List of heavyweight boxing champions

This is a chronological list of world heavyweight boxing champions since the introduction of the Marquess of Queensberry rules in about 1884. It does not include fights fought under Jack Broughton's rules or the London Prize Ring Rules.

Championship recognition

All champions (updated Feb. 2018)

1884–1910

Champions were recognized by public acclamation. A champion in that era was a fighter who had a notable win over another fighter and kept winning afterward. Retirements or disputed results could lead to a championship being split among several men for periods of time. With only minor exceptions, the heavyweight division remained free from dual title-holders until the 1960s. For an early example, see the 1896 World Heavyweight Championship.

Sanctioning organizations: 1910–present

Gradually, the role of recognizing champions in the division evolved into a more formal affair, with public acclamation being supplemented (or in some cases, contradicted) by recognition by one or more athletic commissions, sanctioning organizations, or a combination of them. The most notable examples with respect to the heavyweight division have included:

Other bodies also recognize world champions, with varying degrees of legitimacy bestowed upon such recognition by the public at large. Current examples of such groups include the International Boxing Council, International Boxing Organization, World Boxing Federation and World Boxing Union.

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