List of heavyweight boxing champions

This is a chronological list of world heavyweight boxing champions since the introduction of the Marquess of Queensberry rules in about 1884. It does not include fights fought under Jack Broughton's rules or the London Prize Ring Rules.

Championship recognition

All champions (updated Feb. 2018)


Champions were recognized by public acclamation. A champion in that era was a fighter who had a notable win over another fighter and kept winning afterward. Retirements or disputed results could lead to a championship being split among several men for periods of time. With only minor exceptions, the heavyweight division remained free from dual title-holders until the 1960s. For an early example, see the 1896 World Heavyweight Championship.

Sanctioning organizations: 1910–present

Gradually, the role of recognizing champions in the division evolved into a more formal affair, with public acclamation being supplemented (or in some cases, contradicted) by recognition by one or more athletic commissions, sanctioning organizations, or a combination of them. The most notable examples with respect to the heavyweight division have included:

Other bodies also recognize world champions, with varying degrees of legitimacy bestowed upon such recognition by the public at large. Current examples of such groups include the International Boxing Council, International Boxing Organization, World Boxing Federation and World Boxing Union.

List of champions

ChampionNationalityRecognitionReign BeganReign EndedNotes
John L. SullivanUnited StatesUnited StatesUniversalAugust 29, 1885September 7, 189225,4
James J. CorbettUnited StatesUnited StatesUniversalSeptember 7, 1892March 17, 18975
Bob FitzsimmonsUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and IrelandUnited KingdomUniversalMarch 17, 1897June 9, 189926
James J. JeffriesUnited StatesUnited StatesUniversalJune 9, 1899May 13, 19052,6,27
Marvin HartUnited StatesUnited StatesUniversalJuly 3, 1905February 23, 19061,28,29
Tommy BurnsCanadaCanadaUniversalFebruary 23, 1906December 26, 1908
Jack JohnsonUnited StatesUnited StatesUniversalDecember 26, 1908April 5, 19157
Jess WillardUnited StatesUnited StatesUniversalApril 5, 1915July 4, 1919
Jack DempseyUnited StatesUnited StatesUniversalJuly 4, 1919July 2, 1921
Jack DempseyUnited StatesUnited StatesNBAJuly 2, 1921July 24, 1922
Jack DempseyUnited StatesUnited StatesNBA and NYSACJuly 24, 1922September 23, 1926
Gene TunneyUnited StatesUnited StatesNBA and NYSACSeptember 23, 1926July 31, 19282
Max SchmelingGermanyGermanyNBA and NYSACJune 12, 1930January 7, 19311,8
Max SchmelingGermanyGermanyIBUJanuary 7, 1931June 21, 1932
Jack SharkeyUnited StatesUnited StatesNBA and NYSAC, IBUJune 21, 1932June 29, 1933
Primo CarneraItalyItalyNBA and NYSAC, IBUJune 29, 1933June 14, 1934
Max BaerUnited StatesUnited StatesNBA and NYSAC, IBUJune 14, 1934June 13, 19359
James J. BraddockUnited StatesUnited StatesNBA and NYSAC, IBUJune 13, 1935June 22, 1937
Joe LouisUnited StatesUnited StatesNBA and NYSAC, IBUJune 22, 1937March 1, 19492 Longest reign
Ezzard CharlesUnited StatesUnited StatesNBAJune 22, 1949September 27, 19501,10
Lee SavoldUnited StatesUnited StatesIBUJune 6, 1950June 16, 19511,10
Ezzard CharlesUnited StatesUnited StatesNBA and NYSACSeptember 27, 1950June 16, 19511,10
Ezzard CharlesUnited StatesUnited StatesNBA and NYSAC, IBUJune 16, 1951July 18, 1951
Jersey Joe WalcottUnited StatesUnited StatesNBA and NYSACJuly 18, 1951September 23, 1952
Rocky MarcianoUnited StatesUnited StatesNBA and NYSACSeptember 23, 1952April 27, 19562
Floyd PattersonUnited StatesUnited StatesNBA and NYSACNovember 30, 1956June 26, 19591,11
Ingemar JohanssonSwedenSwedenNBA and NYSACJune 26, 1959June 20, 1960
Floyd Patterson (Second reign)United StatesUnited StatesNBA and NYSACJune 20, 1960September 25, 1962
Sonny ListonUnited StatesUnited StatesNYSAC, WBA and WBCSeptember 25, 1962February 25, 1964
Cassius ClayUnited StatesUnited StatesNYSAC, WBA and WBCFebruary 25, 1964June 19, 196412
Muhammad AliUnited StatesUnited StatesNYSAC and WBCJune 19, 1964February 6, 1967
Ernie TerrellUnited StatesUnited StatesWBAMarch 5, 1965February 6, 19671
Muhammad AliUnited StatesUnited StatesNYSAC, WBA and WBCFebruary 6, 1967April 29, 1967Unified NYSAC, WBA and WBC titles.13
Joe FrazierUnited StatesUnited StatesNYSACMarch 4, 1968February 16, 19701
Jimmy EllisUnited StatesUnited StatesWBAApril 27, 1968February 16, 19701,14
Joe FrazierUnited StatesUnited StatesWBA and WBCFebruary 16, 1970January 22, 1973Unified WBA and WBC titles.15
George ForemanUnited StatesUnited StatesWBA and WBCJanuary 22, 1973October 30, 1974
Muhammad Ali (Second reign)United StatesUnited StatesWBA and WBCOctober 30, 1974February 15, 1978
Leon SpinksUnited StatesUnited StatesWBA and WBCFebruary 15, 1978March 18, 19783
Leon SpinksUnited StatesUnited StatesWBAMarch 18, 1978September 15, 1978
Ken NortonUnited StatesUnited StatesWBCMarch 18, 1978June 9, 197816
Larry HolmesUnited StatesUnited StatesWBCJune 9, 1978December 11, 19832
Muhammad Ali (Third reign)United StatesUnited StatesWBASeptember 15, 1978April 27, 19792
John TateUnited StatesUnited StatesWBAOctober 20, 1979March 31, 19801
Mike WeaverUnited StatesUnited StatesWBAMarch 31, 1980December 10, 1982
Michael DokesUnited StatesUnited StatesWBADecember 10, 1982September 23, 1983
Gerrie CoetzeeSouth AfricaSouth AfricaWBASeptember 23, 1983December 1, 1984
Larry HolmesUnited StatesUnited StatesIBFDecember 11, 1983September 21, 198517
Tim WitherspoonUnited StatesUnited StatesWBCMarch 9, 1984August 31, 19841
Pinklon ThomasUnited StatesUnited StatesWBCAugust 31, 1984March 22, 1986
Greg PageUnited StatesUnited StatesWBADecember 1, 1984April 29, 1985
Tony TubbsUnited StatesUnited StatesWBAApril 29, 1985January 17, 1986
Michael SpinksUnited StatesUnited StatesIBFSeptember 21, 1985February 19, 19873
Tim Witherspoon (Second reign)United StatesUnited StatesWBAJanuary 17, 1986December 12, 1986
Trevor BerbickCanadaCanadaWBCMarch 22, 1986November 22, 1986
Mike TysonUnited StatesUnited StatesWBCNovember 22, 1986March 7, 1987
James "Bonecrusher" SmithUnited StatesUnited StatesWBADecember 12, 1986March 7, 1987
Mike TysonUnited StatesUnited StatesWBA and WBCMarch 7, 1987August 1, 1987Unified WBA and WBC titles.
Tony TuckerUnited StatesUnited StatesIBFMay 30, 1987August 1, 19871
Mike TysonUnited StatesUnited StatesIBF, WBA and WBCAugust 1, 1987February 11, 1990Unified IBF, WBA and WBC titles.
Francesco DamianiItalyItalyWBOMay 6, 1989January 11, 19911
James "Buster" DouglasUnited StatesUnited StatesIBF, WBA and WBCFebruary 11, 1990October 25, 1990
Evander HolyfieldUnited StatesUnited StatesIBF, WBA and WBCOctober 25, 1990November 13, 1992
Ray MercerUnited StatesUnited StatesWBOJanuary 11, 1991December 24, 19913
Michael MoorerUnited StatesUnited StatesWBOMay 15, 1992February 3, 19931,2
Riddick BoweUnited StatesUnited StatesIBF, WBA and WBCNovember 13, 1992December 14, 19922
Riddick BoweUnited StatesUnited StatesIBF and WBADecember 14, 1992November 6, 1993
Lennox LewisUnited KingdomUnited KingdomWBCDecember 14, 1992September 24, 199418
Tommy MorrisonUnited StatesUnited StatesWBOJune 7, 1993October 29, 19931
Michael BenttUnited StatesUnited StatesWBOOctober 29, 1993March 19, 1994
Evander Holyfield (Second reign)United StatesUnited StatesIBF and WBANovember 6, 1993April 22, 1994
Herbie HideUnited KingdomUnited KingdomWBOMarch 19, 1994March 11, 1995
Michael Moorer (Second reign)United StatesUnited StatesIBF and WBAApril 22, 1994November 5, 1994
Oliver McCallUnited StatesUnited StatesWBCSeptember 24, 1994September 2, 1995
George Foreman (Second reign)United StatesUnited StatesIBF and WBANovember 5, 1994March 4, 19953
George ForemanUnited StatesUnited StatesIBFMarch 4, 1995June 28, 19952
Riddick Bowe (Second reign)United StatesUnited StatesWBOMarch 11, 1995May 1, 19963
Bruce SeldonUnited StatesUnited StatesWBAApril 8, 1995September 7, 19961
Frank BrunoUnited KingdomUnited KingdomWBCSeptember 2, 1995March 16, 1996
Mike Tyson (Second reign)United StatesUnited StatesWBCMarch 16, 1996September 7, 1996
Michael Moorer (Third reign)United StatesUnited StatesIBFJune 22, 1996November 8, 19971,19
Henry AkinwandeUnited KingdomUnited KingdomWBOJune 29, 1996February 17, 19971,2
Mike TysonUnited StatesUnited StatesWBA and WBCSeptember 7, 1996September 24, 19962
Mike TysonUnited StatesUnited StatesWBASeptember 24, 1996November 9, 1996
Evander Holyfield (Third reign)United StatesUnited StatesWBANovember 9, 1996November 8, 1997
Lennox Lewis (Second reign)United KingdomUnited KingdomWBCFebruary 7, 1997November 13, 19991
Herbie Hide (Second reign)United KingdomUnited KingdomWBOJune 28, 1997June 26, 19991
Evander HolyfieldUnited StatesUnited StatesIBF and WBANovember 8, 1997November 13, 1999Unified IBF and WBA titles.
Vitali KlitschkoUkraineUkraineWBOJune 26, 1999April 1, 2000
Lennox LewisUnited KingdomUnited KingdomIBF, WBA and WBCNovember 13, 1999April 29, 2000Unified IBF, WBA and WBC titles.3
Chris ByrdUnited StatesUnited StatesWBOApril 1, 2000October 14, 2000
Lennox LewisUnited KingdomUnited KingdomIBF and WBCApril 29, 2000April 22, 2001
Evander Holyfield (Fourth reign)United StatesUnited StatesWBAAugust 12, 2000March 3, 20011
Wladimir KlitschkoUkraineUkraineWBOOctober 14, 2000March 8, 2003
John RuizUnited StatesUnited StatesWBAMarch 3, 2001March 1, 2003
Hasim RahmanUnited StatesUnited StatesIBF and WBCApril 22, 2001November 17, 2001
Lennox Lewis (Third reign)United KingdomUnited KingdomIBF and WBCNovember 17, 2001September 5, 20022
Lennox LewisUnited KingdomUnited KingdomWBCSeptember 5, 2002February 6, 20042
Chris Byrd (Second reign)United StatesUnited StatesIBFDecember 14, 2002April 22, 20061
Roy Jones, Jr.United StatesUnited StatesWBAMarch 1, 2003February 20, 20042
Corrie SandersSouth AfricaSouth AfricaWBOMarch 8, 2003October 9, 20032
John Ruiz (Second reign)United StatesUnited StatesWBAFebruary 20, 2004December 17, 200520
Lamon BrewsterUnited StatesUnited StatesWBOApril 10, 2004April 1, 20061
Vitali Klitschko (Second reign)UkraineUkraineWBCApril 24, 2004November 9, 20051,2
Hasim Rahman (Second reign)United StatesUnited StatesWBCNovember 9, 2005August 12, 200621
Nikolai ValuevRussiaRussiaWBADecember 17, 2005April 14, 2007
Siarhei LiakhovichBelarusBelarusWBOApril 1, 2006November 4, 2006
Wladimir Klitschko (Second reign)UkraineUkraineIBFApril 22, 2006February 23, 2008
Oleg MaskaevRussiaRussiaWBCAugust 12, 2006March 8, 2008
Shannon BriggsUnited StatesUnited StatesWBONovember 4, 2006June 2, 2007
Ruslan ChagaevUzbekistanUzbekistanWBAApril 14, 2007June 20, 200922
Sultan IbragimovRussiaRussiaWBOJune 2, 2007February 23, 2008
Wladimir KlitschkoUkraineUkraineIBF and WBOFebruary 23, 2008July 2, 2011Unified IBF and WBO titles.
Samuel PeterNigeriaNigeriaWBCMarch 8, 2008October 11, 2008
Nikolai Valuev (Second reign)RussiaRussiaWBAAugust 30, 2008November 7, 20091,22
Vitali Klitschko (Third reign)UkraineUkraineWBCOctober 11, 2008December 15, 20132
David HayeUnited KingdomUnited KingdomWBANovember 7, 2009July 2, 2011
Wladimir KlitschkoUkraineUkraineIBF, WBA "Super" and WBOJuly 2, 2011November 28, 2015Unified IBF, WBA and WBO titles.
Alexander PovetkinRussiaRussiaWBA "Regular"August 27, 2011October 5, 20131,23
Bermane StiverneCanadaCanadaWBCMay 10, 2014January 17, 20151
Ruslan Chagaev (Second reign)UzbekistanUzbekistanWBA "Regular"July 6, 2014March 5, 20161
Deontay WilderUnited StatesUnited StatesWBCJanuary 17, 2015Present
Tyson FuryUnited KingdomUnited KingdomIBF, WBA "Super" and WBONovember 28, 2015December 8, 20153 Shortest reign
Tyson FuryUnited KingdomUnited KingdomWBA "Super" and WBODecember 8, 2015October 12, 20162
Charles MartinUnited StatesUnited StatesIBFJanuary 16, 2016April 9, 20161
Lucas BrowneAustraliaAustraliaWBA "Regular"March 5, 2016May 12, 201624
Anthony JoshuaUnited KingdomUnited KingdomIBFApril 9, 2016April 29, 2017
Ruslan Chagaev (Third reign)UzbekistanUzbekistanWBA "Regular"May 12, 2016July 28, 20163
Joseph ParkerNew ZealandNew ZealandWBODecember 10, 2016March 31, 20181
Anthony JoshuaUnited KingdomUnited KingdomIBF and WBA "Super"April 29, 2017March 31, 20181
Manuel CharrSyriaSyriaWBA "Regular"November 25, 2017Present1
Anthony JoshuaUnited KingdomUnited KingdomIBF, WBA "Super" and WBOMarch 31, 2018PresentUnified IBF, WBA and WBO tiles.


  1. Won vacant championship title.
  2. Voluntarily relinquished championship title.
  3. Championship recognition withdrawn by sanctioning organization upon his refusal to fight an opponent of the organization's designation.
  4. In 1882, Sullivan defeated Paddy Ryan to win the bare-knuckle championship of America. A lack of legitimate challengers elsewhere gradually resulted in Sullivan earning worldwide recognition. On August 29, 1885, he defeated Dominick McCaffrey in a bout described as "the Marquess of Queensberry glove contest for the championship of the world."
  5. Corbett announced his retirement from boxing in 1895, nominating Steve O'Donnell as his successor. As tradition demanded the title be won in the ring, O'Donnell was matched against Peter Maher on November 11, 1895 at Maspeth, New York. Maher won via first-round knockout, but the public generally didn't accept Maher and Maher himself expressed a desire to fight Corbett for the "real" title. In Maher's next bout, Bob Fitzsimmons defeated him via first-round knockout on February 21, 1896. Fitzimmons in turn was defeated by Tom Sharkey of Dundalk on December 2, 1896, in a contest billed as for the heavyweight title. Corbett announced his return to the ring shortly thereafter, at which time the championship claims of Maher, Fitzsimmons, and Sharkey were for the most part dismissed. Sharkey's title claims lapsed when he was defeated by Jeffries in May 1898.
  6. Jeffries announced his retirement, relinquishing the title and promoting a match between Marvin Hart and Jack Root for the championship. Jeffries returned to the ring to challenge Jack Johnson.
  7. The British National Sporting Club withdrew its recognition of Johnson as champion when he refused to defend his title against the British champion William "Iron" Hague. The NSC matched Hague with Canadian Sam Langford for its title on May 24, 1909. Langford won via fourth-round knockou but never pursued a championship claim.
  8. Schmeling earned championship recognition by defeating Jack Sharkey by controversial disqualification. The New York State Athletic Commission withdrew its recognition of Schmeling when he refused to grant Sharkey an immediate rematch. The NYSAC did not recognize a champion until Sharkey defeated Schmeling in 1932.
  9. In late 1934, the International Boxing Union (IBU) ordered Baer to defend his title against European champion Pierre Charles of Belgium. When Baer refused, the IBU sanctioned a bout between Charles and American George Godfrey for their title on October 2, 1935. Godfrey won via fifteen-round decision but never pursued a championship claim. The IBU ultimately recognized Baer's successor James J. Braddock as champion.
  10. Two months after Louis' retirement announcement, the International Boxing Union sanctioned a bout between British champion Bruce Woodcock and American Lee Savold for its version of the title. The bout was not staged until June 1950, however, due to delays caused by injuries suffered by Woodcock in an automobile accident. Meanwhile, Ezzard Charles defeated Jersey Joe Walcott to win the vacant National Boxing Association championship title. Savold defeated Woodcock in four rounds to win the IBU title, while Charles would gain New York State Athletic Commission recognition and wide public acclaim as champion upon defeating former champion Joe Louis in September 1950. On June 15, 1951, Joe Louis defeat Savold via sixth-round knockout, after which the IBU withdrew its recognition of Savold and proclaimed Ezzard Charles as champion.
  11. Following Marciano's retirement, Patterson was matched against Tommy "Hurricane" Jackson in a championship eliminator on June 8, 1956. Winning via controversial split decision, Patterson then faced light heavyweight titleholder Archie Moore for the vacant title. Upon defeating Moore, Patterson would fight (and defeat) Jackson a second time on July 29, 1957.
  12. The World Boxing Association withdrew their championship recognition of Clay (by then known as Muhammad Ali) upon agreeing to an immediate rematch against former champion Sonny Liston, in violation of WBA rules. The newly founded World Boxing Council and other sanctioning groups continued to recognize Ali as champion.
  13. The World Boxing Association, World Boxing Council, New York State Athletic Commission and others withdrew their championship recognition of Ali following his refusal to be inducted into the United States Army subsequent to his conscription.
  14. To fill its vacant championship title, the World Boxing Association organized a single-elimination tournament involving eight of their ranked contenders (Joe Frazier, who was ranked No. 2, declined to participate): Oscar Bonavena, Jimmy Ellis, Leotis Martin, Karl Mildenberger, two-time former champion Floyd Patterson, Jerry Quarry, Thad Spencer, and former WBA champion Ernie Terrell. In first round matches, Ellis defeated Martin, Quarry defeated Patterson, Spencer defeated Terrell, and Bonavena defeated Mildenberger. In the semi-finals, Ellis defeated Bonavena while Quarry defeated Spencer; and Ellis defeated Quarry for the championship title. Frazier, meanwhile, would be matched against Buster Mathis for a championship recognized by the New York State Athletic Commission together with the commissions of Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. 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. As a condition of being named champion, Norton was ordered to face the WBC's new mandatory challenger, Larry Holmes within 120 days.
  17. Holmes relinquished his World Boxing Council championship and accepted championship recognition bestowed by the newly organized International Boxing Federation.
  18. Following its 1978 precedent, upon withdrawing championship recognition from Riddick Bowe, the World Boxing Council immediately awarded championship recognition to Lennox Lewis, on the basis of his victory in an October 31, 1992 "championship eliminator" over Donovan Ruddock.
  19. Following its withdrawal of recognition from George Foreman, the International Boxing Federation sanctioned a December 9, 1995 match between Francois Botha and Axel Schulz for its championship. Botha won the bout by split decision, but the bout result and Botha's championship title would be vacated after Botha's post-fight drug test revealed he had taken illegal anabolic steroids. A subsequent bout between Schulz and Michael Moorer was sanctioned for the IBF championship.
  20. Upon defeating John Ruiz, Roy Jones, Jr. simultaneously held the World Boxing Association's heavyweight and light heavyweight titles. At his request, the WBA suspended its rule prohibiting simultaneous titleholding. It would later declare Jones its "Champion in Recess," and sanctioned a December 13, 2003 bout between Ruiz and Hasim Rahman for its "interim" championship. Ruiz would win the bout. On February 20, 2004, Jones relinquished his heavyweight title to resume boxing as a light heavyweight, at which point Ruiz was elevated to full championship recognition. On April 30, 2005, Ruiz would be defeated by James Toney in a championship defense, but post-fight drug testing determined Toney had taken Nandrolone, an anabolic steroid. The bout's result was subsequently changed to a "no contest," whereupon the WBA reinstated Ruiz as champion.
  21. Following repeated injuries to champion Vitali Klitschko, the World Boxing Council sanctioned an August 13, 2005 bout between Hasim Rahman and Monte Barrett for its "interim" championship. Rahman won the bout, and when Klitschko relinquished his title three months later, the WBC elevated Rahman to full championship recognition.
  22. Following repeated injuries which prevented him from defending his title, the World Boxing Association designated Chagaev a "Champion in Recess," sanctioning an August 30, 2008 bout between former champions John Ruiz and Nikolai Valuev for its "interim" title; a bout won by Valuev. Upon his recovery however, Chagaev opted to face Wladimir Klitschko rather than Valuev, whereuopn the WBA withdrew championship recognition.
  23. The World Boxing Association modified its championship structure, creating a new "Super Champion" status to be awarded to champions who hold multiple titles simultaneously. Now subordinated to this was the status of "World Champion," commonly referred to as the "Regular" champion. The organization then sanctioned a bout between Povetkin and former champion Ruslan Chagaev for this "regular" title. Povetkin's reign as the WBA's "regular champion" ended upon a loss to "Super Champion" Wladimir Klitschko, at which point the "regular" title was vacant.
  24. Browne defeated Ruslan Chagaev for the World Boxing Association's "regular" championship title, but Browne subsequently tested positive for Clenbuterol, a banned substance. Following confirmation of the positive result, the WBA withdrew its recognition of Browne's "regular" championship.
  25. On October 29, 1877 a fight between British fighters Tom Allen and Tompkin Gilbert at the Sadler's Wells Theatre, London was billed as for the World heavyweight title under Marquess of Queensberry Rules. Allen won in seven rounds

Current status of prominent championship titles

International Boxing Federation

  • Anthony Joshua is the organization's currently recognized champion, having most recently defended this title on March 31, 2018.

World Boxing Association

  • Anthony Joshua is the organization's currently recognized 'super' champion, having most recently defended this title on March 31, 2018.
  • Manuel Charr is currently recognized as the organization's 'regular' champion, winning that distinction on November 25, 2017. He is now scheduled to defend this title against mandatory challenger Fres Oquendo on Sep 29, 2018. in Cologne, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.

World Boxing Council

  • Deontay Wilder is the organization's currently recognized champion, having most recently defended this title on March 3, 2018.

World Boxing Organization

  • Anthony Joshua is the organization's currently recognized champion, winning that distinction on March 31, 2018. against Joseph Parker in a unification bout.

List of combined reigns

As of March 5, 2018. This list includes only major titles, and it does not include lineal championships after 1921.


     Active title reign
     Reign has ended
The WBO heavyweight title bouts before June 1999 are not included
NameCombined reignDays as championNumber of reignsTitle recognitionCumulative title winsOpponents beaten
1.UkraineWladimir Klitschko12 years, 0 months, 0 days4 3822IBF, WBA, WBO2523
2.United StatesJoe Louis11 years, 8 months, 8 days4 2701NYSAC, NBA2621
3.United StatesMuhammad Ali9 years, 5 months, 5 days3 4433NYSAC, WBC, WBA2221
4.United KingdomLennox Lewis8 years, 5 months, 13 days3 0863WBC, IBF, WBA1515
5.UkraineVitali Klitschko7 years, 5 months, 28 days2 7353WBO, WBC1515
6.United StatesLarry Holmes7 years, 3 months, 12 days2 6611WBC, IBF2020
7.United StatesJack Dempsey7 years, 2 months, 19 days2 6381NYSAC, NBA66
8.United StatesJohn L. Sullivan7 years, 0 months, 10 days2 5661Universal55
9.United StatesJack Johnson6 years, 3 months, 11 days2 2921Universal77
10.United StatesEvander Holyfield6 years, 1 month, 1 day2 2234WBA, WBC, IBF1110
11.United StatesJames J. Jeffries5 years, 11 months, 4 days2 1561Universal86
12.United StatesJoe Frazier4 years, 10 months, 18 days1 7851NYSAC, WBA, WBC1010
13.United StatesFloyd Patterson4 years, 10 months, 0 days1 7652NYSAC, NBA87
14.United StatesJames J. Corbett4 years, 6 months, 10 days1 6521Universal22
15.United StatesJess Willard4 years, 2 months, 29 days1 5511Universal22
16.United StatesChris Byrd3 years, 10 months, 22 days1 4212IBF, WBO55
17.United StatesMike Tyson3 years, 10 months, 16 days1 4152WBA, WBC, IBF1211
18.United StatesJohn Ruiz3 years, 9 months, 21 days1 3902WBA44
19.United StatesRocky Marciano3 years, 7 months, 5 days1 3121NYSAC, NBA75
20.United StatesDeontay Wilder3 years, 2 months, 10 days1 1371WBC87

List of individual reigns

The list includes both The Ring and lineal championships. Career total time as champion (for multiple time champions) does not apply.


     Active Title Reign
     Reign has ended
The WBO heavyweight title bouts before June, 1999 are not included
NameTitle ReignTitle RecognitionSuccessful DefensesOpponents beaten
1.United StatesJoe Louis11 years, 8 months, 8 daysUniversal2520
2.UkraineWladimir Klitschko9 years, 7 months and 6 daysIBF (+WBA, WBO, The Ring)1817
3.United StatesLarry Holmes7 years, 3 months, 12 daysWBC-to-IBF (+The Ring/Lineal)1919
4.United StatesJack Dempsey7 years, 2 months, 19 daysUniversal55
5.United StatesJohn L. Sullivan7 years, 0 months, 9 daysUniversal55
6.United StatesJack Johnson6 years, 3 months, 10 daysUniversal88
7.United StatesMuhammad Ali5 years, 11 months, 9 daysThe Ring/Lineal, (+WBA, WBC stripped)99
8.United StatesJames J. Jeffries5 years, 11 months, 4 daysUniversal76
9.UkraineVitali Klitschko5 years, 2 months, 4 daysWBC99
10.United StatesJoe Frazier4 years, 10 months, 18 daysNYSAC (+WBA, WBC)99
11.United StatesJames J. Corbett4 years, 6 months, 10 daysUniversal11
12.United StatesJess Willard4 years, 2 months, 29 daysUniversal11
13.United KingdomLennox Lewis4 years, 2 months, 15 daysWBC (+IBF, WBA stripped, The Ring/Lineal)98
14.United StatesRocky Marciano3 years, 11 months, 29 daysUniversal65
15.United StatesChris Byrd3 years, 4 months, 8 daysIBF44
16.United StatesMike Tyson3 years, 2 months, 20 daysWBC (+WBA, IBF, The Ring/Lineal)99
17.United StatesDeontay Wilder3 years, 2 months, 14 daysWBC77
18.United StatesGeorge Foreman3 years, 0 months, 17 daysLineal (+WBA, IBF stripped)22
19.United StatesEvander Holyfield3 years, 0 months, 4 daysWBA (+IBF)44
20.CanadaTommy Burns2 years, 10 months, 3 daysUniversal119

By nationality

CountryTotalBoxers by Name
 United States54John L. Sullivan, James J. Corbett, James J. Jeffries, Marvin Hart, Jack Johnson, Jess Willard, Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, Jack Sharkey, Max Baer, James J. Braddock, Joe Louis, Ezzard Charles, Lee Savold, Jersey Joe Walcott, Rocky Marciano, Floyd Patterson, Sonny Liston, Muhammad Ali, Ernie Terrell, Joe Frazier, Jimmy Ellis, George Foreman, Leon Spinks, Ken Norton, Larry Holmes, John Tate, Mike Weaver, Michael Dokes, Tim Witherspoon, Pinklon Thomas, Greg Page, Tony Tubbs, Michael Spinks, Mike Tyson, James Smith, Tony Tucker, Buster Douglas, Evander Holyfield, Ray Mercer, Michael Moorer, Riddick Bowe, Tommy Morrison, Michael Bentt, Oliver McCall, Bruce Seldon, Chris Byrd, John Ruiz, Hasim Rahman, Roy Jones Jr., Lamon Brewster, Shannon Briggs, Deontay Wilder, Charles Martin
 United Kingdom8Bob Fitzsimmons, Lennox Lewis, Herbie Hide, Frank Bruno, Henry Akinwande, David Haye, Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua
 Russia4Nikolai Valuev, Oleg Maskaev, Sultan Ibragimov, Alexander Povetkin
 Canada3Tommy Burns, Trevor Berbick, Bermane Stiverne
 Italy2Primo Carnera, Francesco Damiani
 South Africa2Gerrie Coetzee, Corrie Sanders
 Ukraine2Vitali Klitschko, Wladimir Klitschko
 Germany1Max Schmeling
 Sweden1Ingemar Johansson
 Belarus1Siarhei Liakhovich
 Uzbekistan1Ruslan Chagaev
 Nigeria1Samuel Peter
 Australia1Lucas Browne
 New Zealand1Joseph Parker
 Syria1Manuel Charr

See also

Further reading

  • Florio, John; Shapiro, Ouisie (2013). One Punch from the Promised Land: Leon Spinks, Michael Spinks, and the Myth of the Heavyweight Title. Lyons Press. p. 279. ISBN 978-0-7627-8300-7. 
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "List of heavyweight boxing champions", which is released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.