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Who Were the Best of the Best Heavyweight Champs?

Image: Who Were the Best of the Best Heavyweight Champs?

By Ken Hissner: I’m not putting out another Best of the Heavyweight champion list, but listing many and want to see what you think.

Most people feel Muhammad “The Greatest” Ali, 56-5 with 37 stoppages and a 3-time world champion was the greatest per the modern fans and an Olympic Gold Medalist.

The old timers go with Joe “The Brown Bomber” Louis, 66-3 with 52 stoppages and had the most defenses, with 25 holding the title the longest, almost 12 years!

The rest come after the two of them, such as Ring Magazine’s pick of old Jack “The Galveston Giant” Johnson, 54-11-9, with 34 stoppages being the first black heavyweight champion.

Possibly the most ferocious was Jack “Manassa Mauler” Dempsey, 53-6-8, with 43 stoppages. He lost to Gene “The Fighting Marine” Tunney, 65-1-1, with 48 stoppages. He retired with the title.

Rocky “The Brockton Blockbuster” Marciano, 49-0 with 43 stoppages, had the best record of all the champions. Stopped Joe Louis, stopped “Jersey” Joe Walcott, 49-20-1, with 31 stoppages, twice, and defeated and stopped Ezzard Charles.

“Iron” Mike Tyson, 50-6, with 44 stoppages certainly one of the most feared. Stopped champions Jamaica’s Trevor Berbick, 49-11-1, with 33 stoppages, defeated James “Bonecrusher” Smith, 44-17-1, with 32 stoppages, stopped Pinkon Thomas, defeated Tony “TNT” Tucker, 57-7 with 47 stoppages, stopped Larry Holmes, stopped Tony “TNT” Tubbs, 47-10 with 25 stoppages, stopped Michael Spinks, stopped UK’s Frank Bruno, 40-5 with 38 stoppages, but lost to James “Buster” Douglas, 37-6-1 with 24 stoppages.

“Smokin” Joe Frazier, 32-4-1 with 27 stoppages, an Olympic Gold Medalist, is most known for being first to defeat Ali though losing twice later. “Big” George Foreman, 76-5 with 68 stoppages and Olympic Gold Medalist who stopped Joe Frazier twice but lost to Ali.

Sonny Liston, 50-4 with 39 stoppages one of the most feared of all the champions. Ken Norton, 42-7-1 with 33 stoppages most known for defeating Ali before losing to him twice.

“Terrible” Tim Witherspoon, 55-13-1 with 38 stoppages, a two-time world champion, defeated Greg Page, 58-17-1 with 48 stoppages. Lost to Pinklon “Pink” Thomas, 43-7-1, with 34 stoppages. Came back to re-win the title, defeating Tony “TNT” Tubbs, 47-10, with 25 stoppages. He lost a controversial decision to Holmes.

Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes, 69-6 with 44 stoppages. Was 48-0 when he lost to Michael Spinks. Later stopped by Mike Tyson. Only one to stop Ali. Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, 44-10-2 with 29 stoppages and Olympic Gold Medalist. Also a Cruiserweight champion and the only one to beat Bowe.

Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe, 43-1 with 33 stoppages. Olympic Silver Medalist losing in the finals to another future world champion UK’s Lennox “The Lion” Lewis, 41-2-1 with 32 stoppages and Olympic Gold Medalist for Canada.

Germany’s Max Schmeling, 56-10-4, with 39 stoppages first to defeat and stop Joe Louis but stopped in their rematch. James J. “The Boilermaker” Jeffries, 19-1-2 with 16 stoppages, retired unbeaten, coming back after six years to lose to Johnson.

New Zealand’s Bob “Ruby” Fitzsimmons, 61-8-4 with 57 stoppages also a Middleweight champion who, after losing at Heavy, became Light Heavy champion.

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Ezzard “The Cincinnati Cobra” Charles, 95-25-1 with 52 stoppages, had the most wins of the champions. Ukraine’s Vitali “Dr. Ironfist” Klitschko, 45-2 with 41 stoppages. Brother to champion Wladimir “Dr. Steelhammer” Klitschko, 64-5 with 53 stoppages and Olympic Gold Medalist.

Chris “Rapid Fire” Byrd, 41-5-1 with 22 stoppages, defeated Holyfield and Vitali Klitschko but lost to his brother Wladimir. An Olympic Silver Medalist. Michael “Jinx” Spinks, 31-1 with 21 stoppages, the first reigning Light Heavy to win the Heavy title defeating a 48-0 Holmes. An Olympic Gold Medalist.

South Africa’s Gerrie “The Boksburg Bomber” Coetzee, 33-6-1 with 21 stoppages first African to win the title. Michael “Double M” Moorer, 52-4-1 with 40 stoppages, former Light Heavy champion and first southpaw to win the title. Split with Holyfield but lost to Foreman.

Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder, 43-2-1 with 41 stoppages. Olympic Bronze Medalist who drew with Tyson Fury but lost to him twice and is still active.

UK’s Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury, 32-0-1 with 23 stoppages, the current WBC champion, stopped Deontay Wilder, then 42-0-1, twice after drawing with him.

Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk, 20-0 with 13 stoppages, former Cruiserweight champion, and current IBF, WBA, and WBO champion and Olympic Gold Medalist. Defeated UK’s Anthony “AJ” Joshua, 24-3, with 22 stoppages twice. Joshua is an Olympic Gold Medalist. Defeated Wladimir Klitschko.

There you have it, fans. Let’s hear from you who you thought was the best!

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