List of world heavyweight boxing champions

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

At boxing's beginning, the heavyweight division had no weight limit, and historically the weight class has gone with vague or no definition. During the 19th century many heavyweights were 170 pounds (12 st 2 lb, 77 kg) or less, though others weighed considerably more. John L. Sullivan was the first widely recognized champion under Marquess of Queensberry rules. Known as the "Boston Strong Boy," Sullivan weighed around 200 pounds when in shape, and helped transition the sport from its bare-knuckle era. Sullivan would be defeated for the title by "Gentleman" Jim Corbett over 21 rounds on September 7, 1892, the first heavyweight titleholder solely under Queensberry rules.

In 1920 a de facto minimum weight for a heavyweight was set at 175 pounds (12 st 7 lb, 79 kg) with the standardization of a weight limit for the light heavyweight division. The addition of the cruiserweight division, which began in 1979, reset the de facto minimum, first to 190 pounds and then to 200 pounds in 2004 when boxing's major sanctioning bodies universally raised the weight limit at which they'd recognize champions. An effort is currently underway to establish an additional division at approximately 225 pounds, with the International Boxing Organization and World Boxing Council each announcing they would recognize champions in this new "super cruiserweight" class.

The championship of the heavyweight division has been fractured or disputed at various times in its history. Until the 1960s, such disputes were settled in the ring, typically with alternate title claimants largely being forgotten. The rise of sanctioning organizations, however, has produced an environment where typically there is no single "Heavyweight Champion of the World," with titleholders recognized by one of these organizations (a "World Champion") or more (a "Super Champion," a "Unified Champion," or, in the rare cases where the four most prominent organizations recognize the same boxer, an "Undisputed Champion").

Some title reigns are considered dubious owing to long periods of inactivity, the legitimacy of the organization granting championship recognition, and other factors. In 1967, for example, Muhammad Ali was denied a boxing license in every U.S. jurisdiction and stripped of his passport because of his refusal to be inducted into the armed forces. On April 29, 1967, his recognition as champion by both the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council was withdrawn. Yet Ali remained the lineal champion and was recognized by The Ring magazine and most boxing purists until defeated in 1970. In pursuit of greater revenues, some organizations have now adopted a practice of simultaneously recognizing multiple champions in a weight division, creating a situation in which a champion may be unable not only to secure recognition from multiple sanctioning bodies but to secure sole recognition from a single one.

Championship recognition[edit]

All Heavyweight champions

Public Acclamation: 1884 to 1921[edit]

Champions were recognized by wide public acclamation. A heavyweight champion was a boxer who had a notable win over another notable boxer and then went without defeat. Retirements from the ring periodically led to a "true" champion going unrecognized, or for several to be recognized by the public for periods of time. Typically, public interest in having a single, "true" champion resulted in claimants to the heavyweight title being matched with one another; the winner of that bout was subsequently deemed the champion, with the claim (and title lineage) of the defeated boxer largely forgotten.

Sanctioning Bodies: 1921 to present[edit]

The National Boxing Association (NBA), was formed in 1921 as the first organization aimed at regulating boxing on a national (and later global) level. The prominence of New York City as the epicenter of boxing would lead to a governmental entity, the powerful New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC), to join the NBA in sanctioning bouts as "world championships." A third entity, with lesser public recognition, the European Boxing Union (EBU), would follow suit, with this triumvirate typically (but not always) recognizing the same boxers as world champions.

At its 1972 convention the NBA's non-U.S. members exploited a membership rule and took control of the organization, rebranding it the World Boxing Association. The (WBA), was joined a year later by a combination of state and national boxing commissions (including the NYSAC and IBU) to form a separate sanctioning body, the World Boxing Council (WBC). Each organization would later have a spin-off competing sanctioning body emerge: the International Boxing Federation (IBF), which was formed by members of the United States Boxing Association in 1983; and the World Boxing Organization (WBO), which was formed in 1989. A fifth significant (but not as publicly accepted) body came in the form of the International Boxing Organization (IBO) in 1991, and today there are over a dozen sanctioning organizations, of varying degrees of public acceptance, sanctioning bouts as for a world championship and proclaiming their heavyweight winners "Heavyweight Champion of the World."

The Ring: 1922 to present[edit]

From its outset until the 1990s, and again since 2002, The Ring has recognized heavyweight champions. Under its original policy a champion won the title either by defeating a recognized champion or winning a bout between the magazine's top-rated contenders. Once recognized as champion, championship recognition could be lost only by death, retirement, or loss. In 2012 these policies were revised so that a champion could be more readily recognized, and expanding the means by which championship recognition could be withdrawn (specifically, by not scheduling a fight with a top five rated contender for two years, or any bout at all for 18 months).[1]

Current status of prominent championship titles[edit]

World Boxing Association

The World Boxing Association presently recognizes up to four distinct 'types' of champion in its weight divisions: a 'Super' Champion (one who holds the WBA title along with that of at least one other widely recognized sanctioning body), a 'Regular' Champion (one who holds the WBA title alone), a 'Champion in Recess' (a champion who retains some form of championship recognition, but for reasons beyond their own control are presently inactive), and a 'Gold' Champion (a designation which not even the organization's governing documents explain). The organization also recognized a fifth type of champion, an 'Interim' championship who, ostensibly, held the title during a period of illness or injury to a 'Super' or 'Regular' titleholder. The organization vacated interim titles at every weight division on August 25, 2021. The current status of these titles is as follows:

World Boxing Association Championship Recognition
Championship Status Title Holder Recognized Since How Title Acquired Next Scheduled Defense or Defense Obligation
Super Champion Oleksander Usyk September 25, 2021 Defeated Anthony Joshua No defense formalized.
Regular Champion Trevor Bryan January 29, 2021 Defeated Bermane Stiverne for vacant title No defense formalized.
Champion in Recess Mahmoud Charr January 29, 2021 Reclassified from 'Regular Champion' status No defense formalized.
Gold Champion Robert Helenius September 28, 2018 Defeated Erkan Teper No defense formalized.

World Boxing Council

The World Boxing Council presently recognizes up to six distinct 'types' of champion in its weight divisions: a 'Franchise' Champion (one who holds the WBC title along with that of at least one other widely recognized sanctioning body; a distinction it has thus far only awarded once), a 'World' Champion (ostensibly one who holds the WBC title alone, but to date no unified champions in the heavyweight division have been attributed the 'Franchise' Champion status), an 'Interim' Champion (one who, ostensibly, holds the title during a period of illness or injury to the 'World' Champion), a 'Champion in Recess (a champion who retains some form of championship recognition, but who are presently inactive), and a 'Silver' Champion (a designation which has no clear distinction, but which nevertheless is recognized as a world championship-level title). The WBC also recognizes a 'Diamond' Champion in its divisions, but this title is apparently not afforded similar status as the other types. The current status of these titles is as follows:

World Boxing Council Championship Recognition
Championship Status Title Holder Recognized Since How Title Acquired Next Scheduled Defense or Defense Obligation
Franchise Champion vacant Never awarded No information available.
World Champion Tyson Fury February 22, 2020 Defeated Deontay Wilder No defense formalized.
Champion in Recess vacant Last held by Vitali Klitschko[citation needed]
Interim Champion Dillian Whyte March 27, 2021 Defeated Alexander Povetkin No defense formalized.
Silver Champion Joe Joyce November 28, 2020 Defeated Daniel Dubois No defense formalized.

International Boxing Federation The International Boxing Federation recognizes but a single champion in the heavyweight division.

  • Oleksander Usyk is recognized as the organization's world champion. He earned this distinction by defeating Anthony Joshua on September 25, 2021. No defense of this title is yet scheduled.

International Boxing Organization The International Boxing Organization recognizes but a single champion in each of its weight divisions.

  • Oleksander Usyk is recognized as the organization's world champion. He earned this distinction by defeating Anthony Joshua on September 25, 2021. No defense of this title is yet scheduled.

World Boxing Organization

The World Boxing Organization recognizes up to three distinct 'types' of champion in its weight divisions: a 'Super' Champion (one who holds the WBO title along with that of at least one other widely recognized sanctioning body), a 'World' Champion (though unlike the WBA, if a WBO 'Super' Champion exists a separate 'World' Champion is not simultaneously recognized), and an 'Interim' Champion (one who holds the title during a period of illness or injury to the 'Super' or 'World' Champion). At present, however, there is a single titleholder: Oleksander Usyk is recognized as the organization's world champion. He earned this distinction by defeating Anthony Joshua on September 25, 2021. No defense of this title is yet scheduled.

The Ring

  • Tyson Fury is recognized by the magazine as its world champion. He earned this distinction by defeating Deontay Wilder on February 22, 2020, and retained it after his victory against Deontay Wilder in a rematch on October 9, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

List of champions[edit]

No. Champion Nationality Recognition Begin reign End reign Day(s) Title defense(s) Additional recognition Note(s) Source(s)
1 John L. Sullivan
def. Dominick McCaffrey
United States United States World August 29, 1885 September 7, 1892 2,566 25,4 [2]
2 James J. Corbett United States United States World September 7, 1892 March 17, 1897 1,652 def. Charley Mitchell on January 25, 1894 5 [3]
3 Bob Fitzsimmons United Kingdom United Kingdom World March 17, 1897 June 9, 1899 814 [4]
4 James J. Jeffries United States United States World June 9, 1899 May 13, 1905 2,164 def. Tom Sharkey on March 11, 1899
def. John Finnegan on April 6, 1900
def. James J. Corbett on May 11, 1900
def. Gus Ruhlin on November 15, 1901
def. Bob Fitzsimmons on July 25, 1902
def. James J. Corbett on August 14, 1903
def. Jack Munroe on August 26, 1904
2,6 [5]
5 Marvin Hart
def. Jack Root
United States United States World July 3, 1905 February 23, 1906 235 1 [6]
6 Tommy Burns Canada Canada World February 23, 1906 December 26, 1908 1,037 def. James J. Walker on March 28, 1906
def. Jim O'Brien on March 28, 1906
def. Fireman Jim Flynn on October 2, 1906
draw vs. Philadelphia Jack O'Brien on November 28, 1906
def. Philadelphia Jack O'Brien on May 8, 1907
def. Bill Squires on July 4, 1907
def. Gunner Moir on December 2, 1907
def. Jack Palmer on February 10, 1908
def. Jem Roche on March 17, 1908
def. Jewey Smith on April 18, 1908
def. Bill Squires on June 13, 1908
def. Bill Squires on August 24, 1908
def. Bill Lang on September 3, 1908
[7]
7 Jack Johnson United States United States World December 26, 1908 April 5, 1915 2,291 def. Al Kaufman on September 9, 1909
def. Stanley Ketchel on October 16, 1909
def. James J. Jeffries on July 4, 1910
def. Fireman Jim Flynn on July 4, 1912
draw vs. Battling Jim Johnson on December 19, 1913
def. Frank Moran on June 27, 1914
7 [8]
8 Jess Willard United States United States World April 5, 1915 July 4, 1919 1,551 def. Frank Moran on March 25, 1916 [9]
9 Jack Dempsey United States United States World July 4, 1919 July 2, 1921 def. Billy Miske on September 6, 1920
def. Bill Brennan on December 14, 1920
def. Georges Carpentier on July 2, 1921
The Ring
awarded the title in 1922
[10]
NBA July 2, 1921 July 24, 1922 [10]
NBA, and NYSAC July 24, 1922 September 23, 1926 def. Tommy Gibbons on July 4, 1923
def. Luis Angel Firpo on September 14, 1923
[10]
10 Gene Tunney United States United States NBA, and NYSAC September 23, 1926 July 31, 1928 def. Jack Dempsey on September 22, 1927
def. Tom Heeney on July 26, 1928
The Ring 2 [11]
11 Max Schmeling
def. Jack Sharkey
Germany Germany NBA, and NYSAC June 12, 1930 January 7, 1931 The Ring 1,8 [12]
NBA, and IBU January 7, 1931 June 21, 1932 def. Young Stribling on July 3, 1931 1,10 [12]
12 Jack Sharkey United States United States NBA, NYSAC, and IBU June 21, 1932 June 29, 1933 The Ring [13]
13 Primo Carnera Italy Italy NBA, NYSAC, and IBU June 29, 1933 June 14, 1934 def. Paulino Uzcudun on October 22, 1933
def. Tommy Loughran on March 1, 1934
The Ring 1,10 [14]
14 Max Baer United States United States NBA, NYSAC, and IBU June 14, 1934 June 13, 1935 The Ring 9 [15]
15 James J. Braddock United States United States NBA, NYSAC, and IBU June 13, 1935 June 22, 1937 The Ring [16]
16 Joe Louis United States United States NBA, NYSAC, and IBU June 22, 1937 March 1, 1949 def. Tommy Farr on August 30, 1937
def. Nathan Mann on February 23, 1938
def. Harry Thomas on April 4, 1938
def. Max Schmeling on June 22, 1938
def. John Henry Lewis on January 25, 1939
def. Jack Roper on April 17, 1939
def. Tony Galento on June 28, 1939
def. Bob Pastor on September 20, 1939
def. Arturo Godoy on February 9, 1940
def. Johnny Paychek on March 29, 1940
def. Arturo Godoy on June 20, 1940
def. Al McCoy on December 16, 1940
def. Red Burman on January 31, 1941
def. Gus Dorazio on February 17, 1941
def. Abe Simon on March 21, 1941
def. Tony Musto on April 8, 1941
def. Buddy Baer on May 23, 1941
def. Billy Conn on June 18, 1941
def. Lou Nova on September 29, 1941
def. Buddy Baer on January 9, 1942
def. Abe Simon on March 27, 1942
def. Johnny Davis on November 14, 1944
def. Billy Conn on June 19, 1946
def. Tami Mauriello on September 18, 1946
def. Jersey Joe Walcott on December 5, 1947
def. Jersey Joe Walcott on June 25, 1948
The Ring 2 [17][18]
17 Ezzard Charles
def. Jersey Joe Walcott
United States United States NBA June 22, 1949 September 27, 1950 def. Gus Lesnevich on August 10, 1949
def. Pat Valentino on October 14, 1949
def. Freddie Beshore on August 15, 1950
def. Joe Louis on September 27, 1950
The Ring 1,10 [19]
NBA, and NYSAC September 27, 1950 June 16, 1951 def. Nick Barone on December 5, 1950
def. Lee Oma on January 12, 1951
def. Jersey Joe Walcott on March 7, 1951
def. Joey Maxim on May 30, 1951
1,10 [19]
NBA, NYSAC, and IBU June 16, 1951 July 18, 1951 [19]
18 Jersey Joe Walcott United States United States NBA, and NYSAC July 18, 1951 September 23, 1952 def. Ezzard Charles on June 5, 1952 The Ring [20]
19 Rocky Marciano United States United States NBA, and NYSAC September 23, 1952 April 27, 1956 def. Jersey Joe Walcott on March 15, 1953
def. Roland LaStarza on September 24, 1953
def. Ezzard Charles on June 17, 1954
def. Ezzard Charles on September 17, 1954
def. Don Cockell on May 16, 1955
def. Archie Moore on September 21, 1955
The Ring 2 [21]
20 Floyd Patterson
def. Archie Moore
United States United States NBA, and NYSAC November 30, 1956 June 26, 1959 def. Tommy Jackson on July 29, 1957
def. Pete Rademacher on August 22, 1957
def. Roy Harris on August 18, 1958
def. Brian London on May 1, 1959
The Ring 1,11 [22]
21 Ingemar Johansson Sweden Sweden NBA, and NYSAC June 26, 1959 June 20, 1960 The Ring [23]
22 Floyd Patterson (Second reign) United States United States NBA, and NYSAC June 20, 1960 September 25, 1962 def. Ingemar Johansson on March 13, 1961
def. Tom McNeeley on December 4, 1961
The Ring [22]
23 Sonny Liston United States United States NYSAC, and WBA September 25, 1962 July 22, 1963 def. Floyd Patterson on July 22, 1963
The Ring [24]
NYSAC, WBA, and WBC July 22, 1963 February 25, 1964 [24]
24 Muhammad Ali United States United States NYSAC, WBA, and WBC February 25, 1964 June 19, 1964 The Ring 12 [25]
NYSAC, and WBC June 19, 1964 February 6, 1967 def. Sonny Liston on May 25, 1965
def. Floyd Patterson on November 22, 1965
def. George Chuvalo on March 29, 1966
def. Henry Cooper on May 21, 1966
def. Brian London on August 6, 1966
def. Karl Mildenberger on September 10, 1966
def. Cleveland Williams on November 14, 1966
def. Ernie Terrell on February 6, 1967
[25]
NYSAC, WBA, and WBC February 6, 1967 April 29, 1967 def. Zora Folley on March 22, 1967 13 [25]
25 Ernie Terrell
def. Eddie Machen
United States United States WBA March 5, 1965 February 6, 1967 def. George Chuvalo on November 1, 1965
def. Doug Jones on June 28, 1966
1 [26]
26 Joe Frazier
def. Buster Mathis
United States United States NYSAC March 4, 1968 February 16, 1970 def. Manuel Ramos on June 24, 1968
def. Oscar Bonavena on December 10, 1968
def. Dave Zyglewicz on April 22, 1969
def. Jerry Quarry on June 23, 1969
def. Jimmy Ellis on February 16, 1970
The Ring
def. Muhammad Ali on March 8, 1971
1 [27]
WBA, and WBC February 16, 1970 January 22, 1973 def. Bob Foster on November 18, 1970
def. Muhammad Ali on March 8, 1971
def. Terry Daniels on January 15, 1972
def. Ron Stander on May 25, 1972
15 [27]
27 Jimmy Ellis
def. Jerry Quarry
United States United States WBA April 27, 1968 February 16, 1970 def. Floyd Patterson on September 14, 1968 1,14 [28]
28 George Foreman United States United States WBA, and WBC January 22, 1973 October 30, 1974 def. José Roman on September 1, 1973
def. Ken Norton on March 26, 1974
The Ring 1,10 [29]
29 Muhammad Ali (Second reign) United States United States WBA, and WBC October 30, 1974 February 15, 1978 def. Chuck Wepner on March 24, 1975
def. Ron Lyle on May 16, 1975
def. Joe Bugner on June 30, 1975
def. Joe Frazier on October 1, 1975
def. Jean-Pierre Coopman on February 20, 1976
def. Jimmy Young on April 30, 1976
def. Richard Dunn on May 24, 1976
def. Ken Norton on September 28, 1976
def. Alfredo Evangelista on May 16, 1977
def. Earnie Shavers on September 29, 1977
The Ring [25]
30 Leon Spinks United States United States WBA, and WBC February 15, 1978 March 18, 1978 The Ring 3 [30]
WBA March 18, 1978 September 15, 1978 [30]
31 Ken Norton
awarded the title
United States United States WBC March 18, 1978 June 9, 1978 16 [31]
32 Larry Holmes United States United States WBC June 9, 1978 December 11, 1983 def. Alfredo Evangelista on November 10, 1978
def. Ossie Ocasio on March 23, 1979
def. Mike Weaver on June 22, 1979
def. Earnie Shavers on September 28, 1979
def. Lorenzo Zanon on February 3, 1980
def. Leroy Jones on March 31, 1980
def. Scott LeDoux on July 7, 1980
def. Muhammad Ali on October 2, 1980
def. Trevor Berbick on April 11, 1981
def. Leon Spinks on June 12, 1981
def. Renaldo Snipes on November 6, 1981
def. Gerry Cooney on June 11, 1982
def. Randall "Tex" Cobb on November 26, 1982
def. Lucien Rodriguez on March 27, 1983
def. Tim Witherspoon on May 20, 1983
def. Scott Frank on September 10, 1983
The Ring
def. Muhammad Ali on October 2, 1980
2 [32]
IBF December 11, 1983 September 21, 1985 def. James Smith on November 9, 1984
def. David Bey on March 15, 1985
def. Carl Williams on May 20, 1985
17 [32]
33 Muhammad Ali (Third reign) United States United States WBA September 15, 1978 October 18, 1979 The Ring 2 [25]
34 John Tate
def. Gerrie Coetzee
United States United States WBA October 20, 1979 March 31, 1980 1 [33]
35 Mike Weaver United States United States WBA March 31, 1980 December 10, 1982 def. Gerrie Coetzee on October 25, 1980
def. James Tillis on October 3, 1981
[34]
36 Michael Dokes United States United States WBA December 10, 1982 September 23, 1983 draw vs. Mike Weaver on May 20, 1983
[35]
37 Gerrie Coetzee South Africa South Africa WBA September 23, 1983 December 1, 1984 [36]
38 Tim Witherspoon
def. Greg Page
United States United States WBC March 9, 1984 August 31, 1984 1 [37]
39 Pinklon Thomas United States United States WBC August 31, 1984 March 22, 1986 def. Mike Weaver on June 15, 1985 [38]
40 Greg Page United States United States WBA December 1, 1984 April 29, 1985 [39]
41 Tony Tubbs United States United States WBA April 29, 1985 January 17, 1986 [40]
42 Michael Spinks United States United States IBF September 21, 1985 February 19, 1987 def. Larry Holmes on April 19, 1986
def. Steffen Tangstad on September 6, 1986
The Ring 3 [41]
43 Tim Witherspoon (Second reign) United States United States WBA January 17, 1986 December 12, 1986 def. Frank Bruno on July 19, 1986
[37]
44 Trevor Berbick Jamaica Jamaica
Canada Canada
WBC March 22, 1986 November 22, 1986 [42]
45 Mike Tyson United States United States WBC November 22, 1986 March 7, 1987 def. James Smith on March 7, 1987
The Ring
def. Michael Spinks on June 27, 1988
[43]
WBA, and WBC March 7, 1987 August 1, 1987 def. Pinklon Thomas on May 30, 1987
def. Tony Tucker on August 1, 1987
[43]
WBA, WBC, and IBF August 1, 1987 February 11, 1990 def. Tyrell Biggs on October 16, 1987
def. Larry Holmes on January 22, 1988
def. Tony Tubbs on March 21, 1988
def. Michael Spinks on June 27, 1988
def. Frank Bruno on February 25, 1989
def. Carl Williams on July 21, 1989
[43]
46 James "Bonecrusher" Smith United States United States WBA December 12, 1986 March 7, 1987 [44]
47 Tony Tucker
def. Buster Douglas
United States United States IBF May 30, 1987 August 1, 1987 1 [45]
48 Francesco Damiani
def. Johnny du Plooy
Italy Italy WBO May 6, 1989 January 11, 1991 def. Daniel Eduardo Neto on December 16, 1989
1 [46]
49 James "Buster" Douglas United States United States WBA, WBC, and IBF February 11, 1990 October 25, 1990 [47]
50 Evander Holyfield United States United States WBA, WBC, and IBF October 25, 1990 November 13, 1992 def. George Foreman on April 19, 1991
def. Bert Cooper on November 23, 1991
def. Larry Holmes on June 19, 1992
[48]
51 Ray Mercer United States United States WBO January 11, 1991 December 24, 1991 def. Tommy Morrison on October 18, 1991 3 [49]
52 Michael Moorer
def. Bert Cooper
United States United States WBO May 15, 1992 February 3, 1993 1,2 [50]
53 Riddick Bowe United States United States WBA, WBC, and IBF November 13, 1992 December 14, 1992 2 [51]
WBA, and IBF December 14, 1992 November 6, 1993 def. Michael Dokes on February 6, 1993
def. Jesse Ferguson on May 22, 1993
[51]
54 Lennox Lewis
awarded the title
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Canada Canada
WBC December 14, 1992 September 24, 1994 def. Tony Tucker on May 8, 1993
def. Frank Bruno on October 1, 1993
def. Phil Jackson on May 6, 1994
18 [52]
55 Tommy Morrison
def. George Foreman
United States United States WBO June 7, 1993 October 29, 1993 def. Tim Tomashek on August 30, 1993 1 [53]
56 Michael Bentt United Kingdom United Kingdom
United States United States
WBO October 29, 1993 March 19, 1994 [54]
57 Evander Holyfield (Second reign) United States United States WBA, and IBF November 6, 1993 April 22, 1994 [48]
58 Herbie Hide United Kingdom United Kingdom WBO March 19, 1994 March 11, 1995 [55]
59 Michael Moorer (Second reign) United States United States WBA, and IBF April 22, 1994 November 5, 1994 [50]
60 Oliver McCall United States United States WBC September 24, 1994 September 2, 1995 def. Larry Holmes on April 8, 1995 [56]
61 George Foreman (Second reign) United States United States WBA, and IBF November 5, 1994 March 4, 1995 3 [29]
IBF March 4, 1995 June 28, 1995 def. Axel Schulz on April 22, 1995 2 [29]
62 Riddick Bowe (Second reign) United States United States WBO March 11, 1995 May 1, 1996 def. Jorge Luis Gonzalez on June 17, 1995 3 [51]
63 Bruce Seldon
def. Tony Tucker
United States United States WBA April 8, 1995 September 7, 1996 def. Joe Hipp on August 19, 1995 1 [57]
64 Frank Bruno United Kingdom United Kingdom WBC September 2, 1995 March 16, 1996 [58]
65 Mike Tyson (Second reign) United States United States WBC March 16, 1996 September 7, 1996 [43]
WBA, and WBC September 7, 1996 September 24, 1996 2 [43]
WBA September 24, 1996 November 9, 1996 [43]
66 Michael Moorer (Third reign)
def. Axel Schulz
United States United States IBF June 22, 1996 November 8, 1997 def. Francois Botha on November 9, 1996
def. Vaughn Bean on March 29, 1997
1,19 [50]
67 Henry Akinwande
def. Jeremy Williams
United Kingdom United Kingdom WBO June 29, 1996 February 17, 1997 def. Alexander Zolkin on November 9, 1996
def. Scott Welch on January 11, 1997
1,2 [59]
68 Evander Holyfield (Third reign) United States United States WBA November 9, 1996 November 8, 1997 def. Mike Tyson on June 28, 1997
def. Michael Moorer on November 8, 1997
[48]
WBA, and IBF November 8, 1997 November 13, 1999 def. Vaughn Bean on September 19, 1998
draw vs. Lennox Lewis on March 13, 1999
[48]
69 Lennox Lewis (Second reign)
def. Oliver McCall
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Canada Canada
WBC February 7, 1997 November 13, 1999 def. Henry Akinwande on July 12, 1997
def. Andrzej Golota on October 4, 1997
def. Shannon Briggs on March 28, 1998
def. Željko Mavrović on September 26, 1998
draw vs. Evander Holyfield on March 13, 1999
def. Evander Holyfield on November 13, 1999
1 [52]
WBA, WBC, and IBF November 13, 1999 April 29, 2000 3 [52]
WBC, and IBF April 29, 2000 April 22, 2001 def. Michael Grant on April 29, 2000
def. Francois Botha on July 15, 2000
def. David Tua on November 11, 2000
[52]
70 Herbie Hide (Second reign)
def. Tony Tucker
United Kingdom United Kingdom WBO June 28, 1997 June 26, 1999 def. Damon Reed on April 18, 1998
def. Wilhelm Fischer on September 26, 1998
1 [55]
71 Vitali Klitschko Ukraine Ukraine WBO June 26, 1999 April 1, 2000 def. Ed Mahone on October 9, 1999
def. Obed Sullivan on December 11, 1999
[60]
72 Chris Byrd United States United States WBO April 1, 2000 October 14, 2000 [61]
73 Evander Holyfield (Fourth reign)
def. John Ruiz
United States United States WBA August 12, 2000 March 3, 2001 1 [48]
74 Wladimir Klitschko Ukraine Ukraine WBO October 14, 2000 March 8, 2003 def. Derrick Jefferson on March 24, 2001
def. Charles Shufford on August 4, 2001
def. Francois Botha on March 16, 2002
def. Ray Mercer on June 29, 2002
def. Jameel McCline on December 7, 2002
[62]
75 John Ruiz United States United States WBA March 3, 2001 March 1, 2003 draw vs. Evander Holyfield on December 15, 2001
def. Kirk Johnson on July 27, 2002
[63]
76 Hasim Rahman United States United States WBC, and IBF April 22, 2001 November 17, 2001 [64]
77 Lennox Lewis (Third reign) United Kingdom United Kingdom
Canada Canada
WBC, and IBF November 17, 2001 September 5, 2002 def. Mike Tyson on June 8, 2002
The Ring
awarded the title in 2002
2 [52]
WBC September 5, 2002 February 6, 2004 def. Vitali Klitschko on June 21, 2003 2 [52]
78 Chris Byrd (Second reign)
def. Evander Holyfield
United States United States IBF December 14, 2002 April 22, 2006 def. Fres Oquendo on September 20, 2003
draw vs. Andrzej Golota on April 17, 2004
def. Jameel McCline on November 13, 2004
def. DaVarryl Williamson on October 1, 2005
1 [61]
79 Roy Jones Jr. United States United States WBA March 1, 2003 February 20, 2004 2 [65]
80 Corrie Sanders South Africa South Africa WBO March 8, 2003 October 9, 2003 2 [66]
81 John Ruiz (Second reign)
def. Hasim Rahman for interim title
United States United States WBA February 20, 2004 December 17, 2005 def. Fres Oquendo on April 17, 2004
def. Andrzej Golota on November 13, 2004
20 [63]
82 Lamon Brewster
def. Wladimir Klitschko
United States United States WBO April 10, 2004 April 1, 2006 def. Kali Meehan on September 4, 2004
def. Andrzej Golota on May 21, 2005
def. Luan Krasniqi on September 28, 2005
1 [67]
83 Vitali Klitschko (Second reign)
def. Corrie Sanders
Ukraine Ukraine WBC April 24, 2004 November 9, 2005 def. Danny Williams on December 11, 2004 The Ring 1,2 [60]
84 Hasim Rahman (Second reign)
def. Monte Barrett for interim title
United States United States WBC November 9, 2005 August 12, 2006 draw vs. James Toney on March 18, 2006 21 [64]
85 Nikolai Valuev Russia Russia WBA December 17, 2005 April 14, 2007 def. Owen Beck on June 3, 2006
def. Monte Barrett on October 7, 2006
def. Jameel McCline on January 20, 2007
1,10 [68]
86 Siarhei Liakhovich Belarus Belarus WBO April 1, 2006 November 4, 2006 [69]
87 Wladimir Klitschko (Second reign) Ukraine Ukraine IBF April 22, 2006 February 23, 2008 def. Calvin Brock on November 11, 2006
def. Ray Austin on March 10, 2007
def. Lamon Brewster on July 7, 2007
def. Sultan Ibragimov on February 23, 2008
The Ring
def. Ruslan Chagaev on June 20, 2009
[62]
IBF, and WBO February 23, 2008 July 2, 2011 def. Tony Thompson on July 12, 2008
def. Hasim Rahman on December 13, 2008
def. Ruslan Chagaev on June 20, 2009
def. Eddie Chambers on March 20, 2010
def. Samuel Peter on September 11, 2010
def. David Haye on July 2, 2011
[62]
WBA (Super), IBF, and WBO July 2, 2011 November 28, 2015 def. Jean-Marc Mormeck on March 13, 2012
def. Tony Thompson on July 7, 2012
def. Mariusz Wach on November 10, 2012
def. Francesco Pianeta on May 4, 2013
def. Alexander Povetkin on October 5, 2013
def. Alex Leapai on April 26, 2014
def. Kubrat Pulev on November 15, 2014
def. Bryant Jennings on April 25, 2015
[62]
88 Oleg Maskaev United States United States WBC August 12, 2006 December 9, 2006 [70][71]
Russia Russia December 9, 2006 March 8, 2008 def. Okello Peter on December 10, 2006
89 Shannon Briggs United States United States WBO November 4, 2006 June 2, 2007 [72]
90 Ruslan Chagaev Uzbekistan Uzbekistan WBA April 14, 2007 June 20, 2009 def. Matt Skelton on January 19, 2008
def. Carl Davis Drumond on February 7, 2009
22 [73]
91 Sultan Ibragimov Russia Russia WBO June 2, 2007 February 23, 2008 def. Evander Holyfield on October 13, 2007
[74]
92 Samuel Peter Nigeria Nigeria WBC March 8, 2008 October 11, 2008 [75]
93 Nikolai Valuev (Second reign)
def. John Ruiz
Russia Russia WBA August 30, 2008 November 7, 2009 def. Evander Holyfield on December 20, 2008
1,22 [68]
94 Vitali Klitschko (Third reign) Ukraine Ukraine WBC October 11, 2008 December 15, 2013 def. Juan Carlos Gomez on March 21, 2009
def. Chris Arreola on September 26, 2009
def. Kevin Johnson on December 12, 2009
def. Albert Sosnowski on May 29, 2010
def. Shannon Briggs on October 16, 2010
def. Odlanier Solís on March 19, 2011
def. Tomasz Adamek on September 10, 2011
def. Derek Chisora on February 18, 2012
def. Manuel Charr on September 8, 2012
2 [60]
95 David Haye United Kingdom United Kingdom WBA November 7, 2009 July 2, 2011 def. John Ruiz on April 3, 2010
def. Audley Harrison on November 13, 2010
[76]
Alexander Povetkin
def. Ruslan Chagaev
Russia Russia WBA (Regular) August 27, 2011 October 5, 2013 def. Cedric Boswell on December 3, 2011
def. Marco Huck on February 25, 2012
def. Hasim Rahman on September 29, 2012
def. Andrzej Wawrzyk on May 17, 2013
1,23 [77]
96 Bermane Stiverne
def. Chris Arreola
Canada Canada WBC May 10, 2014 January 17, 2015 1 [78]
Ruslan Chagaev
def. Fres Oquendo
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan WBA (Regular) July 6, 2014 March 5, 2016 def. Francesco Pianeta on July 11, 2015
- 1 [73]
97 Deontay Wilder United States United States WBC January 17, 2015 February 22, 2020 def. Eric Molina on June 13, 2015
def. Johann Duhaupas on September 26, 2015
def. Artur Szpilka on January 16, 2016
def. Chris Arreola on July 16, 2016
def. Gerald Washington on February 25, 2017
def. Bermane Stiverne on November 4, 2017
def. Luis Ortiz on March 3, 2018
draw vs. Tyson Fury on December 1, 2018
def. Dominic Breazeale on May 18, 2019
def. Luis Ortiz on November 23, 2019
[79]
98 Tyson Fury United Kingdom United Kingdom WBA (Super), IBF, and WBO November 28, 2015 December 8, 2015 The Ring 3 [80]
WBA (Super), and WBO December 8, 2015 October 12, 2016 2 [80]
99 Charles Martin
def. Vyacheslav Glazkov
United States United States IBF January 16, 2016 April 9, 2016 1 [81]
Lucas Browne Australia Australia WBA (Regular) March 5, 2016 May 12, 2016 24 [82]
100 Anthony Joshua United Kingdom United Kingdom IBF April 9, 2016 June 1, 2019 def. Dominic Breazeale on June 25, 2016
def. Eric Molina on December 10, 2016
def. Wladimir Klitschko on April 29, 2017
[83]
WBA (Super), and IBF April 29, 2017 March 31, 2018 def. Carlos Takam on October 28, 2017
def. Joseph Parker on March 31, 2018
1 [83]
WBA (Super), IBF, WBO March 31, 2018 June 1, 2019 def. Alexander Povetkin on September 22, 2018 [83]
Ruslan Chagaev
awarded the title
Uzbekistan Uzbekistan WBA (Regular) May 12, 2016 July 25, 2016 3 [73]
101 Joseph Parker
def. Andy Ruiz Jr.
New Zealand New Zealand
Samoa Samoa
WBO December 10, 2016 March 31, 2018 def. Răzvan Cojanu on May 6, 2017
def. Hughie Fury on September 23, 2017
1 [84]
Manuel Charr
def. Alexander Ustinov
Syria Syria WBA (Regular) November 25, 2017 January 29, 2021 1 [85]
102 Andy Ruiz Jr. United States United States
Mexico Mexico
WBA (Super), IBF, WBO June 1, 2019 December 7, 2019 [86]
103 Anthony Joshua (Second reign) United Kingdom United Kingdom WBA (Super), IBF, WBO December 7, 2019 September 25, 2021 def. Kubrat Pulev on December 12, 2020 [83]
104 Tyson Fury (Second reign) United Kingdom United Kingdom WBC February 22, 2020 present def. Deontay Wilder on October 9, 2021 The Ring [80]
Trevor Bryan
def. Bermane Stiverne
United States United States WBA (Regular) January 29, 2021 present [87]
105 Oleksandr Usyk Ukraine Ukraine WBA (Super), IBF, WBO September 25, 2021 present [88]

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 defeated 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 World 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. Bryan was due to fight Manuel Charr on January 30, 2021, for the WBA Regular championship, but a Charr was unable to attain the right visa to come to the US, where the fight was to be held. Due to the long period of inactivity, Charr was stripped of the title and Bryan fought Bermane Stiverne for the now vacant title instead.

List of combined reigns[edit]

As of September 25, 2021.

Keys:

  Active title reign
  Reign has ended
WBO heavyweight title bouts before August 1997 are not included[89]
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 6 6
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 Deontay Wilder 5 years, 1 month, 5 days 1 790 1 WBC 10 8
13. United Kingdom Anthony Joshua 4 years, 11 months, 17 days 1 812 2 WBA, IBF, WBO 9 9
14. United States Joe Frazier 4 years, 10 months, 18 days 1 785 1 NYSAC, WBA, WBC 10 10
15. United States Floyd Patterson 4 years, 10 months, 0 days 1 765 2 NYSAC, NBA 8 7
16. United States James J. Corbett 4 years, 6 months, 10 days 1 652 1 Universal 2 2
17. United States Jess Willard 4 years, 2 months, 29 days 1 551 1 Universal 2 2
18. United States Chris Byrd 3 years, 10 months, 22 days 1 421 2 IBF, WBO 5 5
19. United States Mike Tyson 3 years, 10 months, 16 days 1 415 2 WBA, WBC, IBF 12 11
20. United States John Ruiz 3 years, 9 months, 21 days 1 390 2 WBA 4 4

List of individual reigns[edit]

The list includes The Ring belt. 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) 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 6 6
7. United States Muhammad Ali 5 years, 11 months, 9 days The Ring, (+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 Deontay Wilder 6 years, 8 months and 28 days WBC 10 8
11. United States Joe Frazier 4 years, 10 months, 18 days NYSAC (+WBA, WBC) 9 9
12. United States James J. Corbett 4 years, 6 months, 10 days Universal 1 1
13. United States Jess Willard 4 years, 2 months, 29 days Universal 1 1
14. United Kingdom Lennox Lewis 4 years, 2 months, 15 days WBC (+IBF, WBA stripped, The Ring) 9 8
15. United States Rocky Marciano 3 years, 11 months, 29 days Universal 6 5
16. United States Chris Byrd 3 years, 4 months, 8 days IBF 4 4
17. United States Mike Tyson 3 years, 2 months, 20 days WBC (+WBA, IBF, The Ring) 9 9
18. United Kingdom Anthony Joshua 3 years, 1 month and 23 days IBF (+WBA, WBO) 6 6
19. United States George Foreman 3 years, 0 months, 17 days (+WBA, IBF stripped) 2 2
20. United States Evander Holyfield 3 years, 0 months, 4 days WBA (+IBF) 4 4

By nationality[edit]

Map of countries, number of current and former world heavyweight boxing champions per country (as of February 2020). Note: interim titles, as well as WBA's secondary belts (Regular, Gold etc.) are not included
Country Total Boxers by Name
 United States 56 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, Oleg Maskaev*, 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
 Canada 4 Lennox Lewis*, Tommy Burns, Trevor Berbick*, Bermane Stiverne
 Russia 3 Nikolai Valuev, Oleg Maskaev*, Sultan Ibragimov
 Ukraine 3 Vitali Klitschko, Wladimir Klitschko, Oleksandr Usyk
 Italy 2 Primo Carnera, Francesco Damiani
 South Africa 2 Gerrie Coetzee, Corrie Sanders
 Germany 1 Max Schmeling
 Sweden 1 Ingemar Johansson
 Belarus 1 Siarhei Liakhovich
 Uzbekistan 1 Ruslan Chagaev
 Nigeria 1 Samuel Peter
 New Zealand 1 Joseph Parker*
 Mexico 1 Andy Ruiz Jr.*
 Jamaica 1 Trevor Berbick*
 Samoa 1 Joseph Parker*

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. ^ "The Ring updates championship policy". Ring TV. May 3, 2012.
  2. ^ "Professional boxing record: John L. Sullivan". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  3. ^ "Professional boxing record: James J. Corbett". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  4. ^ "Professional boxing record: Bob Fitzsimmons". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  5. ^ "Professional boxing record: James J. Jeffries". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  6. ^ "Professional boxing record: Marvin Hart". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  7. ^ "Professional boxing record: Tommy Burns". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  8. ^ "Professional boxing record: Jack Johnson". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  9. ^ "Professional boxing record: Jess Willard". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  10. ^ a b c "Professional boxing record: Jack Dempsey". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  11. ^ "Professional boxing record: Gene Tunney". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  12. ^ a b "Professional boxing record: Max Schmeling". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  13. ^ "Professional boxing record: Jack Sharkey". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  14. ^ "Professional boxing record: Primo Carnera". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  15. ^ "Professional boxing record: Max Baer". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  16. ^ "Professional boxing record: Jim Braddock". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  17. ^ "Professional boxing record: Joe Louis". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  18. ^ "Joe Louis, p. 575" (pdf). The Boxing Register: International Boxing Hall Of Fame Official Record Book. International Boxing Hall Of Fame. Retrieved May 26, 2019. Johnny Davis, Ret-World-H
  19. ^ a b c "Professional boxing record: Ezzard Charles". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  20. ^ "Professional boxing record: Jersey Joe Walcott". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  21. ^ "Professional boxing record: Rocky Marciano". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  22. ^ a b "Professional boxing record: Floyd Patterson". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  23. ^ "Professional boxing record: Ingemar Johansson". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  24. ^ a b "Professional boxing record: Sonny Liston". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  25. ^ a b c d e "Professional boxing record: Muhammad Ali". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  26. ^ "Professional boxing record: Ernie Terrell". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  27. ^ a b "Professional boxing record: Joe Frazier". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  28. ^ "Professional boxing record: Jimmy Ellis". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  29. ^ a b c "Professional boxing record: George Foreman". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  30. ^ a b "Professional boxing record: Leon Spinks". Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  31. ^ "Professional boxing record: Ken Norton". Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  32. ^ a b "Professional boxing record: Larry Holmes". Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  33. ^ "Professional boxing record: John Tate". Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  34. ^ "Professional boxing record: Mike Weaver". Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  35. ^ "Professional boxing record: Michael Dokes". Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  36. ^ "Professional boxing record: Gerrie Coetzee". Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  37. ^ a b "Professional boxing record: Tim Witherspoon". Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  38. ^ "Professional boxing record: Pinklon Thomas". Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  39. ^ "Professional boxing record: Greg Page". Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  40. ^ "Professional boxing record: Tony Tubbs". Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  41. ^ "Professional boxing record: Michael Spinks". Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  42. ^ "Professional boxing record: Trevor Berbick". Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  43. ^ a b c d e f "Professional boxing record: Mike Tyson". Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  44. ^ "Professional boxing record: James Smith". Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  45. ^ "Professional boxing record: Tony Tucker". Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  46. ^ "Professional boxing record: Francesco Damiani". Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  47. ^ "Professional boxing record: James Douglas". Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  48. ^ a b c d e "Professional boxing record: Evander Holyfield". Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  49. ^ "Professional boxing record: Ray Mercer". Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  50. ^ a b c "Professional boxing record: Michael Moorer". Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  51. ^ a b c "Professional boxing record: Riddick Bowe". Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  52. ^ a b c d e f "Professional boxing record: Lennox Lewis". Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  53. ^ "Professional boxing record: Tommy Morrison". Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  54. ^ "Professional boxing record: Michael Bentt". Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  55. ^ a b "Professional boxing record: Herbie Hide". Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  56. ^ "Professional boxing record: Oliver McCall". Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  57. ^ "Professional boxing record: Bruce Seldon". Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  58. ^ "Professional boxing record: Frank Bruno". Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  59. ^ "Professional boxing record: Henry Akinwande". Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  60. ^ a b c "Professional boxing record: Vitali Klitschko". Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  61. ^ a b "Professional boxing record: Chris Byrd". Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  62. ^ a b c d "Professional boxing record: Wladimir Klitschko". Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  63. ^ a b "Professional boxing record: John Ruiz". Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  64. ^ a b "Professional boxing record: Hasim Rahman". Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  65. ^ "Professional boxing record: Roy Jones Jr". Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  66. ^ "Professional boxing record: Corrie Sanders". Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  67. ^ "Professional boxing record: Lamon Brewster". Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  68. ^ a b "Professional boxing record: Nikolai Valuev". Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  69. ^ "Professional boxing record: Siarhei Liakhovich". Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  70. ^ "Professional boxing record: Oleg Maskaev". Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  71. ^ "Президент России предоставил гражданство Олегу Маскаеву".
  72. ^ "Professional boxing record: Shannon Briggs". Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  73. ^ a b c "Professional boxing record: Ruslan Chagaev". Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  74. ^ "Professional boxing record: Sultan Ibragimov". Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  75. ^ "Professional boxing record: Samuel Peter". Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  76. ^ "Professional boxing record: David Haye". Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  77. ^ "Professional boxing record: Alexander Povetkin". Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  78. ^ "Professional boxing record: Bermane Stiverne". Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  79. ^ "Professional boxing record: Deontay Wilder". Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  80. ^ a b c "Professional boxing record: Tyson Fury". Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  81. ^ "Professional boxing record: Charles Martin". Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  82. ^ "Professional boxing record: Lucas Browne". Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  83. ^ a b c d "Professional boxing record: Anthony Joshua". Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  84. ^ "Professional boxing record: Joseph Parker". Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  85. ^ "Professional boxing record: Manuel Charr". Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  86. ^ "Professional boxing record: Andy Ruiz Jr". Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  87. ^ "Professional boxing record: Trevor Bryan". Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  88. ^ "Professional boxing record: Oleksandr Usyk". Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  89. ^ 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 Sánchez 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

Sources[edit]