Category Archives: Heavyweights

Jack Johnson Family Seeks Pardon

By David Martinez / Boxing Historian /

Jack Johnson was arguably one of the greatest boxers of all time and arguably one of the most despised African American sports figures of all time.

Johnson was the first black heavyweight champion, winning the title from Tommy Burns in 1908, at a time when blacks and whites rarely entered the ring together.

On July 4, 1910 in Reno, Nevada, former undefeated heavyweight champion Jim Jeffries, who had retired in 1905, made a comeback in an attempt to regain the title from a black champion. This bout truly was “The Fight of the Century”!

Johnson would beat Jeffries, and continued beating white opponents and flaunting his affection for white women, even fleeing the country after an all white jury convicted him of “immorality” for one of his relationships. In 1913 he was convicted of violating the Mann Act which made it illegal to transport women across state lines for “immoral” purposes.

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Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries … FIGHT OF THE CENTURY


Heavyweight Champion James J. Jeffries
Image from original cigar box, circa 1900
(gift to David Martinez from Al Nelson, Boxing Historian, 1972, Jeffries Barn, Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park, CA)
*** FLASHBACK – this article originally first appeared on on July 2, 2010

By David Martinez / Boxing Historian

July 4, 2010 will mark the 100th anniversary of Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries, “Fight of the Century”, for the heavyweight championship of the world.

Leading up to this fight, Jeffries won the title in 1899 against Bob Fitzsimmons and after defeating all challengers he retired undefeated in 1905. Johnson won the title in 1908 against Tommy Burns to become the first black fighter to win the coveted crown.

The build up to this fight was nothing less than controversial with a white champion coming out of a five-year retirement to try to win the title back from a black champion.

Scheduled for 45 rounds, the fight took place in Reno, Nevada on July 4, 1910, with Tex Rickard as the promoter and referee. Prior to the fight, Rickard had invited United States president William Howard Taft to be the referee, but Taft declined.

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Wilder Defends WBC Heavyweight Title with 1st Round Knockout over Stiverne

By Tom Donelson (BWAA)
Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America
Last week, it was Anthony Joshua who won with a ten round stoppage victory over Carlos Takam and this week it was Deontay Wilder turn as he faced Bermane Stiverne, the only fighter who went the distance with Wilder.  Before the main event, Adrian Granados faced Shawn Porter in a key welterweight division and Sergey Lipinets challenged Akirhiro Kondo for the IBF Junior Welterweight title vacated by Terrance Crawford, who went up to welterweight.

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Joshua stops Takam to Retain IBF/WBA Heavyweight Title Belts

By Tom Donelson (BWAA)

Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America

Anthony Joshua prepared to face French heavyweight Carlos Takam, knowing full well that a victory could propel him to a meeting with Deontay Wilder. For Joshua, this is one of those fights that prove to be instrumental in comparison as Takam has already lost to New Zealand undefeated Joseph Parker by decision and was knocked out by Russian heavyweight Alexander Povetkin three years ago. If Joshua stopped Takam, this could send a message that he is indeed the man and certainly, he is a popular heavyweight as he filled out a 78,000 stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

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Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko – RECAP

By David Martinez /

Lets get straight to the point, this was a good and very entertaining fight. This is just what boxing and particularly the heavyweight division needed.

I picked Joshua to win, simply because of youth. But I knew the 41 year old Klitschko would be a true test for the young 27 year old champion.

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Joshua Defeats Klitschko by Knockout

By Tom Donelson (BWAA)
Member Boxing Writers Association of America
Anthony Joshua faced his toughest battle against Wladimir Klitschko who was fighting father time along fighting Joshua. For Klitschko, this was a legacy fight for to win would put him among the elites of boxing history as a three time champion of the division.  No fighter had won more heavyweight titles and fought in more than Klitschko who along with his brother dominated the heavyweight for much of this century. 
From 2004 to 2015, there was Klitschko at the top of the heavyweight division and Wladimir Klitschko attempted to win back his title in front of 90,000 British faithful in Wembley Stadium.  Joshua had the home ring advantage.  

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Joshua vs. Klitschko – PREVIEW

By Tom Donelson / Author, Member of Boxing Writers Association of America. Our mutual friend Rusty Rubin (R.I.P.) was instrumental in connecting Tom to contribute his expertise to in 2008 – Tom is truly respected and appreciated by all.

Wladimir Klitschko is nearing the end of his career and he will be facing Anthony Joshua, who may be the heir to the Klitschko brothers’ former control of the title. From 2004 until Tyson Fury upset in 2016 of Wladimir, the Klitschko’s brothers have owned a portion of the heavyweight title  Wladimir won the WBO title in 2000 but lost his title with a upset knockout by Corrie Sanders in  and after regaining the title, he lost it in yet another knockout lost to Lamon Brewster. 

Wladimir reputation was a big fighter with a glass jaw but when he teamed up with Emanuel Steward who directed Lennox Lewis’ career to the top.  From that point Wladimir along with his brother dominated the heavyweight as they beat one opponent after another.  Wladimir has participated in 28 title bouts and winning 25 of them, a heavyweight record but for many pundits, Wladimir has never been granted his place as a elite heavyweight as he fought in what many view as a weak era of heavyweights but like Larry Holmes before him; Wladimir and his brother Vitali may get their due years later.  Holmes was never consider one of the elites until years later when he proved competitive in his 40’s. 

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The HEAVYWEIGHTS – A Preview Look 2017

By Tom Donelson / Author, Member Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to since 2008 … to view all of Tom’s articles – go to the Categories section of this website and click onto his name.
The heavyweight division is now the becoming the most intriguing division as new fighters fight to be the new king of the hill.  Wladimir Klitschko makes his last stand against the younger Anthony Joshua, who has been simply knocking out one heavyweight after another.   Klitschko looked like 50 in his last fight against Tyson Fury as he simply never could pull the trigger against the awkward Fury.  When Fury imploded out of the ring and now his career is in jeopardy, Klitschko chance for avenging his loss died but now he is facing a younger opponent with power in front of 90,000 fight fans in Wembley stadium.
Joshua was 2012 Super Heavyweight Olympic champion and as a Pro, his record is 18 wins, 18 knockouts and with his Olympic background, he has technical skills matching the more experienced Klitschko.  This fight could be that turning of the guards if Joshua wins.   Joshua has the power but the question for Klitschko, what does he have left?  Five years ago, I would favor Klitschko but not now.

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Wilder Retains WBC Heavyweight Title With 5th Round “KO” Over Washington

By David Martinez /

On Saturday night February 25, 2017 Deontay Wilder (38-0 / 37 by KO), losing on all scorecards and all of the four rounds, came back to stop challenger Gerald Washington (18-1-1 / 12 by KO).

A right hand that followed with a left hook in the fifth round dropped Washington and when he rose, Wilder continued with a array of punches and landed a hard right hand as the bout was stopped at 1:45 of the round.

At the start and through four rounds Washington was focused and kept the pressure on Wilder at his pace. But it was clear that Wilder was not to be denied in the 5th defense of his WBC heavyweight championship belt and at his home, Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. The bout was shown on national television on PBC-FOX.

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What if ? … Joe Frazier vs. Ron Lyle

(Joe Frazier and legendary trainer Eddie Futch … photo courtesy Eva Futch)

***  FLASHBACK – this article originally appeared on on January 14, 2011

By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer

NOTE: Jim Amato has contributed to since 2008. His opinions and input to this website are honest and at the highest quality. His expertise in boxing is respected and appreciated by all. To view all of Jim’s articles – go to Categories section and click onto his name.

What happens when the unstoppable force meets the unmovable object? Let me rephrase that. What would have happened if Joe Frazier and Ron Lyle would have hooked up in the mid-1970’s?

It is too bad this fight was never made. It was discussed on occasion, but to the best of my knowledge no serious talks ever took place. What a shame. This would have been a thrill-a-minute battle for the fans. Each boxer had the tools and the style to offset the other’s skills.

Let’s start with Ron Lyle. George Foreman showed everyone that a big, strong heavyweight with a decent jab and a solid uppercut could keep Joe from getting inside, while also punishing him at long range. Frazier was game to the core, but Big George showed that Joe could be hurt. Lyle was no Willie Pep on his feet, but he had decent mobility for a man his size. He had a fairly quick jab with some pop to it. He threw a strong right hand but he needed room for it to gather steam. His best weapons on the inside if Frazier did get past his jab were a short left hook and a scorching uppercut. Also Ron was more then willing to stand in the trenches and swap body shots. He would have been quite a handful for Joe.

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