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Who Holds the Record for the Most Successful Title Defenses?

Bernard Hopkins Joe Louis Oscar De La Hoya

By Ken Hissner: For years, it was said world Heavyweight champion Detroit, Michigan’s Joe “The Brown Bomber” Louis, 66-3 with 52 knockouts, had the most title defenses with 25! He did have more than any heavyweight champions. He won the title in June of 1937, stopping James “The Cinderella Man” Braddock.

In March of 1949, he announced his retirement. He came back in September of 1950 and lost in a title fight to NBA champion Ezzard Charles. All his fights were in the USA.

This writer went over the records on www.boxrec.com and discovered Super Featherweight, Lightweight, and Super Lightweight World champion Julio Cesar “J.C.” Chavez, Sr., 107-6-2 with 85 knockouts had 27 defenses, from Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico.

He defended the Super Featherweight title 9 times, the Lightweight title 2 times, and the Super Lightweight title 11 times.

WBO Flyweight and Super Flyweight champion and 2-time Olympian Omar “El Huracan” Andres Narvaez, 49-4-2 with 25 knockouts, from Trelew, Chubut, Argentina, holds the record at 28 defenses, including at Flyweight 17 and at Super Flyweight 11.

Though Germany’s WIBF Female Flyweight, Super Flyweight, and Light Flyweight champion defended against 13 opponents with no wins, Regina Halmich, 54-1-1 with 16 knockouts, was credited with 40 defenses.

Bernard Hopkins Joe Louis Oscar De La Hoya

Her championship records included 15 at Flyweight, 2 at Super Flyweight, 10 at Light Flyweight, and 13 at Flyweight in her second reign. WBA, WBC, WBO, and IBF World Female Welterweight champion Cecilia “First Lady” Braekhus, 36-2 with 9 knockouts, from Cartagena, Colombia, and Bergen, Norway, had 25 defenses.

Others with many defenses are as follows:

  • WBC, WBA, WBO Mini, and IBF Light Fly champion Ricardo “Finito” Lopez 24
  • WBA, WBO, IBF Heavyweight champion Wladimir “Dr. Steelhammer” Klitschko 23
  • WBA, WBO, IBF Light Heavyweight, and WBO Cruiserweight champion Darius “Tiger” Michalczewski 23
  • WBA, IBF Light Heavyweight, and WBA Cruiserweight champion Virgil “Quicksilver” Hill 22
  • IBF, WBA Super Middleweight champion Sven “Phantom” Ottke
  • WBO Super Middleweight champion Joe “Pride of Wales” Calzaghe
  • WBC Super Featherweight, WBC Lightweight, WBC Light Welterweight, IBF, WBC, WBA, WBO Welterweight, WBA, WBC Light Middleweight Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr.
  • WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF Middleweight, WBA, WBC, IBF Light Heavyweight champion Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkinsb21
  • WBC Flyweight champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam 21
  • WBA, WBC, IBF Middleweight champion Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin, all with 21
  • WBC, IBF Heavyweight champion Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes 19
  • WBA, WBC Heavyweight champion Muhammad “The Greatest” Ali 19
  • WBA Featherweight champion Eusebio El Alacran” Pedroza 19
  • WBA Super Flyweight champion Khaosai Galaxy and World Featherweight 19
  • Welterweight, Lightweight champion Henry “Homicide Hank” Armstrong all with 19
  • WBC Super Bantamweight, WBC Featherweight, WBA Super Featherweight champion Wilfredo “Bazooka” Gomez
  • WBO Super Featherweight, WBO, IBF Lightweight, WBC Light Welterweight, WBC Welterweight, WBA, WBC, WBO Light Middleweight champion Oscar “Golden Boy” De La Hoya
  • WBA Light Flyweight champion Myung “Sonagi” Woo Yuh all with 18
  • WBA Featherweight champion Chris “The Dragon” John
  • WBO Lightweight champion Artur “King Artur” Grigorian, WBC Featherweight, Super Featherweight champion Azumah “The Professor” Nelson
  • IBF Middleweight, WBA, WBC, IBF Light Heavyweight, WBA Heavyweight champion Roy Jones, Jr. 17
  • WBA Featherweight, WBC Super Featherweight, WBC Lightweight champion Alexis “El Flaco Explosivio” Arguello 16
  • IBF Bantamweight champion Orlando Canizales, WBC, IBF Lightweight champion “Terrible” Terry Norris 16
  • IBF, WBA, WBC Lightweight, IBF Light Welterweight, WBC Welterweight, WBA Light Middleweight champion Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker, all with 16 defenses.



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