By Ken Hissner: WBO Super Middleweight champion “The Pride of Wales” Joe Calzaghe, with a 46-0 and 32 stoppages along with twenty-one title defenses, heads the countries of Europe, the United Kingdom, Africa, Canada, and Australia.
Heavyweight champion Lennox “The Lion” Lewis, 41-2-1 with 32 stoppages, was born in the UK, then he moved to Canada at age 12, representing them in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, winning a Gold Medal. He would return to the UK to begin his professional career, winning his first twenty-five fights before falling to Oliver McCall. He reversed that loss as he did after his other defeat to Hasim Rahman though not to have a rematch from his draw to Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield.
Canada heavyweight world champion Tommy Burns, 47-4-8 with 24 stoppages, won the title in 1906. Other heavyweights like George Chuvalo, 73-18-2 with 64 stoppages, failed to win that title but were second to none in courage. This writer had the pleasure of meeting him at the IBHOF.
The UK went the same way in the heavyweight division with Henry Cooper, 40-14-1 with 27 stoppages falling short due mostly to cuts for the most part to the likes of world champions Muhammad Ali whom he had on the canvas and Floyd Patterson.
Besides Calzaghe, Wales had world Flyweight champion Jimmy “The Mighty Atom” Wilde, 131-3-1 with 98 stoppages, possibly the best in that division.
Europe’s Max Schmeling, 56-10-4 with 39 stoppages from Germany, who won the NBA world title in 1930, was most known for being the first to defeat the future all-time great heavyweight Joe “The Brown Bomber” Louis though losing the rematch for the title Louis then held.
Another German who never won the title was Middleweight Euro champion Gustav “Bubi” Scholz, 88-2-6 with 46 stoppages losing to Philadelphia’s Harold Johnson in his title bid. Three-time Olympian Sven “Phantom” Ottke, 34-0 with six stoppages, held the world Super Middleweight title. He had twenty-one title defenses. World Flyweight, Super Flyweight, and Light Flyweight champion Regina Halmich, 54-1-1 with 16 stoppages along with forty-four title defenses, heads the female champions.
France had world Light Heavyweight champion Georges “The Orchid Man” Carpentier, 89-15-6 with 57 stoppages. Middleweight world champion Marcel Cerdan, 110-4 with 65 stoppages, had his career cut short in an airplane crash.
Ukraine had world heavyweight champion brothers Vitali “Dr. Ironfist” Klitschko, 45-2 with 41 stoppages. His younger brother Wladimir “Dr. Steelhammer” Klitschko, 64-5 with 53 stoppages and twenty-three title defenses, followed after his older brother. Today Ukraine has another heavyweight world champion in Oleksandr Usyk, 19-0 with 13 stoppages, who also held the world cruiserweight title.
Usyk will meet the “other” champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury, 32-0-1, with 23 stoppages and the most entertaining since Ali.
Italy had at the time had one of the biggest world champions in Primo “The Ambling Alp” Carnera, 88-14 with 71 stoppages. 1960 Olympic Gold Medalist and world Middleweight champion Nino Benvenutti, 82-7-1 with 35 stoppages, was one of the more well-known in modern times boxer.
Poland’s world Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight champion Dariusz “Tiger” Michalczewski, 48-2 with 38 stoppages, won his first 48 matches before losing. He had twenty-three title defenses.
Kazakhstan’s current IBF and WBA world Middleweight champion Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin, 42-1-1 with 37 stoppages with twenty-three title defenses so far, and also a former Olympian.
Africa’s world Featherweight and Super Featherweight champion Azumah “The Professor” Nelson, 38-6-2 with 27 stoppages and 17 title defenses, leads the continent. World Middleweight champion Dick Tiger, 60-19-3 with 27 stoppages, made his name in America.
Africa’s first heavyweight world champion was WBA champion Gerrie “The Boksburg Bomber” Coetzee, 33-6-1 with 21 stoppages from South Africa in 1983. He was followed by WBO world champion Corrie “The Sniper” Sanders, 42-4 with 31 stoppages also from South Africa some twenty years later.
Australia’s current world Lightweight champion is George ”Ferocious” Kambosos, Jr., 20-1 with ten stoppages, heads the list in the country from “Down Under.” WBC world Featherweight champion Johnny Famechon, 56-5-6 with 20 stoppages though born in France like many from Europe, ended up in the country. World Bantamweight champion Lionel Rose, 42-11 with 12 stoppages, became the first aborigine to win a world title. World Bantam, Super Bantam, and Featherweight champion Jeff “Marrickville Mauler” Fenech, 29-3-1 with 21 stoppages, is possibly the most well-known for his appearances in America as a boxer and one of the trainers of “Iron” Mike Tyson.
Now let’s hear from those who comment on their favorites that were not included in this article and those who were!