Heavyweight great Lennox Lewis remains the last undisputed heavyweight champion of the world following his sensational victory over Evander Holyfield in 1999.
The British fighter took two bites of the cherry to sweep all the heavyweight titles after a ‘robbery’ in New York, which saw him controversially draw with Holyfield.
But he won a decisive victory over ‘The Real Deal’ in Las Vegas to retain the WBC and lineal heavyweight titles while picking up the WBA, IBF, and vacant WBO belts.
The last undisputed heavyweight title fight was in November 1999
Lennox Lewis beat Evander Holyfield via a unanimous decision to become the undisputed champ
Will the upcoming fights of Joshua v Pulev and Fury v Wilder III finally set up another undisputed clash? pic.twitter.com/tsDQuZKjRL
— BoxmanSteve (@SteveBoxman) March 2, 2020
Before Lewis’ dominance, Evander Holyfield and Riddick Bowe conquered the blue-ribbon division. Holyfield stopped ‘Buster’ Douglas to become the undisputed champion, before losing his throne to Bowe who scored a points win.
Of course, Douglas became heavyweight king after causing the biggest shock in boxing history. He knocked out Mike Tyson in Japan. ‘Iron’ Mike suffered his first professional defeat that night in the Tokyo Dome, but he had reeled off 37 consecutive victories including his big win over Tyrell Biggs to become WBA, IBF and WBC heavyweight champion.
Leon Spinks held the undisputed crown after beating Muhammad Ali who was the king of the division on three separate reigns.
Ali, as Cassius Clay, first unified all the belts in 1964 after defeating Sonny Liston for the WBC and WBA titles. Then again in 1967 after beating Ernie Terrell and for a third time after taking care of George Foreman in The Rumble in the Jungle.
Boxing’s undisputed heavyweight champions since 1962:
Sonny Liston (WBA, The Ring, Lineal) – September 25, 1962 – July 22, 1963
Sonny Liston (WBA, WBC, The Ring, Lineal) – July 22, 1963 – February 25, 1964
Muhammad Ali as Cassius Clay (WBA, WBC, The Ring, Lineal) – February 25, 1964 – September 19, 1964
Muhammad Ali (WBA, WBC, The Ring, Lineal) – February 6, 1967 – April 28, 1967
Joe Frazier (WBA, WBC, The Ring, Lineal) – February 16, 1970 – January 22, 1973
George Foreman (WBA, WBC, The Ring, Lineal) – January 22, 1973 – October 30, 1974
Muhammad Ali (WBA, WBC, The Ring, Lineal) – October 30, 1974 – February 15, 1978
Leon Spinks (WBA, WBC, The Ring, Lineal) – February 15, 1978 – March 18, 1978
Mike Tyson (WBA, WBC, IBF) – August 1, 1987 – February 11, 1990
‘Buster’ Douglas (WBC, WBA, IBF, The Ring, Lineal) – February 11, 1990 – October 25, 1990
Evander Holyfield (WBC, WBA, IBF, Lineal) – October 25, 1990 – November 13, 1992
Riddick Bowe (WBC, WBA, IBF, Lineal) – November 13, 1992 – December 14, 1992
Lennox Lewis (WBC, WBA, IBF, Lineal) – November 13, 1999 – April 29, 2000
It’s been over 20 years since the heavyweight division had an undisputed champion, but a heavyweight king could be crowned this year with talks reportedly underway between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury.
Joshua, who holds the WBA, IBF and WBO titles, is hoping to land a blockbuster fight with Fury, who’s the proud owner of the WBC, The Ring and Lineal titles.
The Manchester-born fighter stopped Wilder in the seventh round of their highly-anticipated rematch and while they’re set to meet for the third time, an undisputed clash against the Olympic gold medalist has been mooted.