A Guide to the Heavyweight Division
When people talk about boxing, the majority of the time it will revolve around the heavyweight division, this is the division which most fans take a liking to the most, this is where the big guns put on spectacular displays that everyone wants a ringside ticket for!
The heavyweight division is open to fighters who weigh 200lbs or more, there are two other 'heavyweight' divisions just below this main one, the Cruiserweight division for weights or 175-200lbs and the Light Heavyweight division for those between 168-175lbs.
Who is the greatest of all time?
He was nicknamed 'The Greatest' and is the most recognizable name in the history of boxing, Muhammad Ali was born as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. won 56 of his 61 bouts, he was a three-time heavyweight world champion, and successfully defended his title a total of nineteen times!
When the term 'Heavyweight' is discussed there are certain boxers who come to mind depending on the age group, it would be Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, Joe Frazier & Rocky Marciano for the older generation as well as George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Evander Holyfield & Mike Tyson.
The younger generation has been treated to the Klitschko's who dominated the heavyweight scene for years as well as the likes of Lennox Lewis & David Haye. Whilst those watching now would appreciate the current crop of 'The Gypsy King' Tyson Fury, 'AJ' Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, and Oleksandr Usyk.
Another reason this is the favorite division in boxing for the boxing handicappers is that anything can happen, these are big fighting fighters, they only need to catch their opponent once and that could be the end of the bout, there is an entertainment factor to this division!
Current Top Five Ranked Heavyweight Boxers
Here are the Top five heavyweight rankings from the ring magazine as well as their champion.
|Oleksandr Usyk (Ukraine)
|21-0-0 (14 KOs)
|Tyson Fury (UK)
|34-0-1 (24 KOs)
|Anthony Joshua (UK)
|27-3-0 (24 KOs)
|Zhilei Zhang (China)
|26-1-1 (21 KOs)
|Joseph Parker (New Zealand)
|34-3-0 (23 KOs)
|Filip Hrgovic (Croatia)
|17-0-0 (14 KOs)
Previous Heavyweight Champions of the World
In the history of boxing, there have been over 100 changes of the belts, that is not individual champions as plenty of fighters have lost and then regained their titles, in fact in total, 18 boxers have had more than one reign as the champion, five boxers have had three reigns as champions, those five were Muhammad Ali, Michael Moore, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, and Vitali Klitschko.
The United States has dominated the history of this division, they have accounted for 55 of the 86, that is some 64% of the heavyweight champions! The next best is the United Kingdom which has had 8 heavyweight champions and the likes of David Haye, Tyson Fury, and Anthony Joshua have been on top of the division in recent years. The only other countries to produce multiple heavyweight world champions are Canada (4), Russia (3), Ukraine (3), Italy (2), and South Africa (2).
Longest Reigning Heavyweight Champions
- Joe Louis (11 years, 8 months, 8 days)
- Wladimir Klitschko (9 years, 7 months, 6 days)
- Larry Holmes (7 years, 3 months, 12 days)
- Jack Dempsey (7 years, 2 months, 19 days)
- John L. Sullivan (7 years, 0 months, 9 days)
Joe Louis holds the record for the longest-reigning champion having held the belts for eleven years, eight months, and eight days during which time he successfully defended his title a total of twenty-six times. It did look for some time that Wladimir Klitschko would get close to that record but he fell short when being defeated by Tyson Fury in the 19th defense of the title, his reign lasted for nine years, seven months, and six days whilst there are only three other boxers to pass the seven-year reign as champion, Larry Holmes, Jack Dempsey, and John Sullivan.
In terms of total time spent as champion, so this includes a second or third spell as champion, Wladimir Klitschko does beat Joe Louis as he has spent exactly twelve years with the belts in his possession, just under four months longer than Louis with Muhammad Ali third, Lennox Lewis fourth and Wald's brother Vitali fifth on the list.
We are proud to have Frank Monkhouse on our expert teams at OLBG, maintaining our relationship since sponsoring him when he was fighting professionally, and now he delivers us top-notch boxing and fighting sport content for the OLBG pages.
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