Lennox Lewis

In 2001, Lewis became the fourth boxer (after Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield and Michael Moorer) to have held the world heavyweight championship on three separate occasions. BoxRec ranks Lewis as the twelfth-greatest heavyweight of all time, as well as the third-greatest British fighter. In 2018, Boxing News ranked Lewis as the third greatest heavyweight of all-time, behind Muhammad Ali and Joe Louis. While acknowledging that he could occasionally be vulnerable, the magazine stated that at his best, Lewis was as unbeatable as any heavyweight in history. In 2017, Boxing News also ranked Lewis as the second best British fighter of all time, after Jimmy Wilde.

Larry Holmes

HolmesHolmes, Larry
Holmes, whose left jab is rated among the best in boxing history, held the WBC heavyweight title from 1978 to 1983, The Ring magazine and lineal heavyweight titles from 1980 to 1985, and the inaugural IBF heavyweight title from 1983 to 1985. He made 20 successful title defenses, placing him third all time, behind only Joe Louis at 25 and Wladimir Klitschko at 22. He also holds the record for the longest individual heavyweight title streak in the modern boxing history. Holmes is one of only five boxers—along with Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, Leon Spinks and Trevor Berbick—to defeat Muhammad Ali; he is the only one to have stopped Ali.

Evander Holyfield

HolyfieldEvander "The Real Deal" Holyfield
In 1996 he defeated Mike Tyson and reclaim 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 Holyfield on his ears. 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.

George Foreman

ForemanfightBig" George Foreman
After amassing a record of 32–0 (29 KO), he was ranked as the number one challenger by the WBA and WBC. In 1972, still undefeated and with an impressive knockout record, Foreman was set to challenge undefeated and Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion Joe Frazier. Despite boycotting a title elimination caused by the vacancy resulting from the championship being stripped from Muhammad Ali, Frazier had won the title from Jimmy Ellis and defended his title four times since, including a 15-round unanimous decision over the previously unbeaten Ali in 1971 after Ali had beaten Oscar Bonavena and Jerry Quarry.

Trevor Berbick

He won the WBC heavyweight title in 1986 by defeating Pinklon Thomas, but lost it in his first defense later that year to Mike Tyson, who was then undefeated at 20 years old. 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.

Undisputed champion

undisputedUndisputed World Championundisputed Middleweight 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.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Floyd MayweatherMayweatherFloyd 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

Joe Frazier

FrazierJoseph "Smokin' Joe" Frazier[Joe] Frazier
List of heavyweight boxing champions. List of WBA world champions. List of WBC world champions. List of The Ring world champions. List of undisputed boxing champions. Notable boxing families.

List of WBC world champions

WBCWBC championWBC super featherweight
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.

List of heavyweight boxing champions

heavyweight championworld heavyweight championshipWorld Heavyweight Champion
Similar "world" championship recognition would be 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 would 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.

Heavyweight unification series

The heavyweight unification series, also known as the Heavyweight World Series, was a sequence of professional boxing matches held in 1986 and 1987 to crown an undisputed champion of the heavyweight class. The series was produced by HBO Sports and promoted by Don King. 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.

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.

Michael Spinks

Michael "Jinx" SpinksSpinks
List of light heavyweight boxing champions. List of heavyweight boxing champions. List of WBA world champions. List of WBC world champions. List of IBF world champions.


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. The inaugural inductees included Muhammad Ali, Henry Armstrong, Tony Canzoneri, Ezzard Charles, Julio César Chávez Sr., Jack Dempsey, Roberto Duran, Joe Louis, and Sugar Ray Robinson There are various organization and websites, that rank boxers in both weight class and pound-for-pound manner.

James Smith (boxer)

James SmithJames "Bonecrusher" SmithBonecrusher
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.

Ken Norton

Kenneth "Ken" NortonNorton
Although Norton was expected to face Ali for a fourth time, to fight for the WBC heavyweight championship, plans changed due to Ali's loss of his title to Leon Spinks on February 15, 1978. The WBC then ordered a match between the new champion and Norton, its number one contender. Spinks however, chose to face Ali in his first title defence, instead of facing Norton. The WBC responded on March 18, 1978, by retroactively giving title fight status to Norton's victory over Young the year before and awarded Norton their championship, which split the heavyweight championship for the first time since Jimmy Ellis and Joe Frazier were both recognized as champions in the early 1970s.

Leon Spinks

LeonSpinksNeon" Leon Spinks
In only his eighth professional fight, he won the undisputed heavyweight championship in 1978 after defeating Muhammad Ali via split decision, in what was considered one of the biggest upsets in boxing history. Spinks was later stripped of the WBC title for facing Ali in an unapproved rematch seven months later, which he lost by unanimous decision. Besides being heavyweight champion and his characteristic gap-toothed grin (due to losing two and later all four of his front teeth), Spinks gained notoriety for the disaster which befell his career following the loss to Ali.

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.

Vitali Klitschko

VitaliVitaliy Klychkohis retirement in 2005
As a boxer, Klitschko is a three-time world heavyweight champion, the second longest reigning WBC heavyweight champion of all time, has the fifth longest combined world championship reign in history at 2,735 days, the third longest individual WBC heavyweight title streak of all time at 9 consecutive defenses and the [[longest reigning heavyweight boxing champions#Most wins in heavyweight title bouts in different eras|4th longest combined title streak in the modern heavyweight history]] at 15 title bouts. He held the WBO title from 1999 to 2000; the Ring magazine title from 2004 to 2005; and the WBC title twice, from 2004 to 2005 and from 2008 to 2013.

World Boxing Organization

All other sanctioning bodies of boxing recognized the then-undefeated Mike Tyson as the undisputed heavyweight champion. Damiani, meanwhile, went on to become the first WBO heavyweight champion. At heavyweight, especially in the United States, the organization initially struggled to gain credibility as a major sanctioning body, with WBO heavyweight champions Michael Moorer, Riddick Bowe, and Henry Akinwande relinquishing the title to pursue other options. Boxing publication The Ring also did not recognize the WBO, despite having recognized the IBF after its inception in 1983, five years prior to the WBO.

List of undisputed boxing champions

Undisputed Heavyweight Championundisputed cruiserweightundisputed heavyweight champion of the World
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.

Professional boxing

professional boxerprizefighterprofessional
World Boxing Council (WBC). World Boxing Organization (WBO). Boxing Record Archive. TOP Boxing websites. The Ring magazine.

The Ring (magazine)

The RingThe Ring'' magazineRing Magazine
Some of the boxers featured on the magazine covers have included Tommy Ryan, Salvador Sánchez, Jack Dempsey, Pancho Villa, Max Schmeling, Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, Jake LaMotta, Rocky Marciano, Willie Pep, Muhammad Ali, Alexis Argüello, Wilfred Benítez, Wilfredo Gómez, Roberto Durán, Larry Holmes, Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, Bud Taylor, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Thomas Hearns, Roy Jones Jr., Bernard Hopkins, Julio César Chávez, Félix Trinidad, Manny Pacquiao, Oscar De La Hoya, Mauro Mina, and Ricardo Mayorga.

Donovan Ruddock

Donovan "Razor" RuddockRazor RuddockDonovan (Razor) Ruddock
A title bout was made with undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, scheduled for November 1989 in Edmonton, Alberta. Tyson, claiming illness, cancelled and opted instead to fight James "Buster" Douglas in Tokyo. Tyson would go on to lose in one of the biggest upsets in boxing history. 1990, Ruddock fought former heavyweight champion Michael Dokes. Ruddock went into the fight as underdog but put on one of the best performances of his career knocking out Dokes in the 4th round. Dokes appeared to be seriously stunned on the ropes after taking Ruddock's famous "Smash" left hook.

Heavyweight boxing championship records and statistics

longest combined world championship reign in heavyweight historymost wins in world title bouts in the modern heavyweight historyfifth longest combined world championship reign in history
In March 1967, Muhammad Ali was systematically denied a boxing license in every state and stripped of his passport because of his refusal to be inducted into the armed forces. He was stripped of WBC and WBA titles but remained The Ring and lineal boxing champion, despite not having a boxing match until October 1970. In 2005, Ukrainian boxer Vitali Klitschko retired as WBC Champion. Following his retirement, the WBC conferred "champion emeritus" status on Klitschko, and assured him he would become the mandatory challenger if and when he decided to return. On August 3, 2008 the WBC awarded Klitschko a chance to regain his WBC Heavyweight title against then-champion Samuel Peter.