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World Heavyweight Boxing Champions

This is a list of major heavyweight title changes which includes undisputed titles, WBA, WBC, & IBF Title changes

John L. Sullivan is last bare-knuckle champion;first champion under the Marquees of Queensbury Rules - using boxing gloves 1882

James J. Corbett def. John L. Sullivan KO-21 8-9-1892 in New Orleans, LA

Bob Fitzsimmons def. James J. Corbett KO-14 3-17-1897 in Carsen City, NV

James J. Jeffries def. Bob Fitzsimmons KO-11 6-9-1899 in Coney Island, NY....Jeffries announced his retirement 5-13-1905 the title was declared vacant

Marvin Hart def. Jack Root TKO-12 7-3-1905 in Reno, NV...Referee James J. Jeffries awards the vacant title to Hart

Tommy Burns def. Marvin Hart W-20 2-23-1906 ref.decision in Los Angeles, CA

Jack Johnson def. Tommy Burns TKO-14 12-26-1908 in Sydney, Australia...fight was actually halted by the police..Johnson is first black champion

Jess Willard def. Jack Johnson KO-26 4-15-1915 in Havana, Cuba

Jack Dempsey def. Jess Willard TKO-3 7-4-1919 in Toledo, OH

Gene Tunney def. Jack Dempsey unanimous decision 9-23-1926 in Philadelphia, PA...Tunney announced his retirement, the title was declared vacant 7-31-28

Max Schmeling def. Jack Sharkey for vacant title W-4 via foul 6-12-1930 in New York, NY

Jack Sharkey def. Max Schmeling via split-decision 6-21-1932 in Long Island, NY

Primo Carnera def. Jack Sharkey KO-6 in Long Island, NY

Max Baer def. Primo Carnera TKO-11 6-14-1934 in Long Island, NY

James J. Braddock def. Max Baer via unanimous decision 6-13-1935 unanimous decision in Long Island, NY

Joe Louis def. James J. Braddock KO-8 6-2-1937 in Chicago,IL...Louis announced his retirement, the title was declared vacant 3-1-1949

Ezzard Charles def. Jersey Joe Walcott for vacant title via unanimous decision 6-22-1949 in Chicago,IL

Jersey Joe Walcott def. Ezzard Charles KO-7 7-18-1951 in Pittsburgh, PA

Rocky Marciano def. Jersey Joe Walcott KO-13 9-23-1952 in Philadelphia, PA.....Marciano retired as the only undefeated champion with a perfect record of 49-0, the title was declared vacant 4-27-1956

Floyd Patterson def. Archie Moore for vacant title KO-5 11-30-1956 in Chicago, IL

Ingemar Johansson def. Floyd Patterson TKO-3 6-26-1959 in New York, NY

Floyd Patterson (2)def. Ingemar Johansson KO-5 6-20-1960 in New York, NY...Patterson became the first Heavweight champion to re-gain the title

Sonny Liston def. Floyd Patterson KO-1 9-25-1962 in Chicago, IL

Cassius Clay def. Sonny Liston TKO-6 2-25-1964 Miami,FL...Clay announced he would henceforth be known as Muhammed Ali

The World Boxing Association(WBA) stripped Ali of the title for signing for a return bout with Liston, all other boxing commissions still considered Ali to be the champion. The WBA declared their title to be vacant 9-14-1964

Ernie Terrell def. Eddie Machen for the vacant WBA title via unanimous decision 3-5-1965 Chicago, IL

Muhammed Ali def. Ernie Terrell for the unified and undisputed title via unanimous decision 2-6-1967 Houston, TX

Muhammed Ali was stripped of the title by all boxing commissions for refusing to be inducted into the US Army. During legal battles, Ali was banned from boxing by the WBA and New York State Athletic Commission(NYSAC) 5-9-1967

Joe Frazier def. Buster Mathis for the vacant NYSAC title TKO-11 3-4-1968 New York, NY

Jimmy Ellis def. Jerry Quarry for the vacant WBA title via unanimous decision 4-27-1968 Oakland, CA

Joe Frazier def. Jimmy Ellis for the unified and undisputed title TKO-4 2-16-1970 New York, NY

George Foreman def. Joe Frazier TKO-2 1-22-1973 Kingston, Jamaica

Muhammed Ali def. (2)George Foreman KO-8 10-30-1974 Kinshasa, Zaire...Ali won the title for the second time

Leon Spinks def.Muhammed Ali via split decision 2-15-1978 Las Vegas, NV

Spinks was stripped of the title by the World Boxing Council(WBC) for signing for a rematch with Ali instead of defending the title against the No. 1 ranked WBC contender, Ken Norton 3-18-1978

Ken Norton was named the WBC champion 3-29-1978 on the basis of his victory over Jimmy Young (15 round split decision win on points) in Las Vegas on 11/5/77 in a WBC title elimination fight

Larry Holmes def. Ken Norton via split decision for the WBC title 6-10-1978 Las Vegas, NV

Muhammed Ali (3)def. Leon Spinks via unanimous decision for WBA title 9-15-1978 New Orleans, LA...Ali became the first three-time Heavyweight champion

Ali announced his retirement, the WBA title was declared vacant 9-6-1979

John Tate def. Gerrie Coetzee for vacant WBA title via unanimous decision 10-20-1979 Pretoria, South Africa

Mike Weaver def. John Tate for WBA title KO-15 3-31-1980 Knoxville, TN

Michael Dokes def. Mike Weaver for WBA title TKO-1 12-10-1982 Las Vegas, NV

Gerrie Coetzee def. Michael Dokes for WBA title KO-10 9-23-1983 Richfield, OH

12-11-1983 Larry Holmes relinquished the WBC title in a dispute and accepted championship recognition from the newly formed International Boxing Federation(IBF). The WBC title was declared vacant

Tim Witherspoon def. Greg Page for vacant WBC title via majority decision 3-9-1984 Las Vegas, NV

Pinklon Thomas def. Tim Witherspoon for WBC title via majority decision 8-31-1984 Las Vegas, NV

Greg Page def. Gerrie Coetzee for WBA title K0-8 12-1-1984 Sun City, Boph’swana

Tony Tubbs def. Greg Page for WBA title via unanimous decision 4-29-1985 Buffalo, NY

Michael Spinks def. Larry Holmes for IBF title via unanimous decision 9-21-1985 Las Vegas, NV...Spinks became the first reigning Light-heavyweight champion to win the Heavyweight title

Tim Witherspoon def. Tony Tubbs for WBA title via majority decision 1-17-1986 Atlanta, GA...Witherspoon became a two-time champion

Trevor Berbick def. Pinklon Thomas for WBC title via unanimous decision 3-22-1986 Las Vegas, NV

Mike Tyson def. Trevor Berbick for WBC title TKO-2 11-22-1986 Las Vegas, NV

James "Bonecrusher" Smith def. Tim Witherspoon for WBA title TKO-1 12-12-1986 New York, NY

2-26-1987 Michael Spinks was stripped of the IBF title for signing to fight Gerry Cooney instead of No. 1 ranked IBF contender, Tony Tucker. The IBF title was declared vacant

Mike Tyson def. James "Bonecrusher" Smith via unanimous decision 3-7-1987 Las Vegas, NV...Tyson defended his WBC title and won Smith’s WBA title

Tony Tucker def. James "Buster" Douglas for vacant IBF title TKO-10 5-30-1987 Las Vegas, NV

Mike Tyson def. Tony Tucker via unanimous decision 8-1-1987 Las Vegas, NV...Tyson defended his WBC & WBA titles and won Tucker’s IBF title to unifiy the Heavyweight title for the first time since Muhammed Ali in 1978

James "Buster" Douglas def. Mike Tyson for the unified and undisputed title KO-10 2-11-1990 Tokyo, Japan

Evander Holyfield def. James "Buster" Douglas for the unified and undisputed title KO-3 10-25-1990 Las Vegas, NV

Riddick Bowe def. Evander Holyfield for the unified and undisputed title via unanimous decision 11-14-1992 Las Vegas, NV

12-14-1992 Riddick Bowe relinquished the WBC title in a dispute rather than defend against No. 1 ranked WBC contender, Lennox Lewis, who was awarded the WBC title retrospectively on the basis of his 2nd-round TKO of Razor Ruddock in London on 10/31/92 in a WBC title elimination fight

Evander Holyfield def. Riddick Bowe for the WBA & IBF titles via majority decision 11-6-1993 Las Vegas, NV...Holyfield became a two-time champion

Michael Moorer def. Evander Holyfield for the WBA & IBF titles via majority decision 4-24-1994 Las Vegas, NV

Oliver McCall def.Lennox Lewis for the WBC title TKO-2 9-24-1994 London, England

George Foreman def. Michael Moorer for the WBA & IBF titles KO-10 11-5-1994 Las Vegas, NV...Foreman became a two-time champion

3-4-1995 The WBA strips George Foreman of title for failing to fight No. 1 ranked WBA contender, Tony Tucker. The WBA title was declared vacant

Bruce Seldon def. Tony Tucker for vacant WBA title TKO-7 4-8-1995 Atlantic City, NJ

6-29-1995 George Foreman vacated the IBF title and accepted recognition as the WBU champion rather than fight a rematch with Axel Schulz in Germany. Foreman beat Schulz on a controversial decision in his last IBF title defense. The IBF title was declared vacant

Frank Bruno def. Oliver McCall for the WBC title via unanimous decision 9-2-1995 London, England

Francois Botha def. Axel Shultz for vacant IBF title via majority decision 12-9-1995 Suttgart, Germany...Botha was later disqualified on 2/24/96 by the IBF for failing a post-fight drug test. The IBF stated Axel Schulz would fight the No. 1 ranked IBF contender, Michael Moorer for the IBF title

Mike Tyson def. Frank Bruno for the WBC title TKO-3 3-15-1996 Las Vegas, NV...Tyson became a two-time champion

Michael Moorer def. Axel Shultz for vacant IBF title via majority decision 6-22-1996 Dortmund, Germany...Moorer became a two-time champion

Mike Tyson def. Bruce Seldon KO-1 8-7-1996 for Seldon’s WBA title, the WBC did not sanction the fight as a title fight, even though Tyson was the WBC champion Las Vegas, NV

9-24-1996 Tyson relinquished the WBC title in a dispute over whether he should have fought the WBC’s No. 1 contender, Lennox Lewis instead of trying to unify the title with Seldon. The WBC declared the title vacant

Evander Holyfield def. Mike Tyson for the WBA title TKO-9 11-9-1996 Las Vegas, NV...Holfield became a three-time champion

Lennox Lewis def. Oliver McCall for vacant WBC title TKO-5 2-7-1997 Las Vegas, NV...Lewis became a two-time champion

Evander Holyfield def. Michael Moorer TKO-9 11-8-1997 Las Vegas, NV...Holyfield defended his WBA title and won Moorer’s IBF title

Lennox Lewis def. Evander Holyfield via unanimous decision 11-13-1999 New York, NY...Lewis defended his WBC title and won Holyfield's WBA & IBF titles, becoming the first unified and undisputed champion since Riddick Bowe held that distinction in 1992

4-29-2000 Lewis was stripped of the WBA title for breeching a contract to meet the WBA's No. 1 contender, before his next scheduled bout with Michael Grant to defend the WBC and IBF titles. The WBA declared the title vacant

Evander Holyfield def. John Ruiz for vacant WBA title via majority decision 8-12-2000 Las Vegas, NV...Holyfield became a four-time champion

John Ruiz def. Evander Holyfield for WBA title via unanimous decision 3-3-2001 Las Vegas, NV

Hasim Rahman def. Lennox Lewis for the WBC and IBF titles KO-5 4-21-2001 Carnival City, South Africa

Lennox Lewis def. Hasim Rahman for the WBC and IBF titles KO-4 11-17-2001 Las Vegas, NV...Lewis became a three-time champion

9-5-2002 Lewis vacates IBF Title rather than fight mandatory IBF title match against Chris Byrd

Chris Byrd def. Evander Holyfield W-12 unanimous decision for vacant IBF Title 12-14-2002 in Atlantic City, NJ

Roy Jones Jr. def. John Ruiz for WBA Title W-12 unanimous decision 3-1-2003 in Las Vegas, NV....Jones vacates title 11-8-03 to fight for WBC Light Heavyweight Championship...WBA awards WBA Title to John Ruiz

2-6-2004 Lennox Lewis announces his retirement and vacates WBC Title

Vitali Klitschko def. Corrie Sanders TKO-8 for vacant WBC Title 4-24-04 in Los Angeles, CA

James Toney def. John Ruiz W-12 unanmous 4-30-05 in New York, NY....however after post fight physical a banned substance was found in Toney's stystem and a results were changed to a no contest on May 10, 2005..a week later John Ruiz was reinstated as WBA Champion

Vitali Klitschko announced is retirement due to a knee injury November 9, 2005 and vacates the WBC Title

Hashim Rahman is declared the new WBC Champion on November 10, 2005 as he was the number one contender and was scheduled to fight Klitschko...Rahman is a two time champion

Nikolay Valuev def John Ruiz for WBA Title W-12 majority decision 12-17-05 in Berlin, Germany

Wladimir Klitschko def. Chris Byrd for IBF Title TKO-7 4-22-06 in Mannheim, Germany

Oleg Maskaev def. Hasim Rahman for WBC Title 8-13-06 TKO-8 in Las Vegas,NV

Ruslan Chagaev def.Nikolay Valuev for WBA Title 4-14-07 W-12 majority decision in Stuttgart, Germany

Samuel Peter def. Oleg Maskaev for WBC Title 3-6-08 TKO 6 in Cancun, Mexico