History of the World Heavyweight Championship


During the history of the division's lineal championship, there have been occasions when the reigning champ has retired, thus ending
that particular strand of the lineage. In such instances a new lineage must be established, which is basically filling a vacancy.
For background information on this, please click here.


1892
Sep 7 - James J Corbett  KO 21  John L Sullivan (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA)

1893
-

1894

Corbett was a masterful boxer with excellent speed and stamina
Jan 25 - James J Corbett  KO 3  Charlie Mitchell (Jacksonville, Florida, USA)

1895
-

1896
-

1897
Mar 17 - Bob Fitzsimmons  KO 14  James J Corbett (Carson City, Nevada, USA)

1898
-

1899
Jun 9 - James J Jeffries  KO 11  Bob Fitzsimmons (New York City, New York, USA)

Nov 3 - James J Jeffries  PTS 25  Tom Sharkey (New York City, New York, USA)

1900
Apr 6 - James J Jeffries  KO 1  Jack Finnegan (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

May 11 - James J Jeffries  KO 23  James J Corbett (New York City, New York, USA)

1901
Nov 15 - James J Jeffries  KO 5  Gus Ruhlin (San Francisco, California, USA)

1902
Jul 25 - James J Jeffries  KO 8  Bob Fitzsimmons (San Francisco, California, USA)

1903
Jeffries (left) twice beat the outstanding - though past his prime - Corbett
Aug 14 - James J Jeffries  KO 10  James J Corbett (San Francisco, California, USA)

1904
Aug 26 - James J Jeffries  KO 2  Jack Munroe (San Francisco, California, USA)

1905
May - Jeffries vacates the world championship and retires

Jul 3 - Marvin Hart  KO 12  Jack Root (Reno, Nevada, USA)

1906
Feb 23 - Tommy Burns  PTS 20  Marvin Hart (Los Angeles, California, USA)

Oct 2 - Tommy Burns  KO 15  Jim Flynn (Los Angeles, California, USA)

Nov 28 - Tommy Burns  D 15  Philadelphia Jack O’Brien (Los Angeles, California, USA)

1907
May 8 - Tommy Burns  PTS 20  Philadelphia Jack O’Brien (Los Angeles, California, USA)

Jul 4 - Tommy Burns  KO 1  Bill Squires (Colma, California, USA)
Burns was the first heavyweight champion to defend outside the USA
Dec 2 - Tommy Burns  KO 10  Gunner Moir (London, England)

1908
Feb 10 - Tommy Burns  KO 4  Jack Palmer (London, England)

Mar 17 - Tommy Burns  KO 1  Jem Roche (Dublin, Ireland)

Apr 18 - Tommy Burns  KO 5  Jewey Smith (Paris, France)

Jun 13 - Tommy Burns  KO 8  Bill Squires (Paris, France)

Aug 14 - Tommy Burns  KO 13  Bill Squires (Sydney, Australia)

Sep 2 - Tommy Burns  KO 6  Bill Lang (Melbourne, Australia)

Dec 26 - Jack Johnson  KO 14  Tommy Burns (Sydney, Australia)

1909
Oct 16 - Jack Johnson  KO 12  Stanley Ketchel (Colma, California, USA)

1910
Jul 4 - Jack Johnson  KO 15  James Jeffries (Reno, Nevada, USA)

1911
-

1912
Johnson led perhaps the most colourful life of any heavyweight champion
Jul 4 - Jack Johnson  KO 9  Jim Flynn (Las Vegas, New Mexico, USA)

1913
Dec 19 - Jack Johnson  D 10  Battling Jim Johnson (Paris, France)

1914
Jun 27 - Jack Johnson  PTS 20  Frank Moran (Paris, France)

1915
Apr 5 - Jess Willard  KO 26  Jack Johnson (Havana, Cuba)

1916
Mar 25 - Jess Willard  ND 10  Frank Moran (New York City, New York, USA)

1917
-

1918
-

1919
Jul 4 - Jack Dempsey  KO 4  Jess Willard (Toledo, Ohio, USA)

1920
Sep 6 - Jack Dempsey  KO 3  Billy Miske (Benton Harbor, Michigan, USA)

Dec 14 - Jack Dempsey  KO 12  Bill Brennan (New York City, New York, USA)
1921
Jul 2 - Jack Dempsey  KO 4  Georges Carpentier (Jersey City, New Jersey, USA)

1922
-

1923
The charismatic Dempsey became a superstar during the 1920's
Jul 4 - Jack Dempsey  PTS 15  Tommy Gibbons (Shelby, Montana, USA)

Sep 14 - Jack Dempsey  KO 2  Luis Angel Firpo (New York City, New York, USA)

1924
-

1925
-

1926
Sep 23 - Gene Tunney  PTS 10  Jack Dempsey (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

1927
Sep 22 - Gene Tunney  PTS 10  Jack Dempsey (Chicago, Illinois, USA)

1928
Jul 26 - Gene Tunney  KO 12  Tom Heeney (New York City, New York, USA)

Jul - Tunney vacates the world championship and retires
1929
-

1930
Jun 12 - Max Schmeling  DQ 4  Jack Sharkey (New York City, New York, USA)

1931
Jul 3 - Max Schmeling  KO 15  Young Stribling (Cleveland, Ohio, USA)

1932
Schmeling was unlucky to lose the championship on a highly controversial decision

Jun 21 - Jack Sharkey  PTS 15  Max Schmeling (New York City, New York, USA)

1933
Jun 29 - Primo Carnera  KO 6  Jack Sharkey (New York City, New York, USA)

Oct 22 - Primo Carnera  PTS 15  Paolino Uzcudun (Rome, Italy)

1934
Mar 1 - Primo Carnera  PTS 15  Tommy Loughran (Miami, Florida, USA)

Baer starred in a movie called “The Prizefighter & The Lady”

Jun 14 - Max Baer  KO 11  Primo Carnera (New York City, New York, USA)

1935
Jun 13 - James Braddock  PTS 15  Max Baer (New York City, New York, USA)

1936
-

1937
Jun 22 - Joe Louis  KO 8  James Braddock (Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Aug 30 - Joe Louis  PTS 15  Tommy Farr (New York City, New York, USA)

1938
Feb 23 - Joe Louis  KO 3  Nathan Mann (New York City, New York, USA)

Apr 1 - Joe Louis  KO 5  Harry Thomas (Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Jun 22 - Joe Louis  KO 1  Max Schmeling (New York City, New York, USA)

1939

Louis in training

Jan 25 - Joe Louis  KO 1  John Henry Lewis (New York City, New York, USA)

Apr 17 - Joe Louis  KO 1  Jack Roper (Los Angeles, California, USA)

Jun 28 - Joe Louis  KO 4  Tony Galento (New York City, New York, USA)

Sep 20 - Joe Louis  KO 11  Bob Pastor (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

1940
Feb 9 - Joe Louis  PTS 15  Arturo Godoy (New York City, New York, USA)

Mar 29 - Joe Louis  KO 2  Johnny Paycheck (New York City, New York, USA)

Jun 20 - Joe Louis  KO 8  Arturo Godoy (New York City, New York, USA)

Dec 16 - Joe Louis  KO 6  Al McCoy (Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

1941
Jan 31 - Joe Louis  KO 5  Red Burman (New York City, New York, USA)

Feb 17 - Joe Louis  KO 2  Gus Dorazio (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

Mar 21 - Joe Louis  KO 13  Abe Simon (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Apr 8 - Joe Louis  KO 9  Tony Musto (St Louis, Missouri, USA)

May 23 - Joe Louis  DQ 7  Buddy Baer (Washington DC, USA)

Jun 18 - Joe Louis  KO 13  Billy Conn (New York City, New York, USA)

Sep 29 - Joe Louis  KO 6  Lou Nova (New York City, New York, USA)

1942
Jan 9 - Joe Louis  KO 1  Buddy Baer (New York City, New York, USA)
Louis holds the records for the longest reign and most successful defences

Mar 27 - Joe Louis  KO 6  Abe Simon (New York City, New York, USA)

1943
-

1944
-

1945
-

1946
Jun 19 - Joe Louis  KO 8  Billy Conn (New York City, New York, USA)

Sep 18 - Joe Louis  KO 1  Tami Mauriello (New York City, New York, USA)

1947
Dec 5 - Joe Louis  PTS 15  Jersey Joe Walcott (New York City, New York, USA)

1948
Jun 25 - Joe Louis  KO 11  Jersey Joe Walcott (New York City, New York, USA)

1949
Mar - Louis vacates the world championship and retires
1950
Sep 27 - Ezzard Charles  PTS 15  Joe Louis (New York City, New York, USA)

Dec 5 - Ezzard Charles  KO 11  Nick Barone (Cincinnati, Ohio, USA)

1951
Jan 12 - Ezzard Charles  KO 10  Lee Oma (New York City, New York, USA)

Mar 7 - Ezzard Charles  PTS 15  Jersey Joe Walcott (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

May 30 - Ezzard Charles  PTS 15  Joey Maxim (Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Jul 18 - Jersey Joe Walcott  KO 7  Ezzard Charles (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)

1952
Walcott was a genial family man and a true sportsman

Jun 5 - Jersey Joe Walcott  PTS 15  Ezzard Charles (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

Sep 23 - Rocky Marciano  KO 13  Jersey Joe Walcott (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

1953
May 15 - Rocky Marciano  KO 1  Jersey Joe Walcott (Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Sep 24 - Rocky Marciano  KO 11  Roland LaStarza (New York City, New York, USA)

1954
Jun 17 - Rocky Marciano  PTS 15  Ezzard Charles (New York City, New York, USA)
Rocky was an all-American hero and an awesome slugger

Sep 17 - Rocky Marciano  KO 8  Ezzard Charles (New York City, New York, USA)

1955
May 16 - Rocky Marciano  KO 9  Don Cockell (San Francisco, California, USA)

Sep 21 - Rocky Marciano  KO 9  Archie Moore (New York City, New York, USA)

1956
Apr - Marciano vacates the world championship and retires

Nov 30 - Floyd Patterson  KO 5  Archie Moore (Chicago, Illinois, USA)

1957
Jul 29 - Floyd Patterson  KO 10  Tommy Jackson (New York City, New York, USA)

Aug 22 - Floyd Patterson  KO 6  Pete Rademacher (Seattle, Washington, USA)

1958
Aug 18 - Floyd Patterson  KO 13  Roy Harris (Los Angeles, California, USA)

1959
May 1 - Floyd Patterson  KO 11  Brian London (Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)
Patterson and Johansson engaged in a classic trilogy

Jun 26 - Ingemar Johansson  KO 3  Floyd Patterson (New York City, New York, USA)

1960
Jun 20 - Floyd Patterson  KO 5  Ingemar Johansson (New York City, New York, USA)

1961
Mar 13 - Floyd Patterson  KO 6  Ingemar Johansson (Miami, Florida, USA)

Dec 4 - Floyd Patterson  KO 4  Tom McNeeley (Toronto, Canada)

1962
Sep 25 - Sonny Liston  KO 1  Floyd Patterson (Chicago, Illinois, USA)

1963
Jul 22 - Sonny Liston  KO 1  Floyd Patterson (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

1964
Feb 25 - Cassius Clay  KO 7  Sonny Liston (Miami, Florida, USA)

Mar - Clay changes his name to Muhammad Ali

1965
May 25 - Muhammad Ali  KO 1  Sonny Liston (Lewiston, Maine, USA)

Nov 22 - Muhammad Ali  KO 12  Floyd Patterson (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

1966
Ali was taken the distance by Chuvalo

Mar 29 - Muhammad Ali  PTS 15  George Chuvalo (Toronto, Canada)

May 21 - Muhammad Ali  KO 6  Henry Cooper (London, England)

Aug 6 - Muhammad Ali  KO 3  Brian London (London, England)

Sep 10 - Muhammad Ali  KO 12  Karl Mildenberger (Frankfurt, West Germany)

Nov 14 - Muhammad Ali  KO 3  Cleveland Williams (Houston, Texas, USA)

1967
Feb 6 - Muhammad Ali  PTS 15  Ernie Terrell (Houston, Texas, USA)

Mar 22 - Muhammad Ali  KO 7  Zora Folley (New York City, New York, USA)

1968
-

1969
-

1970
Feb - Ali vacates the world championship and retires

Feb 16 - Joe Frazier  KO 5  Jimmy Ellis (New York City, New York, USA)

Nov 18 - Joe Frazier  KO 2  Bob Foster (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

1971
Mar 8 - Joe Frazier  PTS 15  Muhammad Ali (New York City, New York, USA)

1972
Jan 15 - Joe Frazier  KO 4  Terry Daniels (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA)

May 25 - Joe Frazier  KO 5  Ron Stander (Omaha, Nebraska, USA)

1973
Jan 22 - George Foreman  KO 2  Joe Frazier (Kingston, Jamaica)

Sep 1 - George Foreman  KO 1  Jose Roman (Tokyo, Japan)

1974

Foreman was spectacular when he flattened Norton

Mar 26 - George Foreman  KO 2  Ken Norton (Caracas, Venezuela)

Oct 30 - Muhammad Ali  KO 8  George Foreman (Kinshasa, Zaire)

1975
Mar 24 - Muhammad Ali  KO 15  Chuck Wepner (Cleveland, Ohio, USA)

May 16 - Muhammad Ali  KO 11  Ron Lyle (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Jun 30 - Muhammad Ali  PTS 15  Joe Bugner (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Ali became an international icon

Oct 1 - Muhammad Ali  KO 15  Joe Frazier (Quezon City, Philippines)

1976
Feb 20 - Muhammad Ali  KO 5  Jean-Pierre Coopman (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

Apr 30 - Muhammad Ali  PTS 15  Jimmy Young (Landover, Maryland, USA)

May 24 - Muhammad Ali  KO 5  Richard Dunn (Munich, West Germany)

Sep 28 - Muhammad Ali  PTS 15  Ken Norton (New York City, New York, USA)

1977
May 16 - Muhammad Ali  PTS 15  Alfredo Evangelista (Landover, Maryland, USA)

Sep 29 - Muhammad Ali  PTS 15  Earnie Shavers (New York City, New York, USA)

1978
Feb 15 - Leon Spinks  PTS 15  Muhammad Ali (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)
Sep 15 - Muhammad Ali  PTS 15  Leon Spinks (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA)

1979
Jun - Ali vacates the world championship and retires

1980
Oct 2 - Larry Holmes  KO 11  Muhammad Ali (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

1981
Apr 11 - Larry Holmes  PTS 15  Trevor Berbick (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Jun 12 - Larry Holmes  KO 3  Leon Spinks (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Nov 6 - Larry Holmes  KO 11  Renaldo Snipes (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)

1982

Holmes-Cooney was an epic clash that captured worldwide attention

Jun 11 - Larry Holmes  KO 13  Gerry Cooney (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Nov 26 - Larry Holmes  PTS 15  Randall Cobb (Houston, Texas, USA)

1983
Mar 27 - Larry Holmes  PTS 12  Lucien Rodriguez (Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA)

May 20 - Larry Holmes  PTS 12  Tim Witherspoon (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)
Holmes was from Easton in Pennsylvania

Sep 10 - Larry Holmes  KO 5  Scott Frank (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)

Nov 25 - Larry Holmes  KO 1  Marvis Frazier (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

1984
Nov 9 - Larry Holmes  KO 12  Bonecrusher Smith (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

1985
Mar 15 - Larry Holmes  KO 10  David Bey (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

May 20 - Larry Holmes  PTS 15  Carl Williams (Reno, Nevada, USA)

Sep 21 - Michael Spinks  PTS 15  Larry Holmes (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

1986
Apr 19 - Michael Spinks  PTS 15  Larry Holmes (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Sep 6 - Michael Spinks  KO 4  Steffen Tangstad (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

1987
Jun 15 - Michael Spinks  KO 5  Gerry Cooney (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)

1988
Spinks’ defence against Tyson was an eagerly awaited event

Jun 27 - Mike Tyson  KO 1  Michael Spinks (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)

1989
Feb 25 - Mike Tyson  KO 5  Frank Bruno (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Jul 21 - Mike Tyson  KO 1  Carl Williams (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)

1990
Feb 11 - Buster Douglas  KO 10  Mike Tyson (Tokyo, Japan)
Douglas defended against Holyfield at The Mirage Hotel-Casino

Oct 25 - Evander Holyfield  KO 3  Buster Douglas (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

1991
Apr 19 - Evander Holyfield  PTS 12  George Foreman (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)

Nov 23 - Evander Holyfield  KO 7  Bert Cooper (Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

1992
Jun 19 - Evander Holyfield  PTS 12  Larry Holmes (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Nov 13 - Riddick Bowe  PTS 12  Evander Holyfield (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

1993
Bowe was expected to have a long reign until he ran into Holyfield a second time

Feb 6 - Riddick Bowe  KO 1  Michael Dokes (New York City, New York, USA)

Jul 22 - Riddick Bowe  KO 2  Jesse Ferguson (Washington DC, USA)

Nov 6 - Evander Holyfield  PTS 12  Riddick Bowe (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

1994
Apr 22 - Michael Moorer  PTS 12  Evander Holyfield (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)
Foreman's victory over Moorer was a huge upset

Nov 5 - George Foreman  KO 10  Michael Moorer (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

1995
Apr 22 - George Foreman  PTS 12  Axel Schulz (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

1996
Nov 2 - George Foreman  PTS 12  Crawford Grimsley (Tokyo, Japan)

1997
Apr 26 - George Foreman  PTS 12  Lou Savarese (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)
Briggs ended the second reign of the legendary Foreman

Nov 22 - Shannon Briggs  PTS 12  George Foreman (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)

1998
Mar 28 - Lennox Lewis  KO 5  Shannon Briggs (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)

Sep 27 - Lennox Lewis  PTS 12  Zeljko Mavrovic (Uncasville, Connecticut, USA)

1999

Both clashes between Lewis and Holyfield were very close

Mar 13 - Lennox Lewis  D 12  Evander Holyfield (New York City, New York, USA)

Nov 13 - Lennox Lewis  PTS 12  Evander Holyfield (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

2000
Apr 29 - Lennox Lewis  KO 2  Michael Grant (New York City, New York, USA)

Jul 15 - Lennox Lewis  KO 2  Frans Botha (London, England)

Nov 11 - Lennox Lewis  PTS 12  David Tua (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

2001
Apr 22 - Hasim Rahman  KO 5  Lennox Lewis (Brakpan, South Africa)

Nov 17 - Lennox Lewis  KO 4  Hasim Rahman (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

2002
Jun 8 - Lennox Lewis  KO 8  Mike Tyson (Memphis, Tennessee, USA)

2003

Klitschko was badly cut by Lewis

Jun 21 - Lennox Lewis  KO 6  Vitali Klitschko (Los Angeles, California, USA)

2004
Feb - Lewis vacates the world championship and retires

Apr 24 - Vitali Klitschko  KO 8  Corrie Sanders (Los Angeles, California, USA)

Dec 11 - Vitali Klitschko  KO 8  Danny Williams (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

2005
Nov - Klitschko vacates the world championship and retires

2006
-

2007
-

2008
Feb 23 - Wladimir Klitschko  PTS 12  Sultan Ibragimov (New York City, New York, USA)

Jul 12 - Wladimir Klitschko  KO 11  Tony Thompson (Hamburg, Germany)

Dec 13 - Wladimir Klitschko  KO 7  Hasim Rachman (Mannheim, Germany)

2009
Jun 20 - Wladimir Klitschko  KO 9  Ruslan Chagaev (Gelsenkirchen, Germany)

2010
Mar 20 - Wladimir Klitschko  KO 12  Eddie Chambers (Dusseldorf, Germany)

Sep 11 - Wladimir Klitschko  KO 10  Samuel Peter (Frankfurt, Germany)

2011














A rare blow from Haye in an otherwise mediocre effort against Klitschko

Jul 2 - Wladimir Klitschko  PTS 12  David Haye (Hamburg, Germany)

2012
Mar 3 - Wladimir Klitschko  KO 4  Jean-Marc Mormeck (Dusseldorf, Germany)

Jul 7 - Wladimir Klitschko  KO 6  Tony Thompson (Berne, Switzerland)

Nov 10 - Wladimir Klitschko  PTS 12  Mariusz Wach (Hamburg, Germany)

2013
May 4 - Wladimir Klitschko  KO 6  Francesco Pianeta (Mannheim, Germany)

Oct 5 - Wladimir Klitschko  PTS 12  Alexander Povetkin (Moscow, Russia)

2014
Apr 26 - Wladimir Klitschko  KO 5  Alex Leapai (Oberhausen, Germany)

Nov 15 - Wladimir Klitschko  KO 5  Kubrat Pulev (Hamburg, Germany)

2015
Apr 25 - Wladimir Klitschko  PTS 12  Bryant Jennings (New York City, New York, USA)

Nov 28 - Tyson Fury  PTS 12  Wladimir Klitschko (Dusseldorf, Germany)




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