By Ken Hisner: I’m not putting out a Best Heavyweight Champion list, but I’ve listed a lot of people and I’d love to see what you think.
Most people feel that Muhammad “The Greatest” Ali, 56-5 with 37 stops and 3 times world champion is the greatest among modern fans and Olympic gold medalist.
Old timers go with Joe “The Brown Bomber” Louis, 66-3 with 52 stops and has the most defenses, with 25 holding the title for the longest, almost 12 years!
Others came after the two, such as Ring Magazine’s former Jack “The Galveston Giant” Johnson, 54-11-9, with 34 stops as the first black heavyweight champion.
Possibly the most hated was Jack “Manassa Mauler” Dempsey, 53-6-8, with 43 stoppages. He lost to Gene “The Fighting Marine” Tunney, 65-1-1, with a stoppage. 48. He retired with the title.
Rocky “The Brockton Blockbuster” Marciano, 49-0 with 43 stoppages, has the best record of all champions. He stopped Joe Louis, stopped “Jersey” Joe Walcott, 49-20-1, with 31 stops, twice, and scored and stopped Ezzard Charles.
“Iron” Mike Tyson, 50-6, with 44 stops is definitely one of the most feared. Jamaican champion Trevor Berbick, 49-11-1, with 33 stops, defeated James “Bonecrusher” Smith, 44-17-1, with 32 stops, stopped Pinkon Thomas, defeated Tony “TNT” Tucker, 57-7 with 47 stops, stopped Larry Holmes, stopped Tony “TNT” Tubbs, 47-10 with 25 stops, stopped Michael Spinks, stopped Frank Bruno of Great Britain, 40-5 with 38 stops, but lost to James “Buster” Douglas, 37-6-1 with 24 stops.
“Smokin'” Joe Frazier, 32-4-1 with 27 stoppages, Olympic gold medalist, is best known for being the first to beat Ali despite losing twice. “Big” George Foreman, 76-5 with 68 stops and an Olympic gold medalist who stopped Joe Frazier twice but lost to Ali.
Sonny Liston, 50-4 with 39 stops is one of the most feared of all champions. Ken Norton, 42-7-1 with 33 stops is best known for defeating Ali before losing to him twice.
“Bad” Tim Witherspoon, 55-13-1 with 38 stoppages, two-time world champion, defeated Greg Page, 58-17-1 with 48 stoppages. Lost to Pinklon “Pink” Thomas, 43-7-1 , with 34 stops. He came back to win the title again, defeating Tony “TNT” Tubbs, 47-10, with 25 stops. He lost a controversial decision to Holmes.
Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes, 69-6 with 44 stops. He was 48-0 when he lost to Michael Spinks. Later Mike Tyson stopped by. Only one stopped Ali. Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, 44-10-2 with 29 stoppages and an Olympic gold medal. Also the Cruiserweight champion and who beat Bowe.
Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe, 43-1 with 33 stops. The Olympic silver medalist lost in the final to Great Britain’s Lennox “Lion” Lewis, 41-2 -1 with 32 stops and an Olympic gold medalist for Canada.
Germany’s Max Schmeling, 56-10-4, with 39 suspensions first defeated Joe Louis but stopped in their fight. James J. “The Boilermaker” Jeffries, 19-1-2 with 16 stoppages, retired undefeated, returning after six years to lose to Johnson.
New Zealand’s Bob “Ruby” Fitzsimmons, 61-8-4 with 57 stops and middleweight champion who, after losing at Heavy, became Light Heavyweight champion.
Ezzard “The Cincinnati Cobra” Charles, 95-25-1 with 52 stoppages, has the most victories of the champions. Ukraine’s Vitali “Dr. Ironfist” Klitschko, 45-2 with 41 stoppages. Brother of champion Wladimir “Dr. Steelhammer” Klitschko, 64-5 with 53 stoppages and an Olympic gold medalist.
Chris “Rapid Fire” Byrd, 41-5-1 with 22 stoppages, defeated Holyfield and Vitali Klitschko but lost to his brother Wladimir. Olympic silver medalist. Michael “Jinx” Spinks, 31-1 with 21 stoppages, the first Light Heavyweight to win the Heavyweight title defeated 48-0 Holmes. Olympic gold medalist.
South African Gerrie “The Boksburg Bomber” Coetzee, 33-6-1 with 21 stops, is the first African to win the tournament. Michael “Double M” Moorer, 52-4-1 with 40 stoppages, former Light Heavyweight 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 Tyson Fury but lost to him twice and is still active.
British Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury, 32-0-1 with 23 stops, the current WBC champion, stopped Deontay Wilder, then 42-0-1, twice after drawing him.
Oleksandr Usyk of Ukraine, 20-0 with 13 stoppages, former Cruiserweight champion, and current IBF, WBA, and WBO champion and Olympic gold medalist. British national Anthony “AJ” Joshua beat him with a score of 24-3, with 22 double takedowns. Joshua won gold in the Olympics. Wladimir Klitschko was defeated.
There you have it, fans. Let’s hear from you who you think is the best!