List of light-heavyweight boxing champions

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This is a chronological List of World Light Heavyweight Boxing Champions, as recognized by four of the better-known sanctioning organizations:

Championship recognition[edit]


The light-heavyweight division was created in 1903, the brainchild of Chicago journalist Lou Houseman who was also a boxing manager and promoter. He matched his own fighter Jack Root with Kid McCoy and announced the fight as being for the light-heavyweight championship of the world. The boxing press accepted the new weight division and Root was accepted as the inaugural world champion. Jack Root was defeated in his first title defense against George Gardner_(boxer), who was considered the most thrilling fighter in the division, and the first undisputed Light - Heavyweight Champion of the World. During the 1980s, however, some boxing historians found records indicating that Joe Choynski won a twenty-round decision over Jimmy Ryan on August 18, 1899, in a fight billed as being for the light heavyweight championship. Choynski never seems to have made any claim to be the first light heavyweight champion.


Championship awarding organizations[edit]


Championship awarding organizations[edit]

Reign BeganReign EndedChampionRecognition
1903-04-221903-07-04Bohemia Jack RootWorld
1903-07-041903-11-25Ireland George GardinerWorld
The light-heavyweight division was not recognized outside North America until the Gardiner-Fitzsimmons title fight of November 1903
1903-11-251905-12-20United Kingdom Bob FitzsimmonsWorld
1905-12-201905-12-20-VacatedUnited States Philadelphia Jack O'BrienWorld
1913-02-171913-02-17United States Bob MohaNYSAC
1914-04-141916-10-24United States Jack DillonWorld
1916-10-241920-10-12United States Battling LevinskyWorld
1920-10-121922-09-24France Georges CarpentierWorld
1922-09-241923-03-17France Senegal Battling SikiWorld
1923-03-171925-05-30Republic of Ireland Mike McTigueWorld
1925-05-301926-07-16United States Paul BerlenbachWorld
1926-07-161927-07-27-VacatedUnited States Jack DelaneyWorld
Delaney vacated the title to campaign in the heavyweight division.
1927-08-301927-12-12United States Jimmy SlatteryNBA
1927-10-071929-07-18-VacatedUnited States Tommy Loughran [1]NYSAC
1930-02-101930-06-25United States Jimmy SlatteryNYSAC
1930-06-251933-03-10United States Maxie RosenbloomNYSAC
1932-03-181932-12-17-StrippedUnited States George NicholsNBA
Nichols was stripped of the title after losing a non-title bout to Lou Scozza.
Awarded the title1933-03-01United States Joe KnightNBA
1933-03-011933-03-24United States Bob GodwinNBA
1933-03-241934-11-16United States Maxie RosenbloomWorld
1934-11-161935-10-31United States Bob OlinWorld
1935-10-311938-10-28-VacatedUnited States John Henry LewisWorld
Lewis retired to due to failing eyesight.
1938-11-291939-02-03United States Tiger Jack FoxNYSAC
1939-02-031939-07-13Italy Melio BettinaNYSAC
1939-07-101942-06-20United Kingdom Len HarveyEBU
1939-07-131940-06-05-VacatedUnited States Billy ConnNBA/NYSAC
1941-01-131941-05-22Greece Anton ChristoforidisNBA
1941-05-221941-11-14United States Gus LesnevichNBA/NYSAC
1942-06-201946-05-14United Kingdom Freddie MillsEBU
1946-05-141948-07-26United States Gus LesnevichWorld
1948-07-261950-01-24United Kingdom Freddie MillsWorld
1950-01-241952-12-17United States Joey MaximWorld
1952-12-171960-10-??United States Archie MooreWorld
Moore was stripped of the NBA title for inactivity but retained the NYSAC and EBU versions.
1960-10-??1962-02-09United States Archie MooreNYSAC/EBU
Moore was stripped of the EBU and NYSAC titles for inactivity.
1961-02-071962-05-12United States Harold JohnsonNBA
1962-05-121963-06-01United States Harold JohnsonWorld
1963-06-011965-03-30United States Willie PastranoWBA/WBC
1965-03-301966-12-16Puerto Rico José TorresWBA/WBC
1966-12-161968-05-24Nigeria Dick TigerWBA/WBC
Title Split into WBA and WBC Belts
Title inaugurated
1963-06-011965-03-30United States Willie PastranoWBC
1965-05-301966-12-16Puerto Rico José TorresWBC
1966-12-161968-05-24Nigeria Dick TigerWBC
1968-05-241974-06-17-VacatedUnited States Bob FosterWBC
1974-10-011977-05-21-StrippedUnited Kingdom John ContehWBC
1977-05-211978-01-07Argentina Miguel Angel CuelloWBC
1978-01-071978-12-02Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Mate ParlovWBC
1978-12-021979-04-22United States Marvin JohnsonWBC
1979-04-221981-12-19United States Matthew Saad MuhammadWBC
1981-12-191983-03-18United States Dwight Muhammad QawiWBC
1983-03-181985-06-06-VacatedUnited States Michael SpinksWBC
1985-12-101986-04-30United States JB WilliamsonWBC
1986-04-301987-03-07United Kingdom Dennis AndriesWBC
1987-03-071987-VacatedUnited States Thomas HearnsWBC
1987-11-271988-11-07Canada Donny LalondeWBC
1988-11-071989-VacatedUnited States Sugar Ray LeonardWBC
1989-02-211989-06-24United Kingdom Dennis AndriesWBC
1989-06-241990-07-28Australia Jeff HardingWBC
1990-07-281991-09-11United Kingdom Dennis AndriesWBC
1991-09-111994-07-23Australia Jeff HardingWBC
1994-07-231995-06-16Jamaica Mike McCallumWBC
1995-06-161997-03-VacatedFrance Fabrice TiozzoWBC
1997-031997-03-21United States Roy Jones JrWBC
1997-03-211997-08-07United States Montell GriffinWBC
1997-08-072003-03-01-VacatedUnited States Roy Jones JrWBC
1998-03-212000-04-15Germany Graciano RocchigianiWBC (Restored Champion)
2003-04-232003-11-08United States Antonio TarverWBC
2003-11-082004-05-15United States Roy Jones JrWBC
2004-05-152004-12-StrippedUnited States Antonio TarverWBC
2005-05-212007-02-03Poland Tomasz AdamekWBC
2007-02-032008-07-11-StrippedUnited States Chad DawsonWBC
2008-07-112009-06-19Romania Adrian DiaconuWBC
2009-06-192011-05-21Canada Jean PascalWBC
2011-05-212012-04-28United States Bernard HopkinsWBC
2012-04-282013-06-08United States Chad DawsonWBC
2013-06-08PresentCanada Adonis StevensonWBC
Title inaugurated
1963-06-011965-03-30United States Willie PastranoWBA
1965-03-301966-12-16Puerto Rico José TorresWBA
1966-12-161968-05-24Nigeria Dick TigerWBA
1968-05-241970-12-09-StrippedUnited States Bob FosterWBA
1971-02-271972-04-07Venezuela Vicente RondonWBA
1972-04-071974-09-16-VacatedUnited States Bob FosterWBA
1974-12-071978-09-15Argentina Victor GalindezWBA
1978-09-151979-04-14United States Mike RossmanWBA
1979-04-141979-11-30Argentina Victor GalindezWBA
1979-11-301980-03-31United States Marvin JohnsonWBA
1980-03-311981-07-18United States Eddie Mustafa MuhammadWBA
1981-07-181985-09-21-VacatedUnited States Michael SpinksWBA
1986-02-091987-05-23United States Marvin JohnsonWBA
1987-05-231987-09-05Trinidad and Tobago Leslie StewartWBA
1987-09-051991-06-03United States Virgil HillWBA
1991-06-031992-03-20United States Thomas HearnsWBA
1992-03-201992-VacatedUnited States Iran BarkleyWBA
1992-09-291997-06-13United States Virgil HillWBA
1997-06-131997-07-01-VacatedPoland Dariusz MichalczewskiWBA
1997-09-201998-07-18United States Lou Del ValleWBA
1998-07-182004-05-15United States Roy Jones JrWBA Super Champion
2001-12-222003-03-08France Bruno GirardWBA Regular Champion
2003-03-082003-10-10France Mehdi SahnouneWBA Regular Champion
2003-10-102004-03-20Italy Silvio BrancoWBA Regular Champion
2004-03-202006-10-19-RetiredFrance Fabrice TiozzoWBA Regular Champion
2004-05-152004-12-StrippedUnited States Antonio TarverWBA Super Champion
2006-10-192007-04-28Italy Silvio BrancoWBA
2007-04-282007-12-16Croatia Stipe DrvisWBA
2007-12-162008-03-25-RetiredAustralia Danny GreenWBA
2008-07-032009-06-20Argentina Hugo GarayWBA
2009-06-202010-01-29Spain Gabriel CampilloWBA
2010-01-292014-04-19Kazakhstan Beibut ShumenovWBA Super Champion
2014-04-19PresentUnited States Bernard HopkinsWBA Super Champion
2013-12-14PresentGermany Juergen BraehmerWBA Regular Champion
Title inaugurated
1984-02-251985-09-21-VacatedUnited States Michael SpinksIBF
1985-12-211986-09-06Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan KačarIBF
1986-09-061987-10-29United States Bobby CzyzIBF
1987-10-291993-03-20United States Charles WilliamsIBF
1993-03-201996-11-23Germany Henry MaskeIBF
1996-11-231997-06-13United States Virgil HillIBF
1997-06-131997-06-16-VacatedPoland Dariusz MichalczewskiIBF
1997-07-191998-02-06United States William GuthrieIBF
1998-02-061999-06-05United States Reggie JohnsonIBF
1999-06-052003-03-01-VacatedUnited States Roy Jones JrIBF
2003-04-262003-11-08-StrippedUnited States Antonio TarverIBF
2004-02-062004-12-VacatedJamaica Glen JohnsonIBF
2005-03-042008-04-12United Kingdom Clinton WoodsIBF
2008-04-122008-10-11United States Antonio TarverIBF
2008-10-112009-05-27-VacatedUnited States Chad DawsonIBF
2009-08-282013-03-09United States Tavoris CloudIBF
2013-03-09PresentUnited States Bernard HopkinsIBF
Title inaugurated
1988-12-031990-12-15-VacatedUnited States Michael MoorerWBO
1991-05-091994-09-10United States Leeonzer BarberWBO
1994-09-102003-10-18Poland Dariusz MichalczewskiWBO
2003-10-182004-01-17Mexico Julio César GonzálezWBO
2004-01-172009-11-VacatedHungary Zsolt ErdeiWBO
2009-11-132011-05-19-StrippedGermany Jürgen BrähmerWBO
2011-05-192013-08-17United Kingdom Nathan CleverlyWBO
2013-08-17PresentRussia Sergey KovalevWBO


  1. ^ Nat Fleischer, Sam Andre, An Illustrated History of Boxing (Citadel Press, 2002) pp195-196