IBF, The Ring/Lineal) 9 9
17. United States Deontay Wilder 3 years, 2 months, 14 days WBC 9 8
18. United States George Foreman 3 years, 0 months, 17 days Lineal (+WBA, IBF stripped) 2 2
19. United States Evander Holyfield 3 years, 0 months, 4 days WBA (+IBF) 4 4
20. Canada Tommy Burns 2 years, 10 months, 3 days Universal 11 9

By nationality[edit]

Country Total Boxers by Name
 United States 55 John L. Sullivan, James J. Corbett, James J. Jeffries, Marvin Hart, Jack Johnson, Jess Willard, Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, Jack Sharkey, Max Baer, James J. Braddock, Joe Louis, Ezzard Charles, Lee Savold, Jersey Joe Walcott, Rocky Marciano, Floyd Patterson, Sonny Liston, Muhammad Ali, Ernie Terrell, Joe Frazier, Jimmy Ellis, George Foreman, Leon Spinks, Ken Norton, Larry Holmes, John Tate, Mike Weaver, Michael Dokes, Tim Witherspoon, Pinklon Thomas, Greg Page, Tony Tubbs, Michael Spinks, Mike Tyson, James Smith, Tony Tucker, Buster Douglas, Evander Holyfield, Ray Mercer, Michael Moorer, Riddick Bowe, Tommy Morrison, Michael Bentt, Oliver McCall, Bruce Seldon, Chris Byrd, John Ruiz, Hasim Rahman, Roy Jones Jr., Lamon Brewster, Shannon Briggs, Deontay Wilder, Charles Martin, Andy Ruiz Jr.
 United Kingdom 8 Bob Fitzsimmons, Lennox Lewis, Herbie Hide, Frank Bruno, Henry Akinwande, David Haye, Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua
 Russia 4 Nikolai Valuev, Oleg Maskaev, Sultan Ibragimov, Alexander Povetkin
 Canada 3 Tommy Burns, Trevor Berbick, Bermane Stiverne
 Italy 2 Primo Carnera, Francesco Damiani
 South Africa 2 Gerrie Coetzee, Corrie Sanders
 Ukraine 2 Vitali Klitschko, Wladimir Klitschko
 Germany 1 Max Schmeling
 Sweden 1 Ingemar Johansson
 Belarus 1 Siarhei Liakhovich
 Uzbekistan 1 Ruslan Chagaev
 Nigeria 1 Samuel Peter
 Australia 1 Lucas Browne
 New Zealand 1 Joseph Parker
 Syria 1 Manuel Charr
 Mexico 1 Andy Ruiz Jr.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Florio, John; Shapiro, Ouisie (2013). One Punch from the Promised Land: Leon Spinks, Michael Spinks, and the Myth of the Heavyweight Title. Lyons Press. p. 279. ISBN 978-0-7627-8300-7.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Boxing champions list". ESPN.com. February 23, 2015.
  2. ^ "Boxing champions list". ESPN.com. February 23, 2015.
  3. ^ "Boxing champions list". ESPN.com. February 23, 2015.
  4. ^ "Boxing champions list". ESPN.com. February 23, 2015.
  5. ^ "Boxing champions list". ESPN.com. February 23, 2015.
  6. ^ "WBC suspends Dillian Whyte". Fightnews.com. July 30, 2019.
  7. ^ "Boxing champions list". ESPN.com. February 23, 2015.
  8. ^ James B. Roberts, Alexander G. Skutt: The Boxing Register: International Boxing Hall of Fame Official Record Book, p. 331–32. The record of Ricardo Lopez indicates his opponent Alex Sanchez as WBO "World Champion" on August 23, 1997, meanwhile Michael Carbajal's opponent Josue Camacho (fought on July 15, 1994) didn't receive the same recognition, thus suggesting that WBO title hadn't been viewed by IBHOF as a major title prior to (at least) August 1997, when Herbie Hide (won the title on June 28, 1997) was WBO heavyweight champion

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