Talk:List of heavyweight boxing champions

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I've removed most of the full names from the table, as they make it harder to read - If somebody really wants to know all of Max Schmeling's middle names they can look on his page. I also removed the IBO title again, as it doesn't have the same status as the "big four". There's too many minor belts to list them all here. sjorford 10:04, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I was wondering should list of Heavyweight Champions be merged into list of heavyweight boxing champions ? It has most of the same content. 01:54, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Yes, that used to be a redirect here, somebody's overwritten it with duplicate content. Redirected back, as this list is much more complete. sjorford →•← 08:28, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

British(English) vs British[edit]

Someone edited the article to include English and the England flag for all the British boxers. This made it look very untidy, especially for Lennox Lewis who had the British, English and Canadian flags in his entry. In boxing terms it's Britain, England does not exist as a discrete region - there is no English boxing championship and even the British Boxing Board of Control does not list England as a discrete region or area in its own right [unlike Scotland and Wales]. Whether you agree with them or not, it seems silly to include the English status just for jingoistic nationalistic reasons. I have reverted the changes for now. Little Professor (talk) 21:43, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

THE heavyweight championship[edit]

I note that of one enters 'workd heavyweight champions' for 'Go' or 'search' you get wrestling. Should not this sport, boxing, be the preferred redirect for that term? --Dumarest 14:29, 14 May 2006 (UTC)


The page was WAY better in the boxed form, who removed the boxes!!! --T00C00L 13:19, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

I think it looks better without the table borders - otherwise the inline notes look rather odd. It's not like it's that hard to read in this state, is it? — sjorford++ 13:54, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

pre-Sullivan fighters[edit]

Why does this page start with John L. Sullvan?

As mentioned, Sullivan won the title from Paddy Ryan on February 7, 1882. Ryan won it from Joe Goss May 30, 1880. Goss won it from Tom Allen July 4 1876. Allen won it from Mike McCoole June 15, 1969 (or according to "" Mike McCale September 23, 1873). McCoole won it from Bill Davis September 19, 1867.

All of these (except for Allen v. McCale) are listed elsewhere in the Wikipedia.

It seems to be because Sullivan was the last fighter to win the title fighting bare-fisted - all subsequent title fights were under Queensberry rules (although Sullivan was not the first to win under Queensberry rules). There used to be a clarification at the top of this page, which was removed for inaccuracy - it ought to be re-added in some form. The other option is to expand the list back to the earliest recognised "world champions", although this seems to go back a helluva long way. — sjorford++ 12:35, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Its mostly a matter of tradition. Most sources actually want to start with Corbett and try to sweep sullivan under the rug.
The true line is:
John L. Sullivan
Paddy Ryan
Joe Goss
Tom Allen
Mike McCoole
Joe Coburn
John Carmel Heenan
Joe Morrissey
James Ambrose (Yankee Sullivan)
Tom Hyer
The line breaks at Hyer in 1841. There is no continuity (at least in the US) before that time. The list is complicated by retirements but no more so than the modern era. And all of the boxers back to Hyer either fought the man before them (not always winning) or put up a challenge to them.
The lists that go back further usually end up being lists of prominant fighters in particular years. There are all kinds of lists that float around that try to rationalize boxing into certain titles in the 1800s and 1700s but many of them are not very credible as history. 01:42, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Needed Article/List Addition[edit]

You need to resize the listing and add the height and weight for each champion as height and weight key info in regard to all champions —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 15:26, 2 March 2007 (UTC).

Duplicate Hyperlinks[edit]

Is there a reason why boxers who won the championship on multiple occasions have their names hyperlinked at every mention? Conventional Wikipedia format would dictate that the name only needs to be hyperlinked once within the same article, but I am not sure if there is a purpose that this multiple hyperlinking serves. If I do not get any objections, I am going to delete the duplicate hyperlinks in the article. talk toSailorAlphaCentauri 15:43, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Why is Rocky Balboa on this list?[edit]

I don't know what data to replace him with, but I don't think he belongs here... --Motorbikematt (talk) 06:05, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Excessive linking[edit]

This page seems to have too many links - so each link is diminished in importance. I would like to clean up the article to have fewer links, concentrating on the important ones. Some Wikipedia guidlines are to be found in the Wikipedia Manual of Style and this Wikipedia article on overlinking

I want to make two improvements:

  • Each boxer really only needs to be linked once, not every time they are mentioned
  • Dates and locations are linked throughout the article. In general, they don't add to the reader's knowledge of boxing champions. Unless it is unexpected that Wikipedia has an article on the location, I plan to remove these links.

Benthatsme (talk) 07:20, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Mike Tyson: Universal Champion[edit]

Mike Tyson held the IBF, WBA and WBC belts between August 1, 1987 and February 11, 1990. However, I guess that he was not technically the "Universal" champion from May 6, 1989 as Francesco Damiani became the first ever WBO champion, a belt that Tyson never held.

This article seems to be suggesting that Tyson wasn't the "Universal" champion between August 1, 1987 and May 6, 1989, despite him holding all the major belts in the division.

It also suggests that Tyson became "Universal" champion on August 13, 1989, despite the fact that he didn't hold the WBO belt at that stage (he never did) and he (or Damiani) didn't even fight on that date!

Until we get some citation, I think it's best if we say that Tyson was the "Universal" champion between August 1, 1987 and May 6, 1989 and the "IBF, WBA & WBC" champion between May 6, 1989 and February 11, 1990.

Standingfish (talk) 03:10, 31 July 2009 (UTC).

Well it seems to me that the problem is we haven't really set whether the WBO belt was actually a true championship or not. I'm not sure when it started being recognized as a major belt, but it seems to me that we should only recognize it from that reign on.

For example, the IBO belt is technically a championship but no one puts their reigns on sites like this. WBO in the 80s should be kept in that regard: as a minor world title, and therefore, not mentioned until it started getting named alongside the other 3. ( (talk) 07:12, 5 June 2010 (UTC)seantherebel72.193.31.201 (talk) 07:12, 5 June 2010 (UTC))


ALI DID NOT DESERVE SHOT, AS THE FIGHT VS COOPER SHOULD HAVE BEEN DRAW! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jackymakk (talkcontribs) 22:44, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

John Ruiz[edit]

John Ruiz was born and lived in the United States and as such, he should have an American flag next to his name. He is of Puerto Rican DESCENT but he was not born in Puerto Rico and he never lived there (his parents did but he didn't), so he shouldn't have the Puerto Rican flag next to his name. So, I'll change it to the American flag unless someone has any proof that he isn't American-born and bred. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:55, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

PROOF ON 11/30 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ringcham (talkcontribs) 20:47, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Oleg Maskaev[edit]

Why does someone keep putting 2 flags next to Oleg Maskaev's name as well as the unnecessary text underneath? No one else gets this treatment and neither should he. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:26, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

Maskaev is unique because he switched nationalities while heavyweight champion. He took up Russian citizenship three months after winning the title. When he won the title he fought as a naturalized American. The text is needed to explain this situation. Topcardi (talk) 16:24, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

London Prize Ring champions[edit]

From the preamble to the article:

"Bare knuckle champions who fought under London Prize Ring rules are not listed here, as they were predominantly British."

Are not the champions of the 20th century predominantly American? Is that a reason to exclude them too? I am not saying that the LPR champions should be included, simply that the reason given for the exclusion is not a good one. aldiboronti (talk) 08:12, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

I fixed the intro to exclude that "reason" which wasn't a proper reason anyway, There wasn't really a "world champion" under the LPR until Sullivan - just an American champion and a champion of England and the two title holdera only ever fought once and that ended as a draw. Topcardi (talk) 11:56, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Klitschkos and all the titles[edit]

"Upon defeating Alexander Povetkin on October 5, 2013, all of the major heavyweight titles were held by the Klitschko brothers until Vitali Klitschko relinquished the WBC title." really should refer to the Wlad vs. Haye fight, shouldn't it? Unless I misremember the events, the author likely misreported through not understanding how the WBA system works. Haye had the real title while Povetkin only was regular-below-super champion. Besides, upon whose defeating Povetkin? (talk) 21:25, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Wladimir defeated Povetkin which is why the text is underneath his name and that's why it shows that Povetkin's reign ended on October 5, 2013 when he was soundly defeated by Wlad. Both brothers may have owned belts by all of the sanctioning bodies but they didn't truly have all the belts until Povetkin was knocked off. It's a stupid policy that the WBA has to recognize multiple champions in certain division but it's a policy nonetheless thought up by the oldest sanctioning body in the sport of boxing, and that must be acknowledged. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:14, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Complete nonsense: Either they had all the titles with the defeat of Haye or they failed to have them as soon as a successor for Povetkin as the regular champion was found. I am changing this. If you do not understand the way the WBA works, read up first, talk later. (talk) 20:09, 28 November 2015 (UTC)

The Rumble in the Jungle (and Ken Norton)[edit]

Didn't Ken Norton defeat Frazer, but then lost to George Foreman - leading to the Rumble in the Jungle (perhaps the most famous match in boxing history ever), which mad Ali champion for the second time. And his third time came after winning the re-match against Spinks ? Frazer -> Norton -> Foreman -> Ali (in -75), why are these not mentioned in the list ? Boeing720 (talk) 15:04, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

Ken Norton never fought Joe Frazier (would have loved to have seen that match-up though). Ali beat Norton and Frazier in their second fights, respectively, and that's what led to the Rumble in the Jungle. Not really sure what the other question is but the article shows when fighters became heavyweight champion and when their reigns ended, it shows that for all of the fighters you mentioned. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:25, 27 August 2015 (UTC)