World Heavyweight Champions Cumulative
Nat. Date Champion Defeated Result W Days Years Notes W Days Years Rank
USA 8/29/1885 John L. Sullivan Dominick McCaffrey W-6 7 2566 7.03 5
USA 9/7/1892 Jim Corbett John L. Sullivan KO-21 3 1649 4.52 10
ENG 3/17/1897 Bob Fitzsimmons Jim Corbett KO-14 2 817 2.24
USA 6/9/1899 James Jeffries Bob Fitzsimmons KO-11 8 2164 5.93 8
5/13/1905 Vacant 51 0.14
USA 7/3/1905 Marvin Hart Jack Root KO-12 1 235 0.64
CAN 2/23/1906 Tommy Burns Marvin Hart W-20 12 1037 2.84
USA 12/26/1908 Jack Johnson Tommy Burns KO-14 9 2291 6.28 6
USA 4/5/1915 Jess Willard Jack Johnson KO-26 2 1561 4.28 12
USA 7/14/1919 Jack Dempsey Jess Willard KO-3 6 2628 7.20 4
USA 9/23/1926 Gene Tunney Jack Dempsey W-10 3 677 1.85
7/31/1928 Vacant 1421 3.89
GER 6/12/1930 Max Schmeling Jack Sharkey W-4 2 740 2.03
USA 6/21/1932 Jack Sharkey Max Schmeling W-15 1 373 1.02
ITA 6/29/1933 Primo Carnera Jack Sharkey KO-6 3 350 0.96
USA 6/14/1934 Max Baer Primo Carnera KO-11 1 364 1.00
USA 6/13/1935 James Braddock Max Baer W-15 1 740 2.03
USA 6/22/1937 Joe Louis James Braddock KO-8 27 4270 11.70 1
3/1/1949 Vacant 113 0.31
USA 6/22/1949 Ezzard Charles Jersey Joe Walcott W-15 9 756 2.07
USA 7/18/1951 Jersey Joe Walcott Ezzard Charles KO-7 2 433 1.19
USA 9/23/1952 Rocky Marciano Jersey Joe Walcott KO-13 7 1312 3.59 14
4/27/1956 Vacant 217 0.59
USA 11/30/1956 Floyd Patterson Archie Moore KO-5 5 938 2.57
SWE 6/26/1959 Ingemar Johansson Floyd Patterson KO-3 1 360 0.99
USA 6/20/1960 Floyd Patterson Ingemar Johansson KO-5 3 827 2.27 8 1765 4.84 9
USA 9/25/1962 Sonny Liston Floyd Patterson KO-1 2 518 1.42
USA 2/25/1964 Muhammad Ali Sonny Liston KO-7 10 2168 5.94
2/1/1970 Vacant 15 0.04
USA 2/16/1970 Joe Frazier Jimmy Ellis KO-4 5 1071 2.93 15
USA 1/22/1973 George Foreman Joe Frazier KO-2 3 646 1.77
USA 10/30/1974 Muhammad Ali George Foreman KO-8 11 1204 3.30
USA 2/15/1978 Leon Spinks Muhammad Ali W-15 1 181 0.50
USA 8/15/1978 Muhammad Ali Leon Spinks W-15 1 315 0.86 22 3687 10.10 2
6/26/1979 Vacant 94 0.26
USA 9/28/1979 Larry Holmes Earnie Shavers KO-11 13 2185 5.99 (1) 7
USA 9/21/1985 Michael Spinks Larry Holmes W-15 4 679 1.86
USA 8/1/1987 Mike Tyson Tony Tucker W-12 7 925 2.53 (2)
USA 2/11/1990 Buster Douglas Mike Tyson KO-10 1 256 0.70
USA 10/25/1990 Evander Holyfield Buster Douglas KO-3 4 750 2.05
USA 11/13/1992 Riddick Bowe Evander Holyfield W-12 3 358 0.98
USA 11/6/1993 Evander Holyfield Riddick Bowe W-12 1 167 0.46
USA 4/22/1994 Michael Moorer Evander Holyfield W-12 1 197 0.54
USA 11/5/1994 George Foreman Michael Moorer KO-10 2 168 0.46 5 814 2.23
4/22/1995 Vacant 931 2.55 (3)
USA 11/8/1997 Evander Holyfield Michael Moorer KO-8 3 490 1.34 (4) 8 1407 3.85 13
ENG 3/13/1999 Lennox Lewis Evander Holyfield D-12 4 770 2.11 (5)
USA 4/21/2001 Hasim Rahman Lennox Lewis KO-5 1 210 0.58
ENG 11/17/2001 Lennox Lewis Hasim Rahman KO-4 2 811 2.22 6 1581 4.33 11
2/6/2004 Vacant 78 0.21
UKR 4/24/2004 Vitali Klitschko Corrie Sanders KO-8 2 563 1.54
11/8/2005 Vacant 165 0.45
UKR 4/22/2006 Wladimir Klitschko Chris Byrd KO-7 19 3507 9.61 3
ENG 11/28/2015 Tyson Fury Wladimir Klitschko W-12 1 164 0.45
5/10/2016
Notes
(1) After Ali's retirement, the WBA absurdly refused to recognize WBC champion Holmes as a top contender, despite his convincing wins over Shavers and Ken Norton. Holmes was widely recognized as champion even before he handily beat Ali in 1980.
(2) Tyson became the undisputed champion when he unified the WBC, WBA, and IBF titles. Spinks, the lineal champion, held no official titles and declined to enter the unification tournament, effectively forfeiting his claim.
(3) Foreman was awarded an inept/corrupt decision win over Axel Schulz, and denied Schulz a rematch, causing his title to be stripped. Foreman never fought a top contender again.
(4) After defeating Tyson twice, Holyfield unified two of the major titles by beating Moorer, making him the top heavyweight in the eyes of most critics.
(5) Though ruled a draw, the boxing media unanimously recognized that Lewis had won, and considered him the true champion, notwithstanding the ludicrously inept/corrupt judging.