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History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began

Though the sport of boxing has historical roots as far back as the Roman Empire, modern boxing can arguably be dated to have begun with the Marquis of Queensbury rules. Additionally, heavyweight championships are widely accepted to have began with Jack Dempsey and the ‘National Boxing Association’ in 1921. From this point onward, the sport of boxing began to demand more skill from its athletes and a new format for fighting bouts was established. The old lean-back stances and bone blocks gave way to new styles, styles as dependent on defense as offense, styles that put emphasis on skill and speed, not just overwhelming power and brute force. With that said, let’s now take a look back at nearly a century of Heavyweight greats…

BoxChamps History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began

… and for those who may not have an image based browser, or just love it in plain text. Here is the whole breakdown with a bit more detail.

July 4, 1919 September 23, 1926 Jack Dempsey Universal 22px US flag 48 stars.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
September 23, 1926 July 31, 1928 Gene Tunney Universal 22px US flag 48 stars.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
Tunney announced his retirement from professional boxing on July 31, 1928, relinquishing the championship.
June 12, 1930 January 7, 1931 Max Schmeling Universal 22px Flag of Germany.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began German
Schmeling defeated Jack Sharkey to earn universal recognition as champion but was stripped of the NYSAC version of the title in 1931 for refusing a rematch with Sharkey. The NYSAC title remained vacant until the two men eventually did fight in 1932.
January 7, 1931 June 21, 1932 Max Schmeling NBA & IBU 22px Flag of Germany.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began German
June 21, 1932 June 29, 1933 Jack Sharkey Universal 22px US flag 48 stars.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
June 29, 1933 June 14, 1934 Primo Carnera Universal 22px Flag of Italy %281861 1946%29.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began Italian
June 14, 1934 June 13, 1935 Max Baer Universal 22px US flag 48 stars.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
In late 1934 the International Boxing Union ordered world champion Max Baer to defend his title against the reigning European champion, Pierre Charles of Belgium. When Baer instead opted to fight James J. Braddock they withdrew recognition of him as champion. The IBU matched Charles with the American heavyweight George Godfrey for their version of the title with the fight taking place in Brussels, Belgium on 2 October 1935. Godfrey won a fifteen round points decision but did not press any claim to the championship and was inactive for the next two years. The IBU then recognized Baer’s successor, James J. Braddock, as champion.
June 13, 1935 June 22, 1937 James J. Braddock Universal 22px US flag 48 stars.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
June 22, 1937 March 1, 1949 Joe Louis Universal 22px US flag 48 stars.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
As of 2009, Louis still holds the record for holding the title longer than any man (11 years, 8 months and 8 days.)
June 22, 1949 September 27, 1950 Ezzard Charles NBA 22px US flag 48 stars.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
Charles won the vacant National Boxing Association championship in June 1949, but was not universally recognized as champion until June 1951.
June 6, 1950 June 16, 1951 Lee Savold EBU 22px US flag 48 stars.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
On the retirement of Joe Louis in March 1949, the European Boxing Union announced that a fight in May 1949 between Lee Savold of the USA and British champion Bruce Woodcock would determine their version of the world heavyweight title. The NYSAC and the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) also decided to recognize the winner of the fight as their champion but it was postponed for over a year due to injuries Woodcock had suffered in a car crash. The NYSAC decided instead to recognize the winner of the upcoming bout in September 1950 between Ezzard Charles and Joe Louis as their champion. Louis was returning to the ring after an absence of 27 months. When the fight for the EBU and BBBofC world heavyweight titles eventually took place in June 1950, Savold defeated Woodcock in four rounds.
September 27, 1950 June 16, 1951 Ezzard Charles NBA & NYSAC 22px US flag 48 stars.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
June 16, 1951 July 18, 1951 Ezzard Charles Universal 22px US flag 48 stars.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
Following his defeat to Joe Louis in a non-title fight in June 1951, Lee Savold was no longer recognized as the world heavyweight champion by the EBU and the BBBofC, who both immediately transferred their recognition to Ezzard Charles. Charles therefore became universally recognized as world heavyweight champion.
July 18, 1951 September 23, 1952 Jersey Joe Walcott Universal 22px US flag 48 stars.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
September 23, 1952 November 30, 1956 Rocky Marciano Universal 22px US flag 48 stars.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
Marciano announced his retirement from professional boxing, relinquishing the championship.
November 30, 1956 June 26, 1959 Floyd Patterson Universal 22px US flag 48 stars.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
June 26, 1959 June 20, 1960 Ingemar Johansson Universal 22px Flag of Sweden.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began Swedish
June 20, 1960 September 25, 1962 Floyd Patterson Universal 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
September 25, 1962 February 25, 1964 Sonny Liston Universal 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
February 25, 1964 June 19, 1964 Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) Universal 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
The WBA and the NYSAC withdrew their recognition of Clay (now known as Muhammad Ali) as champion for agreeing to an immediate rematch against Liston, a violation of the organization’s rules at the time. The WBC and other organizations continued to recognize him. (See Ali versus Liston.)
June 19, 1964 February 6, 1967 Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) WBC 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
March 5, 1965 February 6, 1967 Ernie Terrell WBA & NYSAC 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
February 6, 1967 April 29, 1967 Muhammad Ali Universal 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
The WBA, the NYSAC and several other US state boxing commissions withdrew recognition of Ali as champion for his refusal to be inducted into the United States Army subsequent to being drafted in early 1967.
April 29, 1967 March, 1969 Muhammad Ali WBC 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
The WBC eventually followed the lead of the WBA and the NYSAC and stripped Ali of their title in March 1969.
March 4, 1968 February 16, 1970 Joe Frazier NYSAC 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
April 28, 1968 February 16, 1970 Jimmy Ellis WBA 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
February 16, 1970 January 22, 1973 Joe Frazier Universal 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
Frazier and Ellis fought on February 16, 1970, at Madison Square Garden, New York. Frazier entered the ring as the holder of NYSAC version of the world title and Ellis held the WBA heavyweight title. The fight was also for the WBC title vacated by Muhammad Ali. Frazier defeated Ellis and was universally recognized as champion. He cemented his reputation upon defeating Muhammad Ali on March 8, 1971.
January 22, 1973 October 30, 1974 George Foreman Universal 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
October 30, 1974 February 15, 1978 Muhammad Ali Universal 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
February 15, 1978 March 18, 19783 Leon Spinks Universal 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
March 18, 1978 September 15, 1978 Leon Spinks WBA 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
March 18, 1978 June 9, 1978 Ken Norton WBC 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
Spinks was stripped of his world title by the WBC for refusing to defend his title against their #1 ranked contender, Ken Norton. Spinks instead agreed to fight a return bout against Ali for the WBA crown. The WBC awarded Norton the title and, since he lost to Larry Holmes in his next defense, he is sometimes omitted from a list of heavyweight champions because he never won a world title fight.
June 9, 1978 December 11, 1983 Larry Holmes WBC 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
Holmes relinquished his WBC title to assume the championship of the newly formed International Boxing Federation.
September 15, 1978 April 27, 1979 Muhammad Ali WBA 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
Believing his career over, Ali relinquished his WBA title in exchange for a payment from promoter Don King, who was trying to stage a bout between then-WBC champ Larry Holmes and John Tate for the undisputed title. The bout never materialized, and Ali would return to the ring in 1980.
October 20, 1979 March 31, 1980 John Tate WBA 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
March 31, 1980 December 10, 1982 Mike Weaver WBA 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
December 10, 1982 September 23, 1983 Michael Dokes WBA 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
September 23, 1983 December 1, 1984 Gerrie Coetzee WBA 22px Flag of South Africa 1928 1994.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began South African
December 11, 1983 September 21, 1985 Larry Holmes IBF 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
March 9, 1984 August 31, 1984 Tim Witherspoon WBC 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
August 31, 1984 March 22, 1986 Pinklon Thomas WBC 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
December 1, 1984 April 29, 1985 Greg Page WBA 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
April 29, 1985 January 17, 1986 Tony Tubbs WBA 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
September 21, 1985 February 19, 19873 Michael Spinks IBF 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
January 17, 1986 December 12, 1986 Tim Witherspoon WBA 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
March 22, 1986 November 22, 1986 Trevor Berbick WBC 22px Flag of Canada.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began22px Flag of Jamaica.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began Canadian / Jamaican
Jamaican born Berbick was a naturalized Canadian citizen and former Canadian heavyweight champion.
November 22, 1986 March 7, 1987 Mike Tyson WBC 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
December 12, 1986 March 7, 1987 James ‘Bonecrusher’ Smith WBA 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
March 7, 1987 August 1, 1987 Mike Tyson WBA & WBC 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
May 30, 1987 August 1, 1987 Tony Tucker IBF 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
August 1, 1987 May 6, 1989 Mike Tyson Universal 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
May 6, 1989 January 11, 1991 Francesco Damiani WBO 22px Flag of Italy.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began Italian
Though Damiani defeated Johnny DuPlooy to become the WBO’s first Heavyweight champion, Tyson’s reign in the division during this period is virtually undisputed. Additionally, during this period Tyson also knocked out Michael Spinks who some regarded as the ‘lineal champion.’
May 6, 1989 February 11, 1990 Mike Tyson IBF, WBA & WBC 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
February 11, 1990 October 25, 1990 James “Buster” Douglas IBF, WBA & WBC 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
October 25, 1990 November 13, 1992 Evander Holyfield IBF, WBA & WBC 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
January 11, 1991 December 24, 1991 Ray Mercer WBO 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
May 15, 1992 February 3, 1993 Michael Moorer WBO 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
November 13, 1992 December 14, 1992 Riddick Bowe IBF, WBA & WBC 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
Bowe was stripped of his WBC championship for refusing to fight Lennox Lewis.
December 14, 1992 November 6, 1993 Riddick Bowe IBF & WBA 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
December 14, 1992 September 24, 1994 Lennox Lewis WBC 22px Flag of the United Kingdom.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began British
Lewis was born in England but moved to Ontario, Canada at the age of 12, later winning an Olympic gold medal for Canada. Lewis defeated Razor Ruddock on October 31, 1992, in a WBC ‘eliminator’ fight. When Riddick Bowe‘s championship recognition was withdrawn by the organization, the WBC immediately awarded Lewis the title.
June 7, 1993 October 29, 1993 Tommy Morrison WBO 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
October 29, 1993 March 19, 1994 Michael Bentt WBO 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
November 6, 1993 April 22, 1994 Evander Holyfield IBF & WBA 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
March 19, 1994 March 11, 1995 Herbie Hide WBO 22px Flag of the United Kingdom.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began British
April 22, 1994 November 5, 1994 Michael Moorer IBF & WBA 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
September 24, 1994 September 2, 1995 Oliver McCall WBC 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
November 5, 1994 March 4, 1995 George Foreman IBF & WBA 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
The World Boxing Association withdrew its recognition of Foreman, but Foreman retained IBF championship recognition until it too was withdrawn.
March 4, 1995 June 28, 1995 George Foreman IBF 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
The IBF withdrew its recognition of Foreman when he declined a rematch with Axel Schulz of Germany. Schultz was matched with Francois Botha of South Africa for the vacant title. The bout took place on December 9, 1995 in Stuttgart and resulted in a split decision points victory for Botha. Botha however tested positive for illegal anabolic steroids in a post-fight drugs test and the result was changed to a no-contest. Although some record books continue to list Botha as a world champion, the IBF state that they do not regard that he was ever champion.
March 11, 1995 May 1, 1996 Riddick Bowe WBO 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
April 8, 1995 September 7, 1996 Bruce Seldon WBA 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
September 2, 1995 March 16, 1996 Frank Bruno WBC 22px Flag of the United Kingdom.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began British
March 16, 1996 September 7, 1996 Mike Tyson WBC 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
June 22, 1996 November 8, 1997 Michael Moorer IBF 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
June 29, 1996 February 17, 1997 Henry Akinwande WBO 22px Flag of the United Kingdom.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began British
Akinwande had been ranked the WBC’s #2 contender when he won the WBO title. The WBC, which has feuded with the WBO since the latter’s founding in 1988, dropped Akinwande from its rankings altogether. Akinwande subsequently relinquished his WBO title in exchange for the opportunity to meet Lennox Lewis in a bout for the WBC championship.
September 7, 1996 September 24, 1996 Mike Tyson WBA & WBC 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
September 24, 1996 November 9, 1996 Mike Tyson WBA 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
November 9, 1996 November 8, 1997 Evander Holyfield WBA 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
February 7, 1997 November 13, 1999 Lennox Lewis WBC 22px Flag of the United Kingdom.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began British
June 28, 1997 June 26, 1999 Herbie Hide WBO 22px Flag of the United Kingdom.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began British
November 8, 1997 November 13, 1999 Evander Holyfield IBF & WBA 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
June 26, 1999 April 1, 2000 Vitali Klitschko WBO 22px Flag of Ukraine.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began Ukrainian
November 13, 1999 April 29, 2000 Lennox Lewis IBF, WBA & WBC 22px Flag of the United Kingdom.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began British
In early 2000 the World Boxing Association and Lewis were sued by representatives of John Ruiz claiming that they had reneged on an agreement by which Ruiz would have fought Lewis for the WBA title. A New Jersey court ruled in favor of Ruiz, and ordered Lewis to either have his next bout against Ruiz or relinquish the title. Lewis elected instead to fight contender Michael Grant, relinquishing his WBA title on the day of the match.
April 1, 2000 October 14, 2000 Chris Byrd WBO 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
April 29, 2000 April 22, 2001 Lennox Lewis IBF & WBC 22px Flag of the United Kingdom.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began British
August 12, 2000 March 3, 2001 Evander Holyfield WBA 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
October 14, 2000 March 8, 2003 Wladimir Klitschko WBO 22px Flag of Ukraine.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began Ukrainian
March 3, 2001 March 1, 2003 John Ruiz WBA 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
April 22, 2001 November 17, 2001 Hasim Rahman IBF & WBC 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
November 17, 2001 September 5, 2002 Lennox Lewis IBF & WBC 22px Flag of the United Kingdom.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began British
Lewis relinquished the IBF title upon receiving payment of $1 million (US) by promoter Don King, who wished to stage a bout between Chris Byrd and Evander Holyfield for the vacant title.
September 5, 2002 February 6, 2004 Lennox Lewis WBC 22px Flag of the United Kingdom.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began British
December 14, 2002 April 22, 2006 Chris Byrd IBF 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
March 1, 2003 February 20, 2004 Roy Jones Jr. WBA 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
March 8, 2003 October 9, 2003 Corrie Sanders WBO 22px Flag of South Africa.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began South African
February 20, 2004 December 17, 2005 John Ruiz WBA 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
Ruiz beat Hasim Rahman on December 13, 2003, to become the WBA’s “interim” champion. He was awarded the championship following Roy Jones, Jr.’s announcement that he was relinquishing it to concentrate on lower weight divisions. Ruiz’s title reign ended on April 30, 2005, following a loss to James Toney but ten days later, a drug test on Toney detected he had used products containing nandrolone, an anabolic steroid. Thus, Toney’s victory was changed to a ‘no contest’ by New York state athletic commission, and as a result, the WBA declared Ruiz was keeping the title.
April 10, 2004 April 1, 2006 Lamon Brewster WBO 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
April 24, 2004 November 9, 2005 Vitali Klitschko WBC 22px Flag of Ukraine.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began Ukrainian
November 9, 2005 August 13, 2006 Hasim Rahman WBC 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
Rahman defeated Monte Barrett on August 13, 2005, to become the WBC’s “interim” champion. He was awarded the championship following Vitali Klitschko‘s announcement that he was retiring due to injury.
December 17, 2005 April 15, 2007 Nikolay Valuev WBA 22px Flag of Russia.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began Russian
April 1, 2006 November 4, 2006 Sergei Liakhovich WBO 22px Flag of Belarus.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began Belarusian
April 22, 2006 February 23, 2008 Wladimir Klitschko IBF 22px Flag of Ukraine.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began Ukrainian
August 13, 2006 March 8, 2008 Oleg Maskaev WBC 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began22px Flag of Russia.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American/Russian
Maskaev was born in Kazakhstan to Russian parents. He originally held Kazakh citizenship but was granted US citizenship in 2004. In December 2006 he was also granted Russian citizenship. On September 24, 2007, Samuel Peter was declared the WBC’s “interim” champion. Peter ultimately defeated Maskaev on March 8, 2008.
November 4, 2006 June 2, 2007 Shannon Briggs WBO 22px Flag of the United States.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began American
April 15, 2007 July 4, 2008 Ruslan Chagaev WBA 22px Flag of Uzbekistan.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began Uzbekistani
Chagaev’s mandatory title defence against former champion Nikolay Valuev, scheduled for July 5, 2008, had to be cancelled for a second time after Chagaev suffered a complete tear of an Achilles tendon during his training for the fight. Because of the injury and necessary recovery time, the WBA elected to make Chagaev “Champion In Recess” and mandated that top-contenders Valuev and John Ruiz meet for the title. They set a deadline of June 26, 2009 for Chagaev to fight the champion but as this deadline was not met, Chagaev was stripped of his “Champion In Recess” title when the WBA published their Official Ratings as of June 2009.
June 2, 2007 February 23, 2008 Sultan Ibragimov WBO 22px Flag of Russia.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began Russian
February 23, 2008 present Wladimir Klitschko IBF & WBO 22px Flag of Ukraine.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began Ukrainian
March 8, 2008 October 11, 2008 Samuel Peter WBC 22px Flag of Nigeria.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began Nigerian
July 4, 20084 July 24, 2009 Ruslan Chagaev WBA 22px Flag of Uzbekistan.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began Uzbekistani
The WBA had set a deadline of June 26, 2009 for Chagaev to fight the champion but this deadline was not met. On July 24, 2009, when the WBA published their Official Ratings as of June 2009, Chagaev was stripped of his “Champion In Recess” title.
August 30, 2008 November 7, 2009 Nikolay Valuev WBA 22px Flag of Russia.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began Russian
Valuev regained the WBA title by beating John Ruiz on August 30, 2008, shortly after Chagaev had become the “Champion In Recess”. Upon making Chagaev the “Champion In Recess”, the WBA set a deadline of June 26, 2009 for him to fight the champion. This deadline was not met and Chagaev was stripped of his “Champion In Recess” title when the WBA published their Official Ratings as of June 2009.
October 11, 2008 present Vitali Klitschko WBC 22px Flag of Ukraine.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began Ukrainian
November 7, 2009 present David Haye WBA 22px Flag of the United Kingdom.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA BeganBritish
In 2010 Haye was awarded citizenship of North Cyprus 22px Flag of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.svg History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began. A state whose existence is recognized only by Turkey.

There is no doubt the heavyweights will always be the ‘Kings of the Ring’ and be the big names. The last hundred years or so of heavyweight history have been an amazing thing to watch, read and be a a part of. I don’t know about you, but I cant what to see what and who comes next.

data courtesy of Wikipedia editors, image courtesy of Wikimedia

 History of Modern Boxing: Heavy Weight Champions Since the NBA Began

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