By Geoffrey Ciani: Who were the Top 5 heavyweight champions during the 1980s?
In the 1980s there were 15 men who held claim to at least a portion of the heavyweight championship between January 1st, 1980 and December 31st, 1989. For the purposes of this video, we are specifically comparing heavyweight championship reigns and championship bouts that happened during this particular stretch.
The 1980s heavyweight championship journey is a wild one, with a lot of crazy things going when compared to previous decades in heavyweight history. The beginning of the 1980s was messy and uncertain, with multiple champions, lineal champions coming out of retirement, the addition of a brand new alphabet body in the IBF, and champions being stripped and vacating alphabet belts along the way, where the WBA belt was being passed around like a hot potato for most of the decade.
Despite the messy path of the heavyweight championship in the 1980s, by the end of the decade, we had just ONE world heavyweight champion who won all three major belts and a valid claim to the lineage one by one in decisive fashion – and that man was Iron Mike Tyson.
But even with that quasi-poetic conclusion to the wild 1980s heavyweight championship landscape, this is a very tricky proposition. It’s tricky all around, and unlike the 50s, 60s, and 70s, the 1980s represents a very difficult decision to make for that top spot..
So who were the Top 5 heavyweight champions during the 1980s?
This edition of Rummy’s Corner will attempt to answer that question while also providing a quick overview of the heavyweight championship landscape during the 1980s, and a quick recap comparing the 1980s championship reigns of Larry Holmes, John Tate, Mike Weaver, Muhammad Ali, Michael Dokes, Gerrie Coetzee, Greg Page, Tony Tubbs, Tim Witherspoon, Pinklon Thomas, James Smith, Michael Spinks, Trevor Berbick, Tony Tucker, and Iron Mike Tyson. Please watch and enjoy the video for one man’s opinion. This is Rummy’s Corner (produced and narrated by Geoffrey Ciani).