History of the World Light-Heavyweight Championship


During the history of the division's lineal championship, there have been occasions when the reigning champ has moved up in weight or 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.




1903
Apr 22 - Jack Root  PTS 10  Kid McCoy (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Jul 4 - George Gardner  KO 12  Jack Root (Fort Erie, Canada)

Nov 25 - Bob Fitzsimmons  PTS 20  George Gardner (San Francisco, California, USA)

1904
-

1905
Fitzsimmons' reign came to end courtesy of O’Brien

Dec 20 - Philadelphia Jack O’Brien  KO 13  Bob Fitzsimmons (San Francisco, California, USA)

1906
-

1907
-

1908
-

1909
-

1910
-

1912
* During this year O’Brien’s career came to a close though there appears to have been no
   formal announcement and he never officially vacated the world championship

1913
-

1914
Apr 28 - Jack Dillon  PTS 10  Al Norton (Kansas City, Missouri, USA)

Jun 15 - Jack Dillon  PTS 12  Bob Moha (Butte, Montana, USA)

1915
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1916
Apr 25 - Jack Dillon  PTS 15  Battling Levinsky (Kansas City, Missouri, USA)

Oct 24 - Battling Levinsky  PTS 12  Jack Dillon (Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

1917
-

1918
-

1919
-

1920
Oct 12 - Georges Carpentier  KO 4  Battling Levinsky (Jersey City, New Jersey, USA)

1921
-

1922
May 11 - Georges Carpentier  KO 1  Ted “Kid” Lewis (London, England)
Dillon was an underrated champion who regularly fought heavyweights

Sep 24 - Battling Siki  KO 6  Georges Carpentier (Paris, France)

1923
Mar 17 - Mike McTigue  PTS 20  Battling Siki (Dublin, Ireland)

1924
-

1925
May 30 - Paul Berlenbach  PTS 15  Mike McTigue (New York City, New York, USA)

Sep 11 - Paul Berlenbach  KO 11  Jimmy Slattery (New York City, New York, USA)

Dec 11 - Paul Berlenbach  PTS 15  Jack Delaney (New York City, New York, USA)

1926
Jun 10 - Paul Berlenbach  PTS 15  Young Stribling (New York City, New York, USA)
Delaney’s heavyweight ambitions ended his reign as champion

Jul 16 - Jack Delaney  PTS 15  Paul Berlenbach (New York City, New York, USA)

1927
Jun - Delaney vacates the world championship to campaign at heavyweight

Oct 7 - Tommy Loughran  PTS 15  Mike McTigue (New York City, New York, USA)

Dec 12 - Tommy Loughran  PTS 15  Jimmy Slattery (New York City, New York, USA)

1928
Jan 6 - Tommy Loughran  PTS 15  Leo Lomski (New York City, New York, USA)

Jun 1 - Tommy Loughran  PTS 15  Pete Latzo (New York City, New York, USA)
Loughran in training

Jul 16 - Tommy Loughran  PTS 10  Pete Latzo (Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA)

1929
Mar 28 - Tommy Loughran  PTS 10  Mickey Walker (Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Jul 18 - Tommy Loughran  PTS 15  James Braddock (New York City, New York, USA)

Sep - Loughran vacates the world championship to campaign at heavyweight

1930
Feb 10 - Jimmy Slattery  PTS 15  Lou Scozza (New York City, New York, USA)

Jun 25 - Maxie Rosenbloom  PTS 15  Jimmy Slattery (Buffalo, New York, USA)

Oct 22 - Maxie Rosenbloom  KO 11  Abie Bain (New York City, New York, USA)

1931
Aug 5 - Maxie Rosenbloom  PTS 15  Jimmy Slattery (New York City, New York, USA)

1932
Jul 14 - Maxie Rosenbloom  PTS 15  Lou Scozza (Buffalo, New York, USA)

1933

A portrait of Rosenbloom

Mar 10 - Maxie Rosenbloom  PTS 15  Adolf Heuser (New York City, New York, USA)

Mar 24 - Maxie Rosenbloom  KO 4  Bob Godwin (New York City, New York, USA)

Nov 3 - Maxie Rosenbloom  PTS 15  Mickey Walker (New York City, New York, USA)

1934
Feb 5 - Maxie Rosenbloom  D 15  Joe Knight (Miami, Florida, USA)

Nov 16 - Bob Olin  PTS 15  Maxie Rosenbloom (New York City, New York, USA)

1935
Oct 31 - John Henry Lewis  PTS 15  Bob Olin (St Louis, Missouri, USA)

1936
Mar 13 - John Henry Lewis  PTS 15  Jock McAvoy (New York City, New York, USA)

Nov 9 - John Henry Lewis  PTS 15  Len Harvey (London, England)

1937
Lewis was a talented champion

Jun 3 - John Henry Lewis  KO 8  Bob Olin (St Louis, Missouri, USA)

1938
Apr 25 - John Henry Lewis  KO 4  Emilio Martinez (Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)

Oct 28 - John Henry Lewis  PTS 15  Al Gainer (New Haven, Connecticut, USA)

1939
Jun - Lewis vacates the world championship and retires

Jul 13 - Billy Conn  PTS 15  Melio Bettina (New York City, New York, USA)

Sep 25 - Billy Conn  PTS 15  Melio Bettina (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)

Nov 17 - Billy Conn  PTS 15  Gus Lesnevich (New York City, New York, USA)

1940

Conn with his trainer (Freddie Fierro)

Jun 5 - Billy Conn  PTS 15  Gus Lesnevich (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

1941
May - Conn vacates the world championship to campaign at heavyweight

Aug 26 - Gus Lesnevich  PTS 15  Tami Mauriello (New York City, New York, USA)

Nov 14 - Gus Lesnevich  PTS 15  Tami Mauriello (New York City, New York, USA)

1942
-

1943
-

1944
-

1945
-

1946
May 14 - Gus Lesnevich  KO 10  Freddie Mills (London, England)

1947
Feb 28 - Gus Lesnevich  KO 10  Billy Fox (New York City, New York, USA)

1948
Mar 5 - Gus Lesnevich  KO 1  Billy Fox (New York City, New York, USA)

Jul 26 - Freddie Mills  PTS 15  Gus Lesnevich (London, England)

1949
-

1950
Jan 24 - Joey Maxim  KO 10  Freddie Mills (London, England)

1951
Aug 22 - Joey Maxim  PTS 15  Bob Murphy (New York City, New York, USA)

1952
Jun 25 - Joey Maxim  KO 14  Sugar Ray Robinson (New York City, New York, USA)

Dec 17 - Archie Moore  PTS 15  Joey Maxim (St Louis, Missouri, USA)

1953

Moore at a jazz club

Jun 24 - Archie Moore  PTS 15  Joey Maxim (Ogden, Utah, USA)

1954
Jan 27 - Archie Moore  PTS 15  Joey Maxim (Miami, Florida, USA)

Aug 11 - Archie Moore  KO 14  Harold Johnson (New York City, New York, USA)

1955
Jun 22 - Archie Moore  KO 3  Bobo Olson (New York City, New York, USA)

1956
Jun 5 - Archie Moore  KO 10  Yolande Pompey (London, England)

1957
Sep 20 - Archie Moore  KO 7  Tony Anthony (Los Angeles, California, USA)

1958
Dec 10 - Archie Moore  KO 11  Yvon Durelle (Montreal, Canada)

1959
Aug 12 - Archie Moore  KO 3  Yvon Durelle (Montreal, Canada)

1960
-

1961
Jun 10 - Archie Moore  PTS 15  Guilio Rinaldi (New York City, New York, USA)

1962
* Although Moore did not officially vacate the world championship it became universally
   accepted as being vacant (Prior to the bout between leading contenders Harold Johnson
   and Doug Jones he gave no indication that he planned to defend it again and
   focused on campaigning at heavyweight)

May 12 - Harold Johnson  PTS 15  Doug Jones (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

Johnson was born in Manayunk in Pennsylvania

Jun 23 - Harold Johnson  PTS 15  Gustav Scholz (Berlin, West Germany)

1963
Jun 1 - Willie Pastrano  PTS 15  Harold Johnson (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

1964
Apr 10 - Willie Pastrano  KO 6  Gregorio Peralta (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA)

Nov 30 - Willie Pastrano  KO 11  Terry Downes (Manchester, England)

1965
Mar 30 - Jose Torres  KO 9  Willie Pastrano (New York City, New York, USA)

1966
May 21 - Jose Torres  PTS 15  Wayne Thornton (New York City, New York, USA)

Aug 15 - Jose Torres  PTS 15  Eddie Cotton (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Oct 15 - Jose Torres  KO 2  Chic Calderwood (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

Dec 16 - Dick Tiger  PTS 15  Jose Torres (New York City, New York, USA)

1967
May 16 - Dick Tiger  PTS 15  Jose Torres (New York City, New York, USA)
Tiger was the first light-heavyweight champion from Nigeria

Nov 17 - Dick Tiger  KO 12  Roger Rouse (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

1968
May 24 - Bob Foster  KO 4  Dick Tiger (New York City, New York, USA)

1969
Jan 22 - Bob Foster  KO 1  Frankie DePaula (New York City, New York, USA)

May 24 - Bob Foster  KO 4  Andy Kendall (West Springfield, Massachusetts, USA)

1970
Apr 4 - Bob Foster  KO 4  Roger Rouse (Missoula, Montana, USA)

Jun 27 - Bob Foster  KO 10  Mark Tessman (Baltimore, Maryland, USA)

1971

Foster made an incredible 14 successful defences

Mar 2 - Bob Foster  KO 4  Hal Carroll (Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA)

Apr 24 - Bob Foster  PTS 15  Ray Anderson (Tampa, Florida, USA)

Oct 30 - Bob Foster  KO 8  Tommy Hicks (Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA)

Dec 16 - Bob Foster  KO 3  Brian Kelly (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA)

1972
Apr 7 - Bob Foster  KO 2  Vicente Rondon (Miami, Florida, USA)

Jun 27 - Bob Foster  KO 4  Mike Quarry (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Sep 26 - Bob Foster  KO 14  Chris Finnegan (London, England)

1973
Aug 21 - Bob Foster  PTS 15  Pierre Fourie (Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA)

Dec 1 - Bob Foster  PTS 15  Pierre Fourie (Johannesburg, South Africa)

1974

Foster managed to hold onto the championship with a draw against Ahumada in his final defence

Jun 17 - Bob Foster  D 15  Jorge Ahumada (Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA)

Sep - Foster vacates the world championship and retires

1975
-

1976
-

1977
-

1978
-

1979
Apr 22 - Matthew Franklin  KO 8  Marvin Johnson (Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)

Apr - Franklin changes his name to Matthew Saad Muhammad

Aug 18 - Matthew Saad Muhammad  PTS 15  John Conteh (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)

1980
Mar 29 - Matthew Saad Muhammad  KO 4  John Conteh (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)

May 13 - Matthew Saad Muhammad  KO 5  Louis Pergaud (Halifax, Canada)

Jul 13 - Matthew Saad Muhammad  KO 14  Yaqui Lopez (McAfee, New Jersey, USA)

Nov 28 - Matthew Saad Muhammad  KO 4  Lotte Mwale (San Diego, California, USA)

1981

Muhammad on the cover of “The Ring” magazine

Feb 28 - Matthew Saad Muhammad  KO 11  Vonzell Johnson (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)

Apr 25 - Matthew Saad Muhammad  KO 9  Murray Sutherland (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)

Sep 26 - Matthew Saad Muhammad  KO 11  Jerry Martin (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)

Dec 19 - Dwight Braxton  KO 10  Matthew Saad Muhammad (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)

1982
Mar 21 - Dwight Braxton  KO 6  Jerry Martin (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Aug 7 - Dwight Braxton  KO 6  Matthew Saad Muhammad (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

Nov - Braxton changes his name to Dwight Muhammad Qawi

Qawi looked set for a long reign until he ran into Michael Spinks

Nov 20 - Dwight Muhammad Qawi  KO 11  Eddie Davis (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)

1983
Mar 18 - Michael Spinks  PTS 15  Dwight Muhammad Qawi (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)

Nov 25 - Michael Spinks  KO 10  Oscar Rivadeneyra (Vancouver, Canada)

1984
Feb 25 - Michael Spinks  PTS 12  Eddie Davis (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)

1985
Spinks was a superb champion who dominated the division

Feb 23 - Michael Spinks  KO 3  David Sears (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)

Jun 6 - Michael Spinks  KO 8  Jim MacDonald (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Sep - Spinks vacates the world championship to campaign at heavyweight

1986
-

1987
-

1988
-

1989
-

1990
-

1991
Jun 3 - Thomas Hearns  PTS 12  Virgil Hill (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

1992














Barkley (left) scores with a left hook against the legendary "Hitman" from Detroit

Mar 20 - Iran Barkley  PTS 12  Thomas Hearns (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

1993
Feb 13 - James Toney  KO 9  Iran Barkley (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Oct 29 - James Toney  PTS 12  Tony Thornton (Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA)

1994
Mar 5 - James Toney  KO 4  Tim Littles (Los Angeles, California, USA)

Jul 29 - James Toney  KO 12  Charles Williams (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Nov 18 - Roy Jones Jr  PTS 12  James Toney (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

1995
Mar 18 - Roy Jones Jr  KO 1  Antoine Byrd (Pensacola, Florida, USA)

Jun 24 - Roy Jones Jr  KO 6  Vinny Pazienza (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)

Sep 30 - Roy Jones Jr  KO 3  Tony Thornton (Pensacola, Florida, USA)
1996
Jun 15 - Roy Jones Jr  KO 11  Eric Lucas (Jacksonville, Florida, USA)

Oct 4 - Roy Jones Jr  KO 2  Bryant Brannon (New York City, New York, USA)

Nov 22 - Roy Jones Jr  PTS 12  Mike McCallum (Tampa, Florida, USA)

1997
Mar 21 - Montell Griffin  DQ 9  Roy Jones Jr (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)



















Jones gained swift revenge over Griffin

Aug 7 - Roy Jones Jr  KO 1  Montell Griffin (Mashantucket, Connecticut, USA)

1998
Jul 18 - Roy Jones Jr  PTS 12  Lou Del Valle (New York City, New York, USA)

Nov 14 - Roy Jones Jr  KO 10  Otis Grant (Mashantucket, Connecticut, USA)

1999
Jan 9 - Roy Jones Jr  KO 2  Richard Frazier (Pensacola, Florida, USA)

Jun 5 - Roy Jones Jr  PTS 12  Reggie Johnson (Biloxi, Mississippi, USA)

2000

Jones was a dominant world champion who was almost untouchable in his prime

Jan 15- Roy Jones Jr  PTS 12  David Telesco (New York City, New York, USA)

May 13 - Roy Jones Jr  KO 11  Richard Hall (Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)

Sep 9 - Roy Jones Jr  KO 10  Eric Harding (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA)

2001
Jan 24 - Roy Jones Jr  KO 10  Derrick Harmon (Tampa, Florida, USA)

Jul 28 - Roy Jones Jr  PTS 12  Julio Gonzalez (Los Angeles, California, USA)

2002
Feb 2 - Roy Jones Jr  KO 7  Glenn Kelly (Miami, Florida, USA)
Jones had an easy time against Woods

Sep 7 - Roy Jones Jr  KO 6  Clinton Woods (Portland, Oregon, USA)

2003
Nov 8 - Roy Jones Jr  PTS 12  Antonio Tarver (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

2004
May 15 - Antonio Tarver  KO 2  Roy Jones Jr (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Dec 18 - Glencoffe Johnson  PTS 12  Antonio Tarver (Los Angeles, California, USA)

2005
Jun 18 - Antonio Tarver  PTS 12  Glencoffe Johnson (Memphis, Tennessee, USA)

The rivalry between Tarver and Jones put the light-heavyweight division in the spotlight

Oct 1 - Antonio Tarver  PTS 12  Roy Jones Jr (Tampa, Florida, USA)

2006
Jun 10 - Bernard Hopkins  PTS 12  Antonio Tarver (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)

2007
Jul 21 - Bernard Hopkins  PTS 12  Winky Wright (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

2008
Apr 19 - Joe Calzaghe  PTS 12  Bernard Hopkins (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

Nov 8 - Joe Calzaghe  PTS 12  Roy Jones Jr (New York City, New York, USA)

2009
Feb - Calzaghe vacates the world championship and retires

2010
Aug 14 - Jean Pascal  TD 11  Chad Dawson (Montreal, Canada)

Dec 18 - Jean Pascal  D 12  Bernard Hopkins (Quebec City, Canada)

2011
May 21 - Bernard Hopkins  PTS 12  Jean Pascal (Montreal, Canada)

Oct 15 - Bernard Hopkins  NC 2  Chad Dawson (Los Angeles, California, USA)

2012
Apr 28 - Chad Dawson  PTS 12  Bernard Hopkins (Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA)

Sep 8 - Andre Ward  KO 10  Chad Dawson (Oakland, California, USA)

2013
Nov 16 - Andre Ward  PTS 12  Edwin Rodriguez (Ontario, California, USA)

2014
-

2015
Jun 20 - Andre Ward  KO 9  Paul Smith (Oakland, California, USA)

2016
Mar 26 - Andre Ward  PTS 12  Sullivan Barrera (Oakland, California, USA)

Aug 6 - Andre Ward  PTS 12  Alexander Brand (Oakland, California, USA)

Nov 19 - Andre Ward  PTS 12  Sergei Kovalev (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)

2017








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