World Boxing Champions from Crowns to Belts!
By Ken Hissner: In the past month, the term “Triple Crown Champion” was again heard referring to the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont horse races.
There was a time when the world boxing champion wore a crown, only now to be wearing belts from the World Boxing Council, World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Organization, and International Boxing Organization.
The first to my knowledge to hold three crowns was none other than “Ruby” Bob Fitzsimmons, who won the world middleweight title in 1891, the heavyweight title in 1897, and the light heavyweight title in 1903.
Probably the most famous to hold three titles and the only one holding them simultaneously was Henry “Homicide” Armstrong, who in 1937 won the world featherweight title and in 1938 added both the world welterweight and lightweight titles.
Two holding the most “belts” at six were Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao, winning the WBC flyweight title in 1998, the IBF super bantamweight title in 2001, both the WBC super featherweight title and the WBC lightweight titles in 2008, the WBO welterweight title in 2009, and the WBC light middleweight title in 2010.
Another was Oscar “Golden Boy” De La Hoya, who won both the WBO super featherweight and WBO lightweight titles in 1994, the WBC welterweight title in 1997, WBC light middleweight title in 2001, and the WBO Middleweight title in 2004.
Three, who held titles in five divisions with “belts,” one being Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns winning the WBA welterweight title in 1980, WBC light middleweight title in 1982, both the WBC light heavyweight and middleweight titles in 1987, and the WBO super middleweight title in 1988.
The other was “Sugar” Ray Leonard winning the WBC welterweight title in 1979, the WBA light middleweight title in 1981, the WBC middleweight title in 1987, and both the WBC light heavyweight and super middleweight titles in 1988.
Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. won the WBC super featherweight title in 1998, the WBC lightweight title in 2002, the WBC light welterweight title in 2005, the IBF welterweight title in 2006, and the WBC light middleweight title in 2007.
Four who held four “belts” were Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran winning the WBA lightweight title in 1972, the WBC welterweight title in 1980, the WBA light middleweight title in 1983, and the WBC middleweight title in 1989.
Another was Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker winning the IBF lightweight title in 1989, the IBF light welterweight title in 1992, the WBC welterweight title in 1993, and the WBA light middleweight title in 1995.
Another was Roy Jones, Jr., winning the IBF middleweight title in 1993, IBF super middleweight title in 1994, the WBC light heavyweight title in 1997, and the WBA heavyweight title in 2003.
Recently retired Mikey Garcia, won the WBO featherweight and super featherweight titles in 2013, WBC lightweight title in 2017, and the IBF light welterweight title in 2018.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez won the WBA light middleweight title in 2013, the WBC middleweight title in 2015, the WBA super middleweight title in 2018, and the WBO light heavyweight title in 2019.
There were numerous boxers winning titles in three weight classes. One female was Germany’s Regina Halmich winning the WIBF flyweight title in 1995, the WIBF super flyweight title in 1998, and the WIBF light flyweight title in 1996.
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