Larry Holmes

HolmesHolmes, Larry
On January 22, 1988, Holmes was lured out of retirement by a $2.8 million purse to challenge reigning Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson. Tyson dropped Holmes in the fourth round with an overhand right. Holmes got up, but Tyson put him down two more times in the round, and the fight was stopped. It was the only time Holmes was knocked out in his career. After the fight, Holmes again retired. Holmes returned to the ring in 1991 and became a much more active fighter, usually fighting on USA Tuesday Night Fights cards every few weeks against up and comers and journeymen.

Lennox Lewis

Lewis successfully sued to force Tyson to make a mandatory defence of the WBC title against him. Lewis was offered a $13.5 million guarantee to fight Tyson to settle the lawsuit, but turned it down. This would have been Lewis' highest fight purse to date. Lewis accepted $4 million from Don King to step aside and allow Tyson to fight Bruce Seldon instead, with a guarantee that if Tyson defeated Seldon, he would fight Lewis next. After winning the WBA title from Seldon, Tyson relinquished the WBC title to fight Evander Holyfield instead. The WBC title was declared vacant. This set up a rematch between Lewis and McCall, who met on 7 February 1997 in Las Vegas for the WBC title.


heavyweight boxerheavyweight boxingheavyweight division
Only six boxers in the history of the heavyweight division have been world heavyweight champion on three separate occasions: Muhammad Ali, (Lineal title) Evander Holyfield, Michael Moorer, Lennox Lewis, Vitali Klitschko and Ruslan Chagaev. Five boxers have also regained the Lineal heavyweight title: Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield, George Foreman and Lennox Lewis. Because this division had no weight limit, it has been historically vaguely defined. In the 19th century, for example, many heavyweight champions weighed 170 pounds (12 st 2 lb, 77 kg) or less (although others weighed 200 pounds). The first heavyweight champion under the Marquess of Queensberry rules was John L.

List of WBC world champions

WBCWBC super featherweightWBC champion
This is a list of WBC world champions, showing every world champion certificated by the World Boxing Council (WBC). The WBC is one of the four major governing bodies in professional boxing, and certifies world champions in 10 different weight classes. In 1963, the year of its foundation, the WBC inaugurated titles in all divisions with the exception of light flyweight, super flyweight, super bantamweight, super middleweight and cruiserweight, which were inaugurated in the subsequent decades. The most recent title inaugurated by the WBC is in the minimumweight (also called strawweight) division in 1987. * Official list of current WBC champions List of current WBC international champions.

Trevor Berbick

He won the WBC heavyweight title in 1986 by defeating Pinklon Thomas, then lost it in his first defense in the same year to Mike Tyson. Berbick was also the last boxer to fight Muhammad Ali, defeating him in 1981. As an amateur, Berbick won a bronze medal in the heavyweight division at the 1975 Pan American Games. In both his early and late professional career he held the Canadian heavyweight title twice, from 1979 to 1986 and 1999 to 2001. At 21, Berbick represented his native Jamaica in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada as a heavyweight boxer, despite having had only 11 prior amateur bouts.

George Foreman

ForemanBig" George Foremanfight
Shortly after the 1994 Moorer fight, Foreman began talking about a potential superfight with Mike Tyson, then the youngest heavyweight champion on record. In 1995, The New York Times quoted Foreman as stating, "If he doesn't sign with Don King, we'll fight before the end of the year... I can't be bothered having trouble with Don King. Every contract has some complication." Tyson signed with King (and, by 1998, was suing him for $100 million); the bout never materialized. The WBA demanded that Foreman fight their No. 1 challenger, who at the time was the competent, but aging, Tony Tucker.

Laila Ali

On June 11, 2005, on the undercard to the Tyson-Kevin McBride fight, Ali defeated Erin Toughill in round three to remain undefeated and won the World Boxing Council title in addition to defending her WIBA crown. She was the second woman to win a WBC title (Jackie Nava was the first). Toughill and Ali disliked each other, and prior to the fight Toughill joked about Ali. Ali promised she would punish Toughill, much like her father did with Ernie Terrell back in 1967. On December 17, 2005, in Berlin, Ali fought and defeated Åsa Sandell by TKO in the fifth round.

Evander Holyfield

HolyfieldEvander "The Real Deal" Holyfield
In 1996 he defeated Mike Tyson and reclaimed the WBA title, in what was named by The Ring magazine as the Fight of the Year and Upset of the Year. This made Holyfield the first boxer since Muhammad Ali to win a world heavyweight title three times. Holyfield won a 1997 rematch against Tyson, which saw the latter disqualified in round three for biting off part of Holyfield's ear. During this reign as champion, he also avenged his loss to Michael Moorer and reclaimed the IBF title. In 1999 he faced Lennox Lewis in a unification fight for the undisputed WBA, WBC and IBF titles, which ended in a controversial split draw. Holyfield was defeated in a rematch eight months later.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Floyd MayweatherFloyd Mayweather, Jr.Floyd Mayweather Jr
Boxing Award Fighter of the Year. 1998 and 2007 The Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year. 2002 World Boxing Hall of Fame Fighter of the Year. 2005 and 2007 World Boxing Council Boxer of the Year. 2005–08 The Ring 'number one' pound for pound. 2007 Boxing Writers Association of America Fighter of the Year. 2007 ESPN Fighter of the Year. 2007 Forbes Magazine, Ranked "Number 14" Richest Celebrity Paydays. 2007 New York Daily News Fighter of the Year. 2007 World Boxing Council Event of the Year (The World Awaits). 2007 World Boxing Council Knockout of the Year (against Ricky Hatton). 2007, 2008 and 2010 Best Fighter ESPY Award. 2007, 2008 and 2010 The Ring Magazine Event of the Year. 2008 Sports Illustrated

List of undisputed boxing champions

Undisputed Heavyweight ChampionUndisputed middleweight championundisputed cruiserweight
The closest the division came to having an undisputed champion was on November 3, 2007, when Joe Calzaghe defeated Mikkel Kessler to unify the WBA (Super), WBC, and WBO titles; the IBF champion at the time was Lucian Bute. New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC), founded in 1920. World Boxing Association (WBA), founded in 1921 as the National Boxing Association (NBA); re-founded in 1962. World Boxing Council (WBC), founded in 1963. International Boxing Federation (IBF), founded in 1983.

List of world heavyweight boxing champions

World Heavyweight ChampionList of heavyweight boxing championsheavyweight champion
This practice continued until, like the IBU, the NYSAC became a member of the World Boxing Council (WBC). The National Boxing Association (NBA) was organized in 1921. In 1962, the organization was renamed the World Boxing Association (WBA). The World Boxing Council (WBC) was organized in 1963. The International Boxing Federation (IBF), which was founded in 1983 by the members of the United States Boxing Association after the USBA withdrew from membership in the WBA. The World Boxing Organization (WBO), which was founded in 1989 by disgruntled members of the World Boxing Council. Lineal championship was considered as the only form of the world championship until 1921.

World Boxing Association

WBAWBA (Super)National Boxing Association
It is the oldest of the four major organizations recognized by the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF), which sanction world championship boxing bouts, alongside the World Boxing Council (WBC), International Boxing Federation (IBF), and World Boxing Organization (WBO). The World Boxing Association can be traced back to the original National Boxing Association, organized in 1921. The first bout it recognized was the Jack Dempsey–Georges Carpentier Heavyweight Championship bout in New Jersey. The NBA was formed by representatives from thirteen American states, including Sam Milner, to counterbalance the influence that the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) wielded.

Joe Frazier

FrazierJoe Fraser[Joe] Frazier
In his career he lost to only two fighters, both former Olympic and world heavyweight champions: twice to Muhammad Ali, and twice to George Foreman. After retiring, Frazier made cameo appearances in several Hollywood movies, and two episodes of The Simpsons. His son Marvis became a boxer—trained by Frazier himself—but Marvis was knocked out in the first round by an up-and-coming Mike Tyson in 1986, with Marvis ending his career with a record of 19 wins and 2 losses.

Don King (boxing promoter)

Don KingDon King BoxingDon King Productions
King has promoted some of the most prominent names in boxing, including Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Julio César Chávez, Ricardo Mayorga, Andrew Golota, Bernard Hopkins, Félix Trinidad, Roy Jones Jr., Azumah Nelson, and Marco Antonio Barrera. Some of these boxers sued him for allegedly defrauding them. Most of the lawsuits were settled out of court. King has been charged with killing two people in incidents 13 years apart. In 1954, King shot a man in the back after spotting him trying to rob one of his gambling houses; this incident was ruled a justifiable homicide.

Lineal championship

lineallineal championLineal Flyweight
Champions recognized by sanctioning bodies such as the World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Council (WBC), or the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) may vacate their title voluntarily, or be stripped of the title for breaching the sanctioning body's regulations or contracts. There will thus be a breach of continuity in the list of sanctioned champions which the lineal championship is intended to prevent.

Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston

Phantom PunchAli vs. ListonMay 25, 1965
Boxing promoter Harold Conrad said, "People talked about [Mike] Tyson before he got beat, but Liston was more ferocious, more indestructible. ... When Sonny gave you the evil eye—I don't care who you were—you shrunk [sic] to two feet tall." Tex Maule wrote in Sports Illustrated: "Liston's arms are massively muscled, the left jab is more than a jab. It hits with true shock power. It never occurred to Liston that he might lose a fight." Johnny Tocco, a trainer who worked with George Foreman and Mike Tyson as well as Liston, said Liston was the hardest hitter of the three. Several boxing writers actually thought Liston could be damaging to the sport because he could not be beaten.

Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield

9 Nov 1996Nov 9, 199611th round loss
In 1986, Tyson became the youngest fighter ever to win a world heavyweight championship when he knocked Trevor Berbick out in the second round to win the World Boxing Council title as part of an ongoing series of fights designed to unify the belts of the WBC, WBA, and the International Boxing Federation and create an undisputed world champion. The next year, Tyson won the other two championships to become the first fighter since Leon Spinks to be an undisputed world heavyweight champion. Holyfield came up through the ranks of the light heavyweight division before making his name as a cruiserweight.

Heavyweight unification series

Heavyweight World Seriesseries of fightsThe HBO Heavyweight Boxing Series
It ended with Mike Tyson as undisputed champion, holding the championship belts of the International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Association, and World Boxing Council. Prior to the series, the last undisputed heavyweight champion had been Leon Spinks, who won the championship in his 1978 victory over Muhammad Ali. Spinks had been stripped of his WBC title later that year because he opted not to fight against a mandatory challenger; the heavyweight championship had been fragmented ever since. This fragmentation and the resulting proliferation of title fights was seen by many as a discredit to the sport, and resulted in declining public interest in boxing.

Undisputed champion

The inaugural IBF Heavyweight Champion was Larry Holmes, who relinquished the WBC title to accept IBF's recognition, thus helping the newly formed organization to establish its legitimacy. The fragmentation of titles was thus increased. After some negotiations, the heavyweight title was unified in the heavyweight unification series, a series of coordinated bouts in 1986 and 1987, with Mike Tyson emerging as the first undisputed champion (WBC, WBA & IBF) since Leon Spinks in 1978. The title was split again in 1992 when Riddick Bowe forfeited the WBC title.


boxerboxersprofessional boxer
The collection includes the fights of all the great champions including: Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Joe Frazier, Rocky Marciano and Sugar Ray Robinson. It is this exclusive fight film library that will separate the Boxing Hall of Fame Las Vegas from the other halls of fame which do not have rights to any video of their sports.

Michael Spinks

Spinks knocked out Cooney in five rounds, and after Mike Tyson had unified the heavyweight belts, fans started clamoring for a fight between them as many still recognized Spinks as the legitimate lineal champion. The fight between Spinks and Mike Tyson took place in June 1988, with Tyson knocking Spinks down twice on his way to a first-round knockout. Tyson was the only fighter to floor Spinks. It would be Spinks's first defeat in the professional ring, as well as his last, as he retired following the fight. Spinks had a record of 31 wins and 1 loss, with 21 wins by knockout as a professional.

James Smith (boxer)

James SmithJames "Bonecrusher" SmithBonecrusher Smith
With his surprising victory over Witherspoon, Smith took his place in the heavyweight unification series, an ongoing competition being conducted by HBO and King to try to crown an undisputed world heavyweight champion for the first time since the retirement of Muhammad Ali. The victory garnered Smith another high-profile fight, where he was to defend his belt against newly crowned WBC champion Mike Tyson in a unification contest. Taking place on March 7, 1987, the bout saw Tyson beat Smith to the punch in nearly every round while Smith resorted to holding to keep himself in the fight.

Professional boxing

professional boxerprizefighterboxer
One of the last mob-connected fighters, Liston had his mystique shattered in two controversial losses to the brash upstart Cassius Clay, who changed his name to Muhammad Ali after becoming champion. Ali would become the most iconic figure in boxing history, transcending the sport and achieving global recognition. His refusal to serve in the Vietnam War resulted in the stripping of his title, and tore down the barrier between sport and culture. After three years of inactivity, Ali returned to the sport, leading to his first epic clash with Joe Frazier in 1971, ushering in a "golden age" of heavyweight boxing.

Mike Tyson vs. Michael Spinks

Jun 27, 1988Tyson–Spinks fight91-second Knockout
Mike Tyson vs. Michael Spinks was a boxing match which took place on Monday June 27, 1988. Both men were undefeated and each had a claim to being the legitimate heavyweight champion. At the time, Tyson held the belts of all three of the major sanctioning organizations (World Boxing Council, World Boxing Association, and International Boxing Federation) while Spinks was the Ring and Boxing Illustrated magazine champion, regarded as "The People's Champion," and was considered the lineal champion.

Mike Tyson vs. Buster Douglas

Tyson vs. Douglas10 rounds in Tokyo1990 boxing match
Mike Tyson vs. Buster Douglas, billed as Tyson Is Back!, was a professional boxing match that occurred at the Tokyo Dome on February 11, 1990. The event is historically significant, as the then-undefeated, undisputed heavyweight champion Tyson lost by knockout to the 42–1 underdog Douglas. The fight is widely considered one of the biggest upsets in sports history. Japan paid $6 million to boxing officials for the privilege of staging Mike Tyson's fight in Tokyo. Going into the fight, Mike Tyson was the undefeated and undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. He held the WBC, WBA, and IBF titles.