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List of Heavyweight Champions
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List of Heavyweight Champions

A chronological list of Heavyweight boxing champions, as recognized:

Reign BeganReign EndedChampionRecognitionNotes
07 Feb 188207 Sep 1892John L. SullivanUniversal(1)
07 Sep 189217 Mar 1897James J. CorbettUniversal
17 Mar 189709 Jun 1899Bob FitzsimmonsUniversal
09 Jun 189913 May 1905James J. JeffriesUniversal(2)
03 Jul 190523 Feb 1906Marvin HartUniversal
23 Feb 190626 Dec 1908Tommy BurnsUniversal
26 Dec 190805 Apr 1915Jack JohnsonUniversal
05 Apr 191504 Jul 1919Jess WillardUniversal
04 Jul 191923 Sep 1926Jack DempseyUniversal
23 Sep 192631 Jul 1928Gene TunneyUniversal(3)
26 Sep 192812 Jun 1930Jack SharkeyNBA(4)
12 Jun 193021 Jun 1932Max SchmelingUniversal(5)
21 Jun 193229 Jun 1933Jack SharkeyUniversal
29 Jun 193314 Jun 1934Primo CarneraUniversal
14 Jun 193413 Jun 1935Max BaerUniversal
13 Jun 193522 Jun 1937James J. BraddockUniversal
22 Jun 193701 Mar 1949Joe LouisUniversal(2)
22 Jun 194927 Sep 1950Ezzard CharlesNBA(7)
27 Sep 195018 Jul 1951Ezzard CharlesUniversal(6)
18 Jul 195123 Sep 1952Jersey Joe WalcottUniversal
23 Sep 195227 Apr 1956Rocky MarcianoUniversal(3)
30 Nov 195626 Jun 1959Floyd PattersonUniversal
26 Jun 195920 Jun 1960Ingemar JohanssonUniversal
20 Jun 196025 Sep 1962Floyd PattersonUniversal
25 Sep 196225 Feb 1964Charles 'Sonny' ListonUniversal
25 Feb 196419 Jun 1964Cassius ClayUniversal(7)
19 Jun 196406 Feb 1967Cassius ClayWBC
05 Mar 196506 Feb 1967Ernie TerrellWBA
06 Feb 196729 Apr 1967Muhammad AliUniversal(8)
04 Mar 196816 Feb 1970Joe FrazierWBC
28 Apr 196816 Feb 1970Jimmy EllisWBA
16 Feb 197022 Jan 1973Joe FrazierUniversal(9)
22 Jan 197330 Oct 1974George ForemanUniversal
30 Oct 197415 Feb 1978Muhammad AliUniversal
15 Feb 197818 Mar 1978Leon SpinksUniversal(10)
18 Mar 197815 Sep 1978Leon SpinksWBA
18 Mar 197809 Jun 1978Ken NortonWBC
09 Jun 197811 Dec 1983Larry HolmesWBC(2)
15 Sep 197827 Apr 1979Muhammad AliWBA(2)
20 Oct 197931 Mar 1980John TateWBA
31 Mar 198010 Dec 1982Mike WeaverWBA
10 Dec 198223 Sep 1983Michael DokesWBA
23 Sep 198301 Dec 1984Gerrie CoetzeeWBA
11 Dec 198321 Sep 1985Larry HolmesIBF
09 Mar 198431 Aug 1984Tim WitherspoonWBC
31 Aug 198422 Mar 1986Pinklon ThomasWBC
01 Dec 198429 Apr 1985Greg PageWBA
29 Apr 198517 Jan 1986Tony TubbsWBA
21 Sep 198519 Feb 1987Michael SpinksIBF(10)
17 Jan 198612 Dec 1986Tim WitherspoonWBA
22 Mar 198622 Nov 1986Trevor BerbickWBC
22 Nov 198607 Mar 1987Mike TysonWBC
12 Dec 198607 Mar 1987James 'Bonecrusher' SmithWBA
07 Mar 198701 Aug 1987Mike TysonWBA, WBC
30 May 198701 Aug 1987Tony TuckerIBF
01 Aug 198710 Feb 1990Mike TysonUniversal
06 May 198911 Jan 1991Francesco DamianiWBO
10 Feb 199025 Oct 1990James 'Buster' DouglasIBF, WBA & WBC
25 Oct 199013 Nov 1992Evander HolyfieldIBF, WBA & WBC
11 Jan 199124 Dec 1991Ray MercerWBO
15 May 199203 Feb 1993Michael MoorerWBO
13 Nov 199214 Dec 1992Riddick BoweIBF, WBA & WBC(2 - WBC only)
14 Nov 199229 Jan 1993Pinklon ThomasIBO(10)
14 Dec 199206 Nov 1993Riddick BoweIBF & WBA
14 Dec 199224 Sep 1994Lennox LewisWBC
07 Jun 199329 Oct 1993Tommy MorrisonWBO
29 Oct 199319 Mar 1994Michael BenttWBO
06 Nov 199322 Apr 1994Evander HolyfieldIBF & WBA
19 Mar 199411 Mar 1995Herbie HideWBO
22 Apr 199405 Nov 1994Michael MoorerIBF & WBA
04 Aug 199429 Aug 1994(?)Danell NicholsonIBO(10)
24 Sep 199402 Sep 1995Oliver McCallWBC
29 Oct 199408 Nov 1995(?)Jimmy ThunderIBO(10)
05 Nov 199404 Mar 1995George ForemanIBF & WBA(10 - WBA only)
04 Mar 199528 Jun 1995George ForemanIBF(10)
11 Mar 199501 May 1996Riddick BoweWBO(2)
08 Apr 199507 Sep 1996Bruce SeldonWBA
02 Sep 199516 Mar 1996Frank BrunoWBC
09 Dec 199507 Sep 1996Francois BothaIBF(11)
16 Mar 199607 Sep 1996Mike TysonWBC
12 Jan 199616 Sep 1999(?)Brian NielsenIBO(10)
22 Jun 199608 Nov 1997Michael MoorerIBF
29 Jun 199617 Feb 1997Henry AkinwandeWBO(2)
07 Sep 199624 Sep 1996Mike TysonWBA & WBC(2)
24 Sep 199609 Nov 1996Mike TysonWBA
09 Nov 199608 Nov 1997Evander HolyfieldWBA
07 Feb 199713 Nov 1999Lennox LewisWBC
28 Jun 199726 Jun 1999Herbie HideWBO
08 Nov 199713 Nov 1999Evander HolyfieldIBF & WBA
26 Jun 199901 Apr 2000Vitali KlitschkoWBO
13 Nov 199929 Apr 2000Lennox LewisIBF, IBO, WBA & WBC(10 - WBA only)
01 Apr 200014 Oct 2000Chris ByrdWBO
29 Apr 200022 Apr 2001Lennox LewisIBF, IBO & WBC
12 Aug 200003 Mar 2001Evander HolyfieldWBA
14 Oct 200008 Mar 2003Wladimir KlitschkoWBO
03 Mar 200101 Mar 2003John RuizWBA
22 Apr 200117 Nov 2001Hasim RahmanIBF, IBO & WBC
17 Nov 200105 Sep 2002Lennox LewisIBF, IBO & WBC(2 - IBF only)
05 Sep 200206 Feb 2004Lennox LewisIBO & WBC(2)
14 Dec 2002Chris ByrdIBF
01 Mar 200320 Feb 2004Roy Jones JrWBA(2)
08 Mar 200309 Oct 2003Corrie SandersWBO(2)
20 Feb 2004John RuizWBA(12)
10 Apr 2004Lamon BrewsterWBO
24 Apr 2004Vitali KlitschkoWBC

(1) - First champion under Marquess of Queensberry rules.
(2) - Relinquished championship title.
(3) - Retired as champion, relinquishing title.
(4) - Jack Sharkey defeated Tommy Loughran for vacant National Boxing Association championship, but was not universally recognized as champion.
(5) - Defeated NBA champion Jack Sharkey to earn universal recognition as champion.
(6) - Ezzard Charles won the vacant National Boxing Association championship, but was not universally recognized as champion until defeating Joe Louis, the former champion who had come out of retirement.
(7) - The World Boxing Association withdrew its recognition of Clay (now known as Muhammad Ali) as champion for agreeing to an immediate rematch against former champion Charles 'Sonny' Liston, a violation of the organization's rules. The World Boxing Council and other organizations continued to recognize him, however.
(8) - All professional boxing sanctioning bodies withdrew recognition of Ali as champion for his refusal to be inducted into the United States Army subsequent to being drafted in early 1967.
(9) - Frazier was recognized by all sanctioning bodies as champion after defeating Ellis to unify the titles, but universal recognition came only upon defeating Ali on March 8, 1971.
(10) - Championship recognition withdrawn by sanctioning organization due to champion's failure or refusal to defend title against the organization's #1 ranked contender.
(11) - A drug test following Botha's victory over Axel Shultz for the IBF title revealed that he had used illegal anabolic steroids. Upon the discovery the IBF vacated its championship. The organization has erased the episode from its own written history, not listing Botha among its recognized champions.
(12) - The WBA's 'interim' champion, Ruiz was awarded the championship following Roy Jones, Jr.'s announcement that he was relinquishing the title.