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.
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.
ForemanBig" George Foremanfight
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.
undisputedUndisputed Middleweight ChampionUndisputed World 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.
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.
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.
Frazier[Joe] FrazierJoseph "Smokin' 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.
heavyweight championWorld Heavyweight Championworld heavyweight championship
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.
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.
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
LinealLineal Flyweightlineal champion
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.
16th longest reigning world heavyweight champion25 title defensesbeating 21 boxers
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Terrible" Tim WitherspoonWitherspoon
He was a two-time world heavyweight champion, having held the WBC title in 1984, and the WBA title in 1986. Witherspoon also worked as a regular sparring partner for Muhammad Ali. Witherspoon had six amateur bouts, losing the last to Marvis Frazier on decision after getting knocked down. Making his professional debut with a first-round TKO over Joe Adams on October 30, 1979, Witherspoon quickly rose through the ranks. In 1981, he participated in his first high-profile fight, knocking out future world cruiserweight champion Alfonzo Ratliff, after which he was signed by Don King. Witherspoon was a sparring partner of Ali as he was training to fight Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick.
Greg Page (October 25, 1958 – April 27, 2009) was an American professional boxer who competed from 1979 to 2001, and held the WBA heavyweight title from 1984 to 1985. He was also a regular sparring partner for Mike Tyson, famously knocking down the then-undefeated world champion during a 1990 session. Page, after a brief stint with a Southern Indiana trainer, started amateur boxing at age 15 under the tutelage of Leroy Emerson at the Louisville Parks Department gym in the Cherokee Triangle neighborhood. He first came to the public's attention by sparring several rounds with the iconic Muhammad Ali. In 1976, at the U.S.A.-U.S.S.R.
the distancego the distancechampionship distance
For decades, the last heavyweight title match scheduled for less than 15 rounds had been the September 22, 1927 10-rounder between Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey; from then, the only bout that was not scheduled for 15 rounds had been a scheduled 20-rounder between Joe Louis and Abe Simon on March 21, 1941. This changed though, following the death of lightweight Duk Koo Kim in 1982 after his fourteen-round fight with Ray Mancini. Almost immediately, the World Boxing Council (WBC) issued a statement saying that WBC world title bouts would be set for 12 rounds.
Klitschko EraK2 PromotionsKlitschko
While not as durable as Vitali, his knowledge of the fundamentals and athleticism gave him considerable advantage over other heavyweights. Wladimir has beaten 12 undefeated fighters in his career which is a record at heavyweight. A criticism of the Klitschkos is that their dominant championship reign was the result of a heavyweight landscape devoid of world class competition. Previous heavyweight eras had multiple world class fighters competing, such as Joe Frasier, Muhammed Ali and George Foreman during the 1970s, and Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield during the 1980s and 1990s.
The IBF's first world champion was Marvin Camel, a former World Boxing Council world cruiserweight champion who won the IBF's belt in the same division. During its first year of existence, however, the IBF remained largely obscure. But by 1984, the IBF decided to recognize Larry Holmes, Aaron Pryor, Marvin Hagler and Donald Curry, already established champions from other organizations, as IBF world champions. In Holmes' case, he relinquished his WBC title to accept the IBF's recognition. It established the IBF as the third sanctioning body, and a legitimate organization.
On November 22, 1965, in yet another attempt to be the first to win the world heavyweight title three times, Patterson lost by technical knockout at the end of the 12th round, going into the fight with an injured sacro-iliac joint in a bout in which Ali was clearly dominant. Ali called Patterson an "Uncle Tom" for refusing to call him Muhammad Ali (Patterson continued to call him Cassius Clay) and for his outspokenness against black Muslims. Instead of scoring a quick knockout, Ali mocked, humiliated and punished Patterson throughout the fight before the referee finally stopped the fight in the 12th round. Patterson remained a legitimate contender.
light-heavyweightlight heavyLight Heavyweight (-81 kg)
Many light heavyweight champions unsuccessfully challenged for the heavyweight crown until Michael Spinks became the first reigning light heavyweight champion to win the heavyweight championship. Bob Fitzsimmons captured the light-heavyweight championship after losing his heavyweight championship. Two all-time great heavyweight champions, Ezzard Charles and Floyd Patterson, started out as light heavyweights. Charles defeated Archie Moore and Joey Maxim several times in non-title bouts before becoming heavyweight champion and Patterson lost an eight-round decision to Joey Maxim before becoming heavyweight champion himself.
WBOWBO LatinoWBO NABO
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.