LET US COMPARE ERAS. Not facts and stats of single fights or careers of boxers but whole eras.
As I wrote at Definitions "era" is the lot consisting of the 1) boxer 2) his opponents and 3) their opponents.
Please note: This article is part of my multi-part heavyweight boxing eras comparison:
- Boxing eras (1) The best heavyweight era of all time -OR- Is Roy Jones Jr. a better cruiser than Rocky Marciano?
- Boxing eras (2) Current heavyweights are fat and out of shape -OR- Ali and the mystery of the six-pack
- Boxing eras (3) Wladimir Klitschko in the Golden Age of Heavyweight -OR- How abysmal was Ali's era really?
- Boxing eras (4) Golden Age of Heavyweight -OR- Is the Klitschko era the first heavyweight era in history?
- Boxing eras (5) The worst heavyweight era of all time! -OR- Americans play Basketball now!
- Boxing eras (6) Is heavyweight boxing dead or dying?
In other words: Ali's era consists of
- Ali's fights (61 fights)
- and his opponents' fights (another 2500+ fights)
In other words: Ali's era consists of
- his opponents (50 different boxers)
- his opponents' opponents (another 1330 different boxers)
In other words: Would you check these 2600+ fights then in each one of these fights would be either Ali himself or one of Ali's opponents (e.g. Joe Frazier, Archie Moore etc).
This is what I call an "era".
An era in my definition IS NOT "the time when the boxer boxed" (e.g. the 1970ies) because that would include boxers whom neither Ali faced nor Ali's opponents faced. Thus it's not necessary to consider them.
How many KOs were scored in Ali's times?
OK, so here are the era stats at a glance: The table below includes ALL fights whether heavyweight, CakaH-weight, cruiserweight or below.
|Era||Total fights||Total boxers||Average weight||How many boxers ever boxed as cruisers?||Total KOs||Era KO'ratio||Total KO'ers||Total KO'ers with at least 3 KOs|
|Joe Louis' era||4100+ fights||1800+ boxers||189 lbs||84% (1500+)||1800+ KOs||44%||230 KO'ers||65 KO'ers|
|Mack/Marciano's era||2000+ fights||1100+ boxers||185 lbs||90% (1000+)||1000+ KOs||51%||171 KO'ers||40 KO'ers|
|Clay/Ali's era||2600+ fights||1300+ boxers||199 lbs||78% (1000+)||1500+ KOs||59%||162 KO'ers||55 KO'ers|
|Larry Holmes' era||2700+ fights||1400+ boxers||215 lbs||58% (800+)||1500+ KOs||58%||282 KO'ers||87 KO'ers|
|Mike Tyson's era||2100+ fights||1100+ boxers||220 lbs||52% (500+)||1400 KOs||65%||248 KO'ers||64 KO'ers|
|Lennox Lewis era||1800+ fights||1000+ boxers||220 lbs||51 % (500+)||1200+ KOs||65%||186 KO'ers||51 KO'ers|
|Wladimir Klitschko's era||2000+ fights||1200+ boxers||224 lbs||49% (500+)||1200+ KOs||62%||224 KO'ers||66 KO'ers|
Fistic Statistic [#1609.1]
Total fights = Ali vs Opponents + Opponents vs their opponents.
Totals do not include doubles but merely consists of unique fights, unique boxers, unique KOs and unique KO'ers.
Wladimir Klitschko's era is not concluded yet, thus the numbers will increase
You can see here that people are illegitimately comparing Clay/Ali's era to the Klitschko era: Ali's era was a cruiser era, while our era is a superheavyweight era with the average fighter being 224 lbs.
Rocky Marciano's era (average fighting weight 185 lbs) is not even a cruiserweight era (let alone a heavyweight era): It's rather a blown-up light-heavyweight era with a blown-up light-heavyweight (Mack aka Marciano) being the one-eyed amongst the blind. A terrible time for heavyweight boxing directly after the world war II, with many potential boxers tied up by the military.
One could even claim that the Klitschko era is the _FIRST_ real[?] heavyweight era because both the average weight is 200+ lbs AND most of the fighters are genuine heavyweights 200+ and NOT former cruisers. All previous eras had their roots in cruiserweight and below.
You could call Wladimir Klitschko the first champ of the first legitimate heavyweight era.
Somebody wrote "The heavyweight division isn't in trouble because of a lack of talent it is in trouble because it is currently in a stage of transition to a higher level, thats all" and although one can disagree with "being in trouble" one should agree with "transition" since exactly this transition is visible when you analyze the numbers.
An interesting number is the "Era KO'ratio" (= KOs/fights). You see a slight drop from Tyson's era (65%) to Klitschko's era (62%) while the average fight weight increased from 220 lbs to 224 lbs. This hints at the weight being of a greater importance for the "KO resistance" than for the "KO power". In other words: Being heavy PROTECTS YOU. In other words: KO'ing a FAT 260-pounder may be a bigger achievement than KO'ing a 220 athletic guy.
Of J.Lo and Lele
Joe Louis' wins against his opponents (EVEN IF THE OPPONENTS THEMSELVES weighed 200+ at fight night) are far less "heavyweighty" than nowadays fights, because Joe's opponents had records which consisted of far lighter opponents than nowadays. Thus a 26-0 opponent (Lou Nova) of Joe Louis is far less worth (in heavyweight terms) than a 26-0 opponent of Lennox Lewis (Donovan Ruddock), because Ruddock had the experience of 18 real[?] heavyweight bouts while Duva had only 5.
Here is a comparison of Joe Louis' opponents and Lennox Lewis':
|Joe Louis' last 20 win opponents||The opponents' 200×2 record at bout||Lennox Lewis' last 20 win opponents||The opponents' 200×2 record at bout|
|Jimmy Bivins||0-0||Vitali Klitschko||32-1|
|Cesar Brion||0-0||Mike Tyson||44-3|
|Lee Savold||2-0||Hasim Rahman||32-2|
|Omelio Agramonte||0-0||David Tua||33-1|
|Andy Walker||0-0||Francois Botha||30-2|
|Omelio Agramonte||0-0||Michael Grant||31-0|
|Freddie Beshore||0-0||Evander Holyfield||18-3|
|Cesar Brion||0-0||Zeljko Mavrovic||26-0|
|Jersey Joe Walcott||0-0||Shannon Briggs||28-1|
|Jersey Joe Walcott||0-0||Andrew Golota||26-2|
|Tami Mauriello||5-0||Henry Akinwande||30-0|
|Billy Conn||0-0||Oliver McCall||26-6|
|Johnny Davis||0-0||Ray Mercer||21-3|
|Abe Simon||24-5||Tommy Morrison||40-2|
|Buddy Baer||38-4||Justin Fortune||9-2|
|Lou Nova||4-1||Lionel Butler||21-10|
|Billy Conn||0-0||Phil Jackson||12-1|
|Buddy Baer||38-4||Frank Bruno||31-3|
|Tony Musto||1-0||Tony Tucker||44-1|
|Abe Simon||23-4||Donovan Ruddock||18-3|
Fistic Statistic [#1609.2]
As you can see nearly all of the last 20 opponents of Joe Louis are heavyweight nobodies. They would play hardly any role nowadays at heavyweight.
You might think that displaying the opponents with only their 200×2 records is too degrading BUT THAT'S ONLY BECAUSE YOU CONSIDER JOE LOUIS A HEAVYWEIGHT and his opponents HEAVYWEIGHT OPPONENTS. As soon as you start to accept the fact that Joe Louis was a small cruiserweight (median[?] fight weight 200 lbs) fighting against even smaller cruisers (median weight 193 lbs) then everything falls into place.
Only if you present Louis as a cruiser beating mainly cruisers (and sub-cruisers) you can display the full records of his opponents, but if you choose to display full record you MUST NOT COMPARE HIS OPPONENTS TO MODERN HEAVYWEIGHTS.
Let me clarify: Joe Louis as a boxer may be far greater than Lennox Lewis, but Joe Louis as a heavyweight 200+ plays in a lower league than Lennox Lewis.
In his whole career Joe Louis faced only 2 (TWO!) non-bummy[?] natural heavies (Abe Simon and Buddy Baer).
In all other fights…
- Louis himself was a cruiser
- or his opponents were cruisers
- or his opponents were former cruisers
- or his opponents were former sub-cruisers (e.g. Billy Conn, who started at 135 lbs)
- or even all things together (e.g. Joe Louis vs Max Schmeling 198 lbs vs 192 lbs)
You have to know such facts when you compare the era of Joe Louis to the era of Lennox Lewis.
The only similarity between Louis and Lewis is the term "heavy"-weight, which I already discussed at Boxing eras (1) The best heavyweight era of all time -OR- Is Roy Jones Jr. a better cruiser than Rocky Marciano?
Thus if you choose to mention Louis and Lewis in 1 sentence then you should
- either list only Louis' real[?] heavyweight fights (Joe Louis has a real heavyweight record of 11-0)
- or you should list his opponents' records, but without sub-200 fights (see table above)
- or you should use a multiplier based on the weights of Louis' opponents (Louis' opponents = 84% of the weight of Lennox' opponents)
- or you should mention a multiplier based on the average weight of Louis' era (Louis' era = 85% of Lennox era)
- or you should use a combination of the above
The most correct way would be probably to list Louis' opponents with only their 200+ records. Because a multiplier is misleading since having 20x paperweight bouts doesn't equal 1x heavyweight bout, otherwise a cruiser would be automatically ranked on heavyweight toplists. Thus I prefer to display opponents with only their heavyweight records, because that's how cruiserweight stays cruiserweight and heavyweight stays heavyweight.
A short glance at the champions reveals how the record changes once you start to compare OBJECTIVE weight divisions:
|Name||WinLoss Record||WinLoss Record (uniques)||WinLoss Record (200×2)||WinLoss Record (200×2, uniques)||WinLoss Record (215×2)||WinLoss Record (215×2, uniques)||WinLoss Record (215×2, uniques, non-bums)||WinLoss Record (215×2, uniques, non-bums, never cruisers)|
Fistic Statistic [#1609.3]
Three important remarks before we continue…
1) Some world champions have never won in a world champion fight but got appointed world champion for other reasons (e.g. Ken Norton).
2) Please note that the numbers of modern boxers (Lennox, Wladimir etc) are TEMPORARY because they will increase since they are still boxing and their opponents are still boxing.
3) Additionally all the above figures include sub-heavyweight fights, in other words the above tables are read like this…
- Joe Louis fought 70 fights
- These 70 fights comprised 59 opponents
- These 59 opponents and Joe Louis had 4100+ fights all together
- Of these 4100+ fights 400+ fights were real heavyweight 200×2
..but should actually feature the following figures (if we wanted to make a completely fair comparison to modern boxers):
- Joe Louis fought 70 fights
- Of these 70 fights 12 were real heavyweight 200×2
- These 12 comprised 10 unique boxers
- These 10 boxers and Joe Louis fought 200+ fights 200×2
I feature this type of statistic at Graphics (the golden images), so you might have a look there.
How many real heavyweight fights (200×2) happened in previous eras?
OK, now let's compare the eras by just comparing the real heavyweight fights 200×2
|Era||Total fights (200×2)||Total boxers (200×2)||Total KOs (200×2)||Total KO'ers (200×2)||Total KO'ers with at least 3 KOs (200×2)|
|Joe Louis' era||400+ fights||200+ boxers||200+ KOs||49 KO'ers||16 KO'ers|
|Mack/Marciano's era||100+ fights||80+ boxers||50+ KOs||21 KO'ers||5 KO'ers|
|Clay/Ali's era||900+ fights||500+ boxers||500+ KOs||69 KO'ers||32 KO'ers|
|Larry Holmes era||1700+ fights||900+ boxers||1000+ KOs||200 KO'ers||63 KO'ers|
|Mike Tyson's era||1700+ fights||800+ boxers||1100+ KOs||200 KO'ers||57 KO'ers|
|Lennox Lewis era||1400+ fights||700+ boxers||900+ KOs||151 KO'ers||48 KO'ers|
|Wladimir Klitschko's era||1600+ fights||900+ boxers||1000+ KOs||189 KO'ers||62 KO'ers|
Fistic Statistic [#1609.4]
As you can see, Klitschko has won against opponents who were much heavier than let's say Ali's opponents, and who had a much heavier backgrounds than Ali's opponents, and who had a much punchier background (twice as many KOs!) than Ali's opponents.
In other words: This era is way heavier than Ali's and is far more dangerous.
Weight in title fights
Here is an overview of the weight in heavyweight world title fights. This is how much weight the audience got for their money (the real meaning of "pound for pound", hahaha):
|Name||Decades||Average combined weight in title fights||Median combined weight in title fights||Max combined weight in a title fight|
520 lbs (Danny Williams)
506 lbs (Derrick Jefferson)
504 lbs (Vitali Klitschko)
454 lbs (Joe Bugner)
483 lbs (Lennox Lewis)
482 lbs (Tommy Morrison)
394 lbs (Don Cockell)
462 lbs (Abe Simon)
|·James J Jeffries||1890s,1900s,1910s|
435 lbs (Jack Johnson)
439 lbs (Muhammad Ali)
590 lbs (Jameel McCline)
524 lbs (Nikolay Valuev)
495 lbs (Brian Nielsen)
428 lbs (Muhammad Ali)
409 lbs (Sonny Liston)
488 lbs (Lennox Lewis)
484 lbs (Jameel McCline)
462 lbs (John Tate)
472 lbs (Primo Carnera)
436 lbs (Muhammad Ali)
393 lbs (Jack Sharkey)
407 lbs (Joe Frazier)
|·Jersey Joe Walcott||1940s,1950s|
407 lbs (Joe Louis)
463 lbs (Jess Willard)
402 lbs (Joe Louis)
432 lbs (Jess Willard)
395 lbs (Tom Heeney)
391 lbs (James J Jeffries)
381 lbs (Gunner Moir)
370 lbs (Tommy Burns)
|·John L. Sullivan||1890s|
390 lbs (James J Corbett)
404 lbs (Max Baer)
Fistic Statistic [#1609.5]
Steelhammers vs Butterflies
In fact Ali himself (the champ of his era) posed extremely little threat for others because Ali is one of the most featherfisted champs of all time ("like a butterfly") or maybe even THE most featherfisted of all time.
Here are ALL world champions (pre-NBA, NBA, WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO, IBO) from 1885 until now (2010). There have been 78 heavyweight world champions to date. You will have difficulties finding a punch-weaker heavyweight than Ali.
|#||Name||Middle of career||Record||Median opponent weight||Is median opponent a real heavyweight (200+ lbs)||How many real heavyweight fights (200×2)||KO'ratio (200×2)||KO'ratio (uniques, 200×2)|
|01||·Bob Fitzsimmons||1899||71-8||170 lbs||0||-||- (0of0)|
|02||·Brian Nielsen||1997||64-2||225 lbs||y||66||66%||66.1% (43of65)|
|03||·Bruce Seldon||1999||40-8||226 lbs||y||48||75%||73.9% (34of46)|
|04||·Chris Byrd||2001||41-5||225 lbs||y||41||46%||47.5% (19of40)|
|05||·Corrie Sanders||1998||42-4||221 lbs||y||40||67%||67.5% (27of40)|
|06||·Danell Nicholson||1998||42-5||230 lbs||y||44||65%||65.9% (29of44)|
|07||·David Haye||2006||25-1||198 lbs||9||88%||88.8% (8of9)|
|08||·Ernie Terrell||1965||46-9||201 lbs||y||14||14%||14.2% (2of14)|
|09||·Evander Holyfield||1997||43-10||219 lbs||y||37||40%||48.2% (14of29)|
|10||·Ezzard Charles||1949||93-25||182 lbs||1||-||- (1of1)|
|11||·Floyd Patterson||1962||55-8||187 lbs||0||-||- (0of0)|
|12||·Francesco Damiani||1989||30-2||213 lbs||y||27||70%||70.3% (19of27)|
|13||·Frank Bruno||1989||40-5||215 lbs||y||40||82%||84.6% (33of39)|
|14||·Gene Tunney||1922||81-1||174 lbs||0||-||- (0of0)|
|15||·George Foreman||1983||76-5||214 lbs||y||64||82%||82.5% (52of63)|
|16||·Gerrie Coetzee||1986||33-6||211 lbs||y||24||47%||47.8% (11of23)|
|17||·Greg Page||1990||58-17||223 lbs||y||74||63%||65.2% (45of69)|
|18||·Hasim Rahman||2002||49-7||236 lbs||y||56||70%||73.5% (39of53)|
|19||·Henry Akinwande||1999||50-4||224 lbs||y||53||56%||55.7% (29of52)|
|20||·Herbie Hide||2000||49-4||212 lbs||y||33||81%||83.8% (26of31)|
|21||·Ingemar Johansson||1958||26-2||197 lbs||5||60%||60.0% (3of5)|
|22||·Jack Dempsey||1921||65-6||191 lbs||1||-||- (1of1)|
|23||·Jack Johnson||1915||68-12||192 lbs||15||33%||33.3% (5of15)|
|24||·Jack Sharkey||1930||38-14||193 lbs||3||-||- (0of2)|
|25||·James Buster Douglas||1990||38-6||221 lbs||y||39||52%||48.6% (18of37)|
|26||·James J Corbett||1895||14-4||170 lbs||0||-||- (0of0)|
|27||·James J Jeffries||1903||19-1||185 lbs||4||50%||- (2of3)|
|28||·James Smith||1990||44-17||226 lbs||y||58||50%||55.7% (29of52)|
|29||·Jersey Joe Walcott||1942||51-18||187 lbs||1||-||- (0of1)|
|30||·Jess Willard||1917||26-7||200 lbs||y||21||52%||47.3% (9of19)|
|31||·Jim Braddock||1932||51-26||178 lbs||0||-||- (0of0)|
|32||·Jimmy Ellis||1968||40-12||188 lbs||6||50%||60.0% (3of5)|
|33||·Jimmy Thunder||1996||35-14||223 lbs||y||47||58%||57.7% (26of45)|
|34||·Joe Frazier||1973||32-4||201 lbs||y||18||44%||53.8% (7of13)|
|35||·Joe Louis||1943||66-3||193 lbs||11||80%||88.8% (8of9)|
|36||·John L. Sullivan||1885||38-1||200 lbs||y||9||100%||88.8% (8of9)|
|37||·John Ruiz||2001||44-9||222 lbs||y||36||60%||63.6% (21of33)|
|38||·John Tate||1982||34-3||212 lbs||y||31||58%||60.0% (18of30)|
|39||·Ken Norton||1974||42-7||209 lbs||y||37||64%||70.5% (24of34)|
|40||·Lamon Brewster||2003||35-6||233 lbs||y||40||72%||74.3% (29of39)|
|41||·Larry Holmes||1987||69-6||212 lbs||y||65||58%||58.0% (36of62)|
|42||·Lennox Lewis||1996||41-2||228 lbs||y||42||75%||79.4% (31of39)|
|43||·Leon Spinks||1986||26-17||211 lbs||y||30||27%||26.6% (8of30)|
|44||·Lionel Butler||1999||32-17||226 lbs||y||49||52%||53.1% (25of47)|
|45||·Marvin Hart||1905||31-9||173 lbs||3||-||- (0of3)|
|46||·Max Baer||1935||68-13||196 lbs||28||64%||69.2% (18of26)|
|47||·Max Schmeling||1936||56-10||185 lbs||0||-||- (0of0)|
|48||·Michael Bentt||1991||11-2||219 lbs||y||12||41%||45.4% (5of11)|
|49||·Michael Dokes||1987||53-6||214 lbs||y||53||57%||60.0% (30of50)|
|50||·Michael Moorer||1998||52-4||212 lbs||y||35||51%||52.9% (18of34)|
|51||·Michael Spinks||1982||31-1||174 lbs||4||50%||50.0% (2of4)|
|52||·Mike Tyson||1995||50-6||218 lbs||y||51||78%||79.1% (38of48)|
|53||·Mike Weaver||1986||41-18||218 lbs||y||46||46%||50.0% (20of40)|
|54||·Muhammad Ali||1971||56-5||205 lbs||y||32||34%||40.0% (10of25)|
|55||·Nikolay Valuev||2001||50-2||236 lbs||y||50||65%||64.5% (31of48)|
|56||·Oleg Maskaev||2001||36-7||232 lbs||y||43||62%||62.5% (25of40)|
|57||·Oliver McCall||1998||55-10||228 lbs||y||64||57%||58.0% (36of62)|
|58||·Pinklon Thomas||1985||43-7||216 lbs||y||43||60%||62.5% (25of40)|
|59||·Primo Carnera||1937||89-14||205 lbs||y||72||78%||81.5% (53of65)|
|60||·Ray Mercer||1998||36-7||227 lbs||y||42||57%||58.5% (24of41)|
|61||·Riddick Bowe||1999||43-1||225 lbs||y||43||80%||84.2% (32of38)|
|62||·Rocky Marciano||1951||49-0||190 lbs||0||-||- (0of0)|
|63||·Roy Jones Jr||1999||54-7||168 lbs||0||-||- (0of0)|
|64||·Ruslan Chagaev||2004||27-1||238 lbs||y||28||59%||61.5% (16of26)|
|65||·Samuel Peter||2005||34-4||233 lbs||y||38||71%||75.0% (27of36)|
|66||·Shannon Briggs||2001||51-6||229 lbs||y||56||76%||76.3% (42of55)|
|67||·Siarhei Liakhovich||2004||25-3||231 lbs||y||27||55%||53.8% (14of26)|
|68||·Sonny Liston||1962||50-4||199 lbs||26||80%||83.3% (20of24)|
|69||·Sultan Ibragimov||2005||22-1||234 lbs||y||24||73%||70.8% (17of24)|
|70||·Tim Witherspoon||1991||55-13||228 lbs||y||65||52%||53.2% (33of62)|
|71||·Tommy Burns||1911||46-5||180 lbs||0||-||- (0of0)|
|72||·Tommy Morrison||1998||48-3||221 lbs||y||47||78%||78.7% (37of47)|
|73||·Tony LaRosa||1996||32-23||194 lbs||25||8%||8.3% (2of24)|
|74||·Tony Tubbs||1993||47-10||220 lbs||y||51||42%||42.0% (21of50)|
|75||·Tony Tucker||1989||57-7||222 lbs||y||60||73%||75.8% (44of58)|
|76||·Trevor Berbick||1988||49-11||218 lbs||y||54||48%||49.0% (26of53)|
|77||·Vitali Klitschko||2003||41-2||230 lbs||y||43||88%||88.3% (38of43)|
|78||·Wladimir Klitschko||2003||55-3||232 lbs||y||58||87%||92.4% (49of53)|
Fistic Statistic [#1609.6]
On a sidenote: Isn't it fascinating that there are 4 world champs with colorful names like Leon Spinks, Michael Spinks, Pinklon Thomas and Tony LaRosa?
The bottom of the table… Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali is so featherfisted that he is only underperformed
- by cruiser Jack Johnson, median fighting weight 185 lbs
- by bummy[?] Leon Spinks (26-17)
- by Tony LaRosa (32-23)(!), median opponent weight 194 lbs, who died at the age of 41 and who (for some reason that eludes me) seems to have been IBF heavyweight champion without winning a world championship fight
- by Ernie Terrell (real heavyweight record 9-5)
In other words: Muhammad Ali is one of the least dangerous champs of all time.
Add to it that even his scarce KOs are doubtful (Sonny Liston 2x, George Foreman, Cleveland Williams) and you get a champ without power.
This is confirmed by Earnie Shavers, who compared the punching power of Larry Holmes to Ali's:
Interviewer: "You fought Muhammad Ali the year before and you told us earlier: 'No comparison between the jab of Larry Holmes and Muhammed Ali'"
Earnie Shavers: "Larry's left hand is like most guys right hand. Larry had THE jab. There's no comparison to Muhammed Ali. Muhammed Ali had a flicking jab. No power. Larry has a real powerful jab like a right hand. None, no comparison."
Considering that Larry Holmes himself is somewhat featherfisty Ali's power must have been abysmal.
Amongst real heavyweight champs (200×2) Ali, Leon Spinks and Terrell are the 3 most featherfisted champs of all time, followed by Evan Fields and Joe Frazier.
As you may be aware Ernie Terrell had a music group ("Ernie Terrell & the Heavyweights"). He should have rather made a band with Ali and Frazier and call it "The Pillows".
Since it's usually the AliFans who claim that "Ali would easily KO ((insert opponent)) within ((insert rounds))" they need to swallow a tough pill reading these tables.
Muhammad Ali is the most famous featherfist of all time.
Powder Puncher or Power Puncher?
This table below shows another way how to statistificate the power (or lack thereof) of a boxer.
|#||name||Rounds needed per KO (200×2, fair, including overlate KOs)||Rounds needed per KO (200×2, KOs 1-12)|
|01||·Brian Nielsen||6.7 (289 rounds for 43 KOs)||6.7 (289 rounds for 43 KOs)|
|02||·Bruce Seldon||5.0 (181 rounds for 36 KOs)||5.0 (181 rounds for 36 KOs)|
|03||·Chris Byrd||16.9 (322.5 rounds for 19 KOs)||16.9 (322.5 rounds for 19 KOs)|
|04||·Corrie Sanders||5.0 (137.5 rounds for 27 KOs)||5.0 (137.5 rounds for 27 KOs)|
|05||·Danell Nicholson||5.9 (172.5 rounds for 29 KOs)||5.9 (172.5 rounds for 29 KOs)|
|06||·David Haye||5.1 (41 rounds for 8 KOs)||5.1 (41 rounds for 8 KOs)|
|07||·Ernie Terrell||63.2 (126.5 rounds for 2 KOs)||63.2 (126.5 rounds for 2 KOs)|
|08||·Evander Holyfield||22.7 (318 rounds for 14 KOs)||22.7 (318 rounds for 14 KOs)|
|09||·Francesco Damiani||6.3 (121.5 rounds for 19 KOs)||6.3 (121.5 rounds for 19 KOs)|
|10||·Frank Bruno||4.2 (140 rounds for 33 KOs)||4.2 (140 rounds for 33 KOs)|
|11||·George Foreman||5.0 (267.5 rounds for 53 KOs)||5.0 (267.5 rounds for 53 KOs)|
|12||·Gerrie Coetzee||15.0 (165.5 rounds for 11 KOs)||15.0 (165.5 rounds for 11 KOs)|
|13||·Greg Page||8.3 (385.5 rounds for 46 KOs)||8.3 (385.5 rounds for 46 KOs)|
|14||·Hasim Rahman||6.3 (248.5 rounds for 39 KOs)||6.3 (248.5 rounds for 39 KOs)|
|15||·Henry Akinwande||10.2 (296 rounds for 29 KOs)||10.2 (296 rounds for 29 KOs)|
|16||·Herbie Hide||4.0 (109.5 rounds for 27 KOs)||4.0 (109.5 rounds for 27 KOs)|
|17||·Ingemar Johansson||10 (40 rounds for 4 KOs)||13.3 (40 rounds for 3 KOs)|
|18||·Jack Johnson||24.1 (145 rounds for 6 KOs)||29 (145 rounds for 5 KOs)|
|19||·James Buster Douglas||10.5 (210.5 rounds for 20 KOs)||10.5 (210.5 rounds for 20 KOs)|
|20||·James J Jeffries||20.2 (40.5 rounds for 2 KOs)||20.2 (40.5 rounds for 2 KOs)|
|21||·James Smith||11.3 (330.5 rounds for 29 KOs)||11.3 (330.5 rounds for 29 KOs)|
|22||·Jess Willard||12.9 (155 rounds for 12 KOs)||14.0 (155 rounds for 11 KOs)|
|23||·Jimmy Ellis||10.5 (31.5 rounds for 3 KOs)||10.5 (31.5 rounds for 3 KOs)|
|24||·Jimmy Thunder||9.4 (256 rounds for 27 KOs)||9.4 (256 rounds for 27 KOs)|
|25||·Joe Frazier||18 (144 rounds for 8 KOs)||18 (144 rounds for 8 KOs)|
|26||·Joe Louis||5.6 (50.5 rounds for 9 KOs)||6.3 (50.5 rounds for 8 KOs)|
|27||·John L. Sullivan||2.6 (21 rounds for 8 KOs)||2.6 (21 rounds for 8 KOs)|
|28||·John Ruiz||10.5 (221.5 rounds for 21 KOs)||10.5 (221.5 rounds for 21 KOs)|
|29||·John Tate||9.5 (172 rounds for 18 KOs)||9.5 (172 rounds for 18 KOs)|
|30||·Ken Norton||9.3 (224 rounds for 24 KOs)||9.3 (224 rounds for 24 KOs)|
|31||·Lamon Brewster||5.5 (160.5 rounds for 29 KOs)||5.5 (160.5 rounds for 29 KOs)|
|32||·Larry Holmes||12.6 (494.5 rounds for 39 KOs)||13.0 (494.5 rounds for 38 KOs)|
|33||·Lennox Lewis||6.4 (199.5 rounds for 31 KOs)||6.4 (199.5 rounds for 31 KOs)|
|34||·Leon Spinks||27 (216 rounds for 8 KOs)||27 (216 rounds for 8 KOs)|
|35||·Lionel Butler||6.3 (157.5 rounds for 25 KOs)||6.3 (157.5 rounds for 25 KOs)|
|36||·Max Baer||8.0 (145 rounds for 18 KOs)||8.0 (145 rounds for 18 KOs)|
|37||·Michael Bentt||9.9 (49.5 rounds for 5 KOs)||9.9 (49.5 rounds for 5 KOs)|
|38||·Michael Dokes||10.2 (306 rounds for 30 KOs)||10.2 (306 rounds for 30 KOs)|
|39||·Michael Moorer||11.9 (215 rounds for 18 KOs)||11.9 (215 rounds for 18 KOs)|
|40||·Michael Spinks||11.7 (23.5 rounds for 2 KOs)||11.7 (23.5 rounds for 2 KOs)|
|41||·Mike Tyson||4.7 (184.5 rounds for 39 KOs)||4.7 (184.5 rounds for 39 KOs)|
|42||·Mike Weaver||13.3 (306 rounds for 23 KOs)||14.5 (306 rounds for 21 KOs)|
|43||·Muhammad Ali||24.5 (344 rounds for 14 KOs)||31.2 (344 rounds for 11 KOs)|
|44||·Nikolay Valuev||7.7 (247 rounds for 32 KOs)||7.7 (247 rounds for 32 KOs)|
|45||·Oleg Maskaev||8.0 (218 rounds for 27 KOs)||8.0 (218 rounds for 27 KOs)|
|46||·Oliver McCall||9.4 (339.5 rounds for 36 KOs)||9.4 (339.5 rounds for 36 KOs)|
|47||·Pinklon Thomas||8.8 (230.5 rounds for 26 KOs)||8.8 (230.5 rounds for 26 KOs)|
|48||·Primo Carnera||5.6 (322.5 rounds for 57 KOs)||5.7 (322.5 rounds for 56 KOs)|
|49||·Ray Mercer||9.1 (220.5 rounds for 24 KOs)||9.1 (220.5 rounds for 24 KOs)|
|50||·Riddick Bowe||4.9 (158.5 rounds for 32 KOs)||4.9 (158.5 rounds for 32 KOs)|
|51||·Ruslan Chagaev||8.8 (141 rounds for 16 KOs)||8.8 (141 rounds for 16 KOs)|
|52||·Samuel Peter||6.0 (163 rounds for 27 KOs)||6.0 (163 rounds for 27 KOs)|
|53||·Shannon Briggs||4.2 (181 rounds for 43 KOs)||4.2 (181 rounds for 43 KOs)|
|54||·Siarhei Liakhovich||9.9 (148.5 rounds for 15 KOs)||9.9 (148.5 rounds for 15 KOs)|
|55||·Sonny Liston||5.2 (111 rounds for 21 KOs)||5.2 (111 rounds for 21 KOs)|
|56||·Sultan Ibragimov||6.4 (109.5 rounds for 17 KOs)||6.4 (109.5 rounds for 17 KOs)|
|57||·Tim Witherspoon||11.6 (397 rounds for 34 KOs)||11.6 (397 rounds for 34 KOs)|
|58||·Tommy Morrison||3.8 (143.5 rounds for 37 KOs)||3.8 (143.5 rounds for 37 KOs)|
|59||·Tony LaRosa||45.2 (90.5 rounds for 2 KOs)||45.2 (90.5 rounds for 2 KOs)|
|60||·Tony Tubbs||14.3 (301.5 rounds for 21 KOs)||14.3 (301.5 rounds for 21 KOs)|
|61||·Tony Tucker||6.2 (276 rounds for 44 KOs)||6.2 (276 rounds for 44 KOs)|
|62||·Trevor Berbick||15.1 (394 rounds for 26 KOs)||15.1 (394 rounds for 26 KOs)|
|63||·Vitali Klitschko||5 (190 rounds for 38 KOs)||5 (190 rounds for 38 KOs)|
|64||·Wladimir Klitschko||4.8 (238.5 rounds for 49 KOs)||4.8 (238.5 rounds for 49 KOs)|
Fistic Statistic [#1609.7]
I excluded all champs with 3 or less real heavyweight fights.
All the above numbers are fair = without fights that ended due to headbutts, without wins by DQ and without NC.
John L. Sullivan's ratios look pretty impressive until you take a look at his picture:
He was the last bareknuckle champion (= without gloves) and here is a picture of one of his fights:
It's highly doubtful that any statistical figures of such ancient boxers are comparable to modern boxers.
The Pillow Flicker era
Unbelievable, not only are Ali, Terrell and Leon Spinks the 3 most featherfisted real heavyweight champs of all time but if you lived in those times you were really lucky:
Ali actually FACED them!
And even more: He faced two other featherfisted champs: Joe Frazier (bottom #8) and Trevor Berbick (bottom #10).
Now, what can we expect when 5 of the most featherfisted champs of all time meet in a ring? We can expect a lot featherfisted drama (= wind makers) ("Air Wars") but unfortunately no KOs within 12 rounds:
Ali vs Terrell UD15
Ali vs Frazier RTD14
Ali vs Frazier UD12
Ali vs Frazier UD15
Ali vs Leon Spinks UD15
Ali vs Leon Spinks SD15
Ali vs Trevor Berbick UD10
You see, all these numbers that I list in my tables DO AMOUNT to something. They CAN be interpreted. They are not meaningless.
So why do I mention all this?
Because in the mind of AliFans fighting 15 rounds is a proof of greatness! AliFans LOVE to mention how in Ali's era the fighters were "15-rounders", while modern boxers are merely 12-rounders:
"your klits are a joke and to compare them the the greatest 15 rounders of all time is a good laugh"
"Wlad is compared to the greatest 15 rounders of all time, Wlad would fall out in a 15 rounder"
"Are you kidding me, are u for real, are u telling me sorry azz wlad would had beat an in prime frazier based on his mummy size, no no no- for one thing- wlad couldnt get past 5 rounds without CPR needed, frazier is a hall of fame 15 rounder"
Ali vs Frazier is considered a proof of the greatness of the era, whereas in reality it's merely a proof of a weak punch and a somewhat durable chin.
In other words: It's another case of black-is-white logic since going 15 rounds is not a hallmark but actually a sign of FAILURE, as I wrote at Wladimir Klitschko sucks because he KOs his opponents.
Nevertheless it seems that the 1970ies audience LOVED 2 featherfists slugging it out: Ali vs Frazier attracted 19000+ spectators, Ali vs Terrell even 37000+ (approx. twice as much as Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield).
An even bigger(!) crowd came to see Ali vs Leon Spinks II.
Featherfist Ali (already with signs of Parkinson) and featherfist Leon Spinks (a bum with a career record of 26-17, who at the time had a record of 2-0 in 200×2 fights) met for the *cough* heavyweight *cough* championship *cough* of the world.
I have yet to make up my which fight was actually worse:
A featherfist with Parkinson's (Ali) losing to
a 2-0 cruiser bum (Leon Spinks, 197 lbs)…
…or a 2-0 bum losing to a featherfist with Parkinson in the rematch.
That was the zenith of the Golden Age of Boxing:
A 63000+ crowd!
Alternatively you may want to choose the "Clayzier trilogy" as an even greater farce, since Frazier was boxing half BLIND (and even completely blind once his seeing eye swelled up). No matter how much you like Frazier vs Ali ("Fight of the century") (= the signature fight of Ali's era), it doesn't change the fact that it was "Featherfist vs Handicapped Featherfist". Nothing nowadays comes even close to such a terrible state of the heavyweight division. It's only bottomed by boxers fighting completely BLIND (Sam Langford, Sujet Salee). Now, don't get me wrong: Frazier's courage is remarkable. But don't convert the courage of a handicapped to the greatness of a whole era.
How many of their opponents did the champs KO?
Another way how to display the punching power of a boxer is to check how many of his opponents a boxer managed to KO throughout his whole career (= including rematches). Thus if a boxer has 10 fights against 5 different opponents of whom he manages to KO 4 then his Unique KO'ratio would be 4 of 5 = 80%.
|Name||Unique KO'ratio (fair)||Unique KO'ratio (fair, 200×2)||Unique KO'ratio (fair, 200×2, world title fights)||Unique KO'ratio (fair, 200×2, non-bums)|
|·Bob Fitzsimmons||72.6% (53of73)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)|
|·Brian Nielsen||67.1% (43of64)||67.1% (43of64)||83.3% (5of6)||63.6% (14of22)|
|·Bruce Seldon||73.9% (34of46)||73.9% (34of46)||- (2of3)||38.4% (5of13)|
|·Chris Byrd||47.8% (22of46)||47.5% (19of40)||14.2% (1of7)||31.2% (5of16)|
|·Corrie Sanders||67.3% (31of46)||67.5% (27of40)||- (1of2)||58.3% (7of12)|
|·Danell Nicholson||68.0% (32of47)||65.9% (29of44)||- (0of1)||0.0% (0of6)|
|·David Haye||88.4% (23of26)||88.8% (8of9)||- (2of3)||85.7% (6of7)|
|·Ernie Terrell||42.5% (20of47)||14.2% (2of14)||- (0of2)||16.6% (1of6)|
|·Evander Holyfield||62.2% (28of45)||50.0% (14of28)||30.7% (4of13)||44.0% (11of25)|
|·Ezzard Charles||55.0% (49of89)||- (1of1)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)|
|·Floyd Patterson||73.0% (38of52)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)|
|·Francesco Damiani||75.0% (24of32)||70.3% (19of27)||- (1of2)||50.0% (3of6)|
|·Frank Bruno||86.3% (38of44)||84.6% (33of39)||0.0% (0of4)||66.6% (8of12)|
|·Gene Tunney||65.6% (42of64)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)|
|·George Foreman||84.8% (67of79)||82.5% (52of63)||42.8% (3of7)||61.9% (13of21)|
|·Gerrie Coetzee||58.3% (21of36)||47.8% (11of23)||25.0% (1of4)||22.2% (2of9)|
|·Greg Page||67.1% (47of70)||66.1% (45of68)||- (2of3)||27.7% (5of18)|
|·Hasim Rahman||74.0% (40of54)||75.0% (39of52)||16.6% (1of6)||47.0% (8of17)|
|·Henry Akinwande||57.6% (30of52)||58.0% (29of50)||50.0% (2of4)||33.3% (5of15)|
|·Herbie Hide||82.0% (41of50)||83.8% (26of31)||66.6% (4of6)||75.0% (6of8)|
|·Ingemar Johansson||62.5% (15of24)||60.0% (3of5)||- (0of0)||- (0of1)|
|·Jack Dempsey||20.8% (10of48)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)|
|·Jack Dempsey||79.3% (46of58)||- (1of1)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)|
|·Jack Johnson||46.8% (30of64)||33.3% (5of15)||0.0% (0of5)||- (0of3)|
|·Jack Sharkey||32.5% (13of40)||- (0of2)||- (0of1)||- (0of1)|
|·James Buster Douglas||54.7% (23of42)||50.0% (18of36)||- (1of3)||35.7% (5of14)|
|·James J Corbett||17.6% (3of17)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)|
|·James J Jeffries||72.2% (13of18)||- (2of3)||- (1of2)||- (1of2)|
|·James Smith||- (0of3)||- (0of1)||- (0of0)||- (0of1)|
|·James Smith||57.1% (32of56)||55.7% (29of52)||- (1of3)||27.7% (5of18)|
|·Jersey Joe Walcott||59.2% (32of54)||- (0of1)||- (0of0)||- (0of1)|
|·Jess Willard||53.3% (16of30)||47.3% (9of19)||- (0of2)||- (0of3)|
|·Jim Braddock||36.6% (26of71)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)|
|·Jimmy Ellis||78.2% (18of23)||82.3% (14of17)||- (0of0)||- (1of3)|
|·Jimmy Ellis||46.0% (23of50)||60.0% (3of5)||- (0of1)||- (0of2)|
|·Jimmy Thunder||58.6% (27of46)||59.0% (26of44)||- (1of3)||31.2% (5of16)|
|·Joe Frazier||80.6% (25of31)||53.8% (7of13)||57.1% (4of7)||42.8% (3of7)|
|·Joe Louis||84.4% (49of58)||100.0% (9of9)||100.0% (6of6)||100.0% (5of5)|
|·John L. Sullivan||83.7% (31of37)||100.0% (8of8)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)|
|·John Ruiz||61.2% (30of49)||65.6% (21of32)||14.2% (1of7)||33.3% (5of15)|
|·John Tate||65.7% (23of35)||60.0% (18of30)||- (0of2)||55.5% (5of9)|
|·Ken Norton||71.1% (32of45)||70.5% (24of34)||- (0of3)||53.8% (7of13)|
|·Lamon Brewster||75.0% (30of40)||74.3% (29of39)||60.0% (3of5)||60.0% (6of10)|
|·Larry Holmes||57.7% (41of71)||58.0% (36of62)||52.0% (13of25)||46.1% (12of26)|
|·Lennox Lewis||82.0% (32of39)||81.5% (31of38)||71.4% (10of14)||75.0% (15of20)|
|·Leon Spinks||30.2% (13of43)||27.5% (8of29)||- (0of2)||27.2% (3of11)|
|·Lionel Butler||53.1% (25of47)||54.3% (25of46)||- (1of2)||17.6% (3of17)|
|·Marvin Hart||55.1% (16of29)||- (0of2)||- (0of0)||- (0of1)|
|·Max Baer||72.7% (48of66)||69.2% (18of26)||- (1of1)||42.8% (3of7)|
|·Max Schmeling||71.1% (37of52)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)|
|·Michael Bentt||50.0% (6of12)||45.4% (5of11)||- (1of2)||- (1of2)|
|·Michael Dokes||58.6% (34of58)||60.0% (30of50)||- (1of3)||41.6% (5of12)|
|·Michael Moorer||70.9% (39of55)||52.9% (18of34)||33.3% (2of6)||50.0% (8of16)|
|·Michael Spinks||70.0% (21of30)||50.0% (2of4)||- (1of3)||50.0% (2of4)|
|·Mike Tyson||82.6% (43of52)||80.8% (38of47)||64.2% (9of14)||69.5% (16of23)|
|·Mike Weaver||48.0% (25of52)||51.2% (20of39)||11.1% (1of9)||18.1% (2of11)|
|·Muhammad Ali||60.0% (30of50)||40.0% (10of25)||42.1% (8of19)||33.3% (6of18)|
|·Nikolay Valuev||67.3% (33of49)||65.9% (31of47)||42.8% (3of7)||44.4% (8of18)|
|·Oleg Maskaev||62.5% (25of40)||62.5% (25of40)||- (1of3)||41.1% (7of17)|
|·Oliver McCall||58.7% (37of63)||58.0% (36of62)||- (1of3)||38.0% (8of21)|
|·Pinklon Thomas||68.7% (33of48)||62.5% (25of40)||20.0% (1of5)||0.0% (0of9)|
|·Primo Carnera||76.7% (66of86)||82.8% (53of64)||- (1of3)||62.5% (5of8)|
|·Ray Mercer||60.4% (26of43)||58.5% (24of41)||- (2of3)||50.0% (8of16)|
|·Riddick Bowe||86.8% (33of38)||86.4% (32of37)||100.0% (5of5)||81.8% (9of11)|
|·Rocky Marciano||93.1% (41of44)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)|
|·Roy Jones Jr||70.1% (40of57)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)|
|·Ruslan Chagaev||65.3% (17of26)||64.0% (16of25)||- (0of3)||33.3% (4of12)|
|·Samuel Peter||75.0% (27of36)||75.0% (27of36)||40.0% (2of5)||50.0% (6of12)|
|·Shannon Briggs||77.1% (44of57)||76.3% (42of55)||25.0% (1of4)||66.6% (12of18)|
|·Siarhei Liakhovich||55.5% (15of27)||53.8% (14of26)||- (0of2)||16.6% (1of6)|
|·Sonny Liston||79.5% (35of44)||83.3% (20of24)||- (0of1)||75.0% (3of4)|
|·Sultan Ibragimov||73.9% (17of23)||73.9% (17of23)||- (0of3)||33.3% (2of6)|
|·Tim Witherspoon||56.0% (37of66)||53.2% (33of62)||14.2% (1of7)||31.8% (7of22)|
|·Tommy Burns||68.2% (28of41)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)||- (0of0)|
|·Tommy Morrison||80.7% (42of52)||78.7% (37of47)||25.0% (1of4)||66.6% (8of12)|
|·Tony LaRosa||33.9% (18of53)||8.3% (2of24)||- (0of2)||0.0% (0of17)|
|·Tony Tubbs||45.4% (25of55)||42.8% (21of49)||0.0% (0of4)||5.8% (1of17)|
|·Tony Tucker||77.0% (47of61)||75.8% (44of58)||20.0% (1of5)||43.7% (7of16)|
|·Trevor Berbick||55.0% (33of60)||49.0% (26of53)||- (0of3)||15.3% (2of13)|
|·Vitali Klitschko||88.3% (38of43)||88.3% (38of43)||69.2% (9of13)||76.1% (16of21)|
|·Wladimir Klitschko||94.2% (49of52)||94.2% (49of52)||87.5% (14of16)||92.5% (25of27)|
Fistic Statistic [#1609.8]
Wladimir Klitschko who managed to KO 94% of his opponents in real heavyweights fights is the hardest punching heavyweight champion of all times. Only Joe Louis plays in the same league, if you want to call Louis a "heavyweight" and a record of "5 KOs against 5 opponents" conclusive. Rocky Marciano's high KO'ratio is due to thinner gloves in those times, thus he is pretty uncomparable to any modern fighter.
How many overlate KOs were scored in Clay/Ali's era?
In Clay/Ali's era there have been 900+ real heavyweight fights 200×2, of which 500+ ended as KOs and of which 4 ended as overlate KOs (round 13, 14, 15). Ali has been such a featherfisted butterfly that he alone is responsible for 3 of these 4 overlate KOs:
- Muhammad Ali vs Chuck Wepner KO15
- Muhammad Ali vs Oscar Bonavena KO15 (doubtful KO, Ali refused to go to the neutral corner)
- Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier KO14 (not a knockdown, Frazier chose to retire during the break)
- Larry Holmes vs Gerry Cooney KO13
Do we want to go back to Ali's era?
I personally would hate it should heavyweight return to a division with a featherfisted champ at the top (like Ali or Frazier) who additionally has a miserable defense (like Ali) or was handicapped (like Frazier) AND YET NOBODY around to exploit such limitedness.
But I won't dive too much into it here because this is an era-comparison article and not a boxer-comparison article.
The list of real(!) heavyweight(!) world(!) champions(!)
Above I wrote that there have been 78 heavyweight champions. But that's a very generous assessment since most of the 78 champs have won only 2 or only 1 title wins ("1 hit wonders") (= were merely titlist and not champs) or weren't real heavyweights at all (= most of their fights were not 200×2).
If you ask me then there are only approximately 20 real heavyweight champs, but since you can have different criteria I made the following table so you can decide
- how much weight is "heavy"-weight?
- how much nationalities is "world"?
- how much title wins is "champion"?
- what is the least amount of heavyweight fights the champ should have?
- should criminals like Mike Tyson be excluded?
For me personally someone who wants to be called himself a "real heavyweight champion" should have at least 10 real heavyweight wins 200×2 (I am generous), and at least 3 real heavyweight championship KO wins against at least 3 different nationalities (= birth countries of the opponents).
But with such a strict definition you may be left with only 10 or so champs excluding Joe Louis, Evander Holyfield, George Foreman etc..
Well compile your champs from the table below.
And for those who think that excluding fights below 200×2 is too harsh: No, it's not harsh. It is generous, because no heavyweight championship takes place at such a low weight nowadays. The average weights of Wladimir +Opponents +Vitali +Opponents +Lennox +Opponents in world championship fights (= 49! championships) is approx 240 lbs. Thus the numbers you see in the table below actually FAVOR past-time boxers since de facto we live in a superheavyweight era (or even a super-super-heavyweight era).
|#||Name||Median WIN opponent weight||Career record||World title wins (uniques, non-bums)||World title KO'wins (uniques, non-bums)||Unique birth countries of WIN opponents (non-bums)||Career record (200×2)||World title wins (uniques, non-bums, 200×2)||World title KO'wins (uniques, non-bums, 200×2)||Unique birth countries of WIN opponents (non-bums, 200×2)|
|01||·Bob Fitzsimmons||170 lbs||71-8||2||1||2||0-0||0||0||0|
|02||·Brian Nielsen||224 lbs||64-2||4||3||1||64-2||4||3||1|
|03||·Bruce Seldon||226 lbs||40-8||2||2||1||40-8||2||2||1|
|04||·Chris Byrd||224 lbs||41-5||5||1||3||36-4||5||1||3|
|05||·Corrie Sanders||219 lbs||42-4||1||1||1||36-4||1||1||1|
|06||·Danell Nicholson||230 lbs||42-5||1||0||1||39-5||1||0||1|
|07||·David Haye||198 lbs||25-1||3||2||3||9-0||3||2||3|
|08||·Ernie Terrell||198 lbs||46-9||2||0||1||9-5||1||0||0|
|09||·Evander Holyfield||213 lbs||43-10||8||3||1||25-10||8||3||1|
|10||·Ezzard Charles||180 lbs||93-25||4||3||1||1-0||0||0||0|
|11||·Floyd Patterson||183 lbs||55-8||4||4||2||0-0||0||0||0|
|12||·Francesco Damiani||211 lbs||30-2||1||1||0||25-2||1||1||0|
|13||·Frank Bruno||214 lbs||40-5||1||0||1||35-5||1||0||1|
|14||·Gene Tunney||175 lbs||81-1||1||0||1||0-0||0||0||0|
|15||·George Foreman||214 lbs||76-5||4||3||2||59-5||4||3||2|
|16||·Gerrie Coetzee||205 lbs||33-6||1||1||0||17-6||1||1||0|
|17||·Greg Page||219 lbs||58-17||1||1||1||56-17||1||1||1|
|18||·Hasim Rahman||230 lbs||49-7||2||1||2||47-7||2||1||2|
|19||·Henry Akinwande||224 lbs||50-4||3||2||3||48-4||3||2||3|
|20||·Herbie Hide||206 lbs||49-4||4||4||3||29-4||4||4||3|
|21||·Ingemar Johansson||199 lbs||26-2||1||1||1||5-0||0||0||0|
|22||·Jack Dempsey||198 lbs||65-6||6||5||3||1-0||0||0||0|
|23||·Jack Johnson||195 lbs||68-12||4||1||2||11-3||1||0||1|
|24||·Jack Sharkey||193 lbs||38-14||1||0||1||1-2||0||0||0|
|25||·James Buster Douglas||220 lbs||38-6||1||1||1||32-6||1||1||1|
|26||·James J Corbett||170 lbs||14-4||2||1||2||0-0||0||0||0|
|27||·James J Jeffries||185 lbs||19-1||4||3||3||2-1||1||1||1|
|28||·James Smith||223 lbs||44-17||1||1||1||40-17||1||1||1|
|29||·Jersey Joe Walcott||189 lbs||51-18||1||1||1||1-0||0||0||0|
|30||·Jess Willard||200 lbs||26-7||1||0||1||17-2||1||0||1|
|31||·Jim Braddock||179 lbs||51-26||1||0||1||0-0||0||0||0|
|32||·Jimmy Ellis||182 lbs||40-12||2||0||1||3-3||0||0||0|
|33||·Jimmy Thunder||224 lbs||35-14||2||1||2||34-13||2||1||2|
|34||·Joe Frazier||199 lbs||32-4||7||5||2||13-4||4||2||2|
|35||·Joe Louis||193 lbs||66-3||15||15||3||11-0||5||4||2|
|36||·John L. Sullivan||200 lbs||38-1||0||0||0||9-0||0||0||0|
|37||·John Ruiz||221 lbs||44-9||5||1||3||28-7||5||1||3|
|38||·John Tate||211 lbs||34-3||1||0||1||28-3||1||0||1|
|39||·Ken Norton||208 lbs||42-7||0||0||0||30-6||0||0||0|
|40||·Lamon Brewster||228 lbs||35-6||4||3||4||34-6||4||3||4|
|41||·Larry Holmes||212 lbs||69-6||13||7||5||60-5||13||7||5|
|42||·Lennox Lewis||228 lbs||41-2||15||10||7||39-2||15||10||7|
|43||·Leon Spinks||207 lbs||26-17||1||0||1||17-11||0||0||0|
|44||·Lionel Butler||225 lbs||32-17||0||0||0||31-17||0||0||0|
|45||·Marvin Hart||180 lbs||31-9||1||1||1||1-2||0||0||0|
|46||·Max Baer||197 lbs||68-13||1||1||1||25-3||1||1||1|
|47||·Max Schmeling||185 lbs||56-10||1||0||1||0-0||0||0||0|
|48||·Michael Bentt||224 lbs||11-2||1||1||1||10-2||1||1||1|
|49||·Michael Dokes||212 lbs||53-6||0||0||0||45-6||0||0||0|
|50||·Michael Moorer||208 lbs||52-4||4||1||3||30-4||4||1||3|
|51||·Michael Spinks||174 lbs||31-1||2||1||1||3-1||2||1||1|
|52||·Mike Tyson||218 lbs||50-6||8||7||3||45-6||8||7||3|
|53||·Mike Weaver||214 lbs||41-18||2||0||1||32-13||2||0||1|
|54||·Muhammad Ali||205 lbs||56-5||14||7||4||28-4||12||5||3|
|55||·Nikolay Valuev||237 lbs||50-2||5||3||2||48-2||5||3||2|
|56||·Oleg Maskaev||232 lbs||36-7||2||1||2||36-7||2||1||2|
|57||·Oliver McCall||228 lbs||55-10||2||1||2||54-10||2||1||2|
|58||·Pinklon Thomas||214 lbs||43-7||1||0||1||35-7||1||0||1|
|59||·Primo Carnera||207 lbs||89-14||1||0||1||66-6||0||0||0|
|60||·Ray Mercer||225 lbs||36-7||2||2||2||34-7||2||2||2|
|61||·Riddick Bowe||227 lbs||43-1||4||3||3||42-1||4||3||3|
|62||·Rocky Marciano||190 lbs||49-0||4||4||2||0-0||0||0||0|
|63||·Roy Jones Jr||166 lbs||54-7||1||0||1||0-0||0||0||0|
|64||·Ruslan Chagaev||238 lbs||27-1||3||0||2||26-1||3||0||2|
|65||·Samuel Peter||232 lbs||34-4||3||2||2||34-4||3||2||2|
|66||·Shannon Briggs||229 lbs||51-6||1||1||1||49-6||1||1||1|
|67||·Siarhei Liakhovich||230 lbs||25-3||1||0||1||24-3||1||0||1|
|68||·Sonny Liston||198 lbs||50-4||1||1||1||24-2||0||0||0|
|69||·Sultan Ibragimov||233 lbs||22-1||2||0||1||22-1||2||0||1|
|70||·Tim Witherspoon||225 lbs||55-13||3||1||2||51-13||3||1||2|
|71||·Tommy Burns||183 lbs||46-5||2||0||1||0-0||0||0||0|
|72||·Tommy Morrison||219 lbs||48-3||2||1||1||43-3||2||1||1|
|73||·Tony LaRosa||185 lbs||32-23||0||0||0||7-18||0||0||0|
|74||·Tony Tubbs||219 lbs||47-10||1||0||1||41-10||1||0||1|
|75||·Tony Tucker||220 lbs||57-7||1||1||0||53-7||1||1||0|
|76||·Trevor Berbick||214 lbs||49-11||1||0||0||42-11||1||0||0|
|77||·Vitali Klitschko||230 lbs||41-2||10||8||6||41-2||10||8||6|
|78||·Wladimir Klitschko||233 lbs||55-3||14||13||5||55-3||14||13||5|
Fistic Statistic [#1609.9]
Genuine heavyweight 215×2
OK, let's come now to the superheavyweight 215×2 statistics. Superheavyweight is what we nowadays consider "genuine heavyweight fights": Two big boys handing out heavy punches.
|Era||Total fights (215×2)||Total boxers (215×2)||Total KOs (215×2)||Total KO'ers (215×2)||Total KO'ers with at least 3 KOs (215×2)|
|Joe Louis' era||81 fights||70 boxers||56 KOs||5 KO'ers||5 KO'ers|
|Mack/Marciano's era||12 fights||12 boxers||5 KOs||4 KO'ers||0 KO'ers|
|Clay/Ali's era||222 fights||173 boxers||120 KOs||30 KO'ers||13 KO'ers|
|Larry Holmes||800+ fights||500+ boxers||400+ KOs||125 KO'ers||40 KO'ers|
|Mike Tyson||1000+ fights||500+ boxers||600+ KOs||147 KO'ers||38 KO'ers|
|Lennox Lewis era||800+ fights||400+ boxers||600+ KOs||113 KO'ers||34 KO'ers|
|Wladimir Klitschko's era||1100+ fights||600+ boxers||650+ KOs||148 KO'ers||50 KO'ers|
Fistic Statistic [#1609.10]
The same trends as before: If you are into real superheavyweight, the eras before Larry Holmes would have been a letdown. In terms of superheavyweight 215×2 the Klitschko era is approximately 100x as valuable/entertaining as Mack/Marciano's era.
In Mack/Marciano's era there has not been a single boxer
who scored 3 or more KOs in real superheavyweight fights 215×2.
Boom, Boom, Bum
Now let's compare how often you would see a fight of non-bum vs non-bum.
Let me remind you that "bum" is a strictly mathematical definition (see Definitions) throughout this site and is defined as "Has lost 25% or more of his fights (excluding Draws and NCs).
|Era||Total fights||How many of these fights were non-bum vs non-bum (200×2)?||How many of these fights were non-bum vs non-bum (215×2)?|
|Joe Louis' era||4100+ fights||56 fights||12 fights|
|Mack/Marciano's era||2000+ fights||8 fights||0 fights|
|Clay/Ali's era||2600+ fights||205 fights||67 fights|
|Larry Holmes' era||2700+ fights||300+ fights||160+ fights|
|Mike Tyson's era||2100+ fights||300+ fights||220+ fights|
|Lennox Lewis era||1800+ fights||300+ fights||250+ fights|
|Wladimir Klitschko's era||2000+ fights||280+||220+ fights|
Fistic Statistic [#1609.11]
(As always: The more recent a boxer the more temporary the numbers and the more they will INCREASE in the future.)
This table should actually be a shocker for good-old-time nostalgists. Yes, Louis era featured 4100+ fights but only 12 fights were what we would consider nowadays as genuine + quality heavyweight fights.
I personally don't care much about streaks. For me it's much more important how many TOTAL wins someone has or what his RATIO is (Wins per Fights).
But since streaks often pop up in discussions I wanted to share the statistics with you. Important: There are two definitions of streaks, please read which definition I use.
|Name||Longest unbeaten streak (may include draws)||Longest winning streak||Longest winning streak (200×2)||Longest winning streak (200×2, non-bums)||Longest winning streak (215×2)||Longest winning streak (215×2, non-bums)||KO'streak (200×2, non-bums)||KO'streak (215×2, non-bums)|
|·James Buster Douglas||5||7||7||5||12||6||2||1|
|·James J Corbett||16||7||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|·James J Jeffries||21||14||1||1||0||0||1||0|
|·Jersey Joe Walcott||6||12||1||1||0||0||0||0|
|·John L. Sullivan||39||37||9||0||0||0||0||0|
|·Roy Jones Jr||34||34||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Fistic Statistic [#1609.12]
When it comes to KO'streaks (= something that can be interpreted as "dominance") then superheavyweight boxers of future generations will have to measure themselves by the standard set by Wladimir Klitschko.
KO'performance in world title fights
Here is a comparison of the KO'performance of world champions. Champions don't listed here (e.g. Evander Holyfield, George Foreman) have scored only 3 (or less) KOs in world title fights, thus they are excluded from calculations.
Additionally to compare apples to apples I excluded fights against southpaws because a lot of champions duck southpaws (since they are much harder to KO) and thus KO stats of brave champs (who don't duck southpaws) would have a disadvantage.
|Name||Rounds per KO (including overlate KOs, any weight, world title fights, fair, orthodox opponents)||Rounds per KO (rounds 1-12, any weight, world title fights, fair, orthodox opponents)|
|·Brian Nielsen||6 (24 rounds for 4 KOs)||6 (24 rounds for 4 KOs)|
|·Floyd Patterson||10.6 (85.5 rounds for 8 KOs)||10.6 (85.5 rounds for 8 KOs)|
|·Jack Dempsey||12.2 (49 rounds for 4 KOs)||12.2 (49 rounds for 4 KOs)|
|·James J Jeffries||18.8 (94 rounds for 5 KOs)||23.5 (94 rounds for 4 KOs)|
|·Joe Frazier||9.8 (78.5 rounds for 8 KOs)||9.8 (78.5 rounds for 8 KOs)|
|·Joe Louis||8.7 (140 rounds for 16 KOs)||10 (140 rounds for 14 KOs)|
|·Larry Holmes||21.3 (256 rounds for 12 KOs)||23.2 (256 rounds for 11 KOs)|
|·Lennox Lewis||10.9 (109 rounds for 10 KOs)||10.9 (109 rounds for 10 KOs)|
|·Mike Tyson||8.1 (81.5 rounds for 10 KOs)||8.1 (81.5 rounds for 10 KOs)|
|·Muhammad Ali||21.1 (232.5 rounds for 11 KOs)||23.2 (232.5 rounds for 10 KOs)|
|·Riddick Bowe||9.2 (37 rounds for 4 KOs)||9.2 (37 rounds for 4 KOs)|
|·Rocky Marciano||10.5 (63 rounds for 6 KOs)||12.6 (63 rounds for 5 KOs)|
|·Tommy Burns||10.2 (92.5 rounds for 9 KOs)||13.2 (92.5 rounds for 7 KOs)|
|·Vitali Klitschko||11.0 (77.5 rounds for 7 KOs)||11.0 (77.5 rounds for 7 KOs)|
|·Wladimir Klitschko||6.9 (76 rounds for 11 KOs)||6.9 (76 rounds for 11 KOs)|
Fistic Statistic [#1609.13]
The past, the present and the future
Marciano was once called "heavyweight". Nowadays he would be a cruiserweight or even a light-heavyweight, because the definition of "heavyweight" has changed. But what will the future bring?
How will the records compare should the heavyweight lower limit be raised from 200+ to 215+ or even to 230+ lbs?
|Name||Record||WinFight Ratio||Record against 200+ opponents (200_2)||WinFight Ratio (200_2)||Record real heavy weight (200×2)||WinFight ratio (200×2)||Record super heavy weight (215_2)||WinFight ratio (215_2)||Record super heavy weight (215×2)||WinFight ratio (215×2)||Record ultra heavy weight (230_2)||WinFight ratio (230_2)||Record ultra heavy weight (230×2)||WinFight ratio (230×2)|
|·James Buster Douglas||38-6||84.4%||32-6||82.0%||32-6||82.0%||22-4||84.6%||22-4||84.6%||7-3||70.0%||6-3||66.6%|
|·James J Corbett||14-4||66.6%||5-2||71.4%||0-0||-||0-1||-||0-0||-||0-0||-||0-0||-|
|·James J Jeffries||19-1||86.3%||2-1||50.0%||2-1||50.0%||0-0||-||0-0||-||0-0||-||0-0||-|
|·Jersey Joe Walcott||51-18||71.8%||12-4||75.0%||1-0||-||3-1||75.0%||0-0||-||0-1||-||0-0||-|
|·John L. Sullivan||38-1||95.0%||22-0||100.0%||9-0||100.0%||2-0||-||0-0||-||1-0||-||0-0||-|
|·Roy Jones Jr||54-7||88.5%||1-0||-||0-0||-||1-0||-||0-0||-||0-0||-||0-0||-|
Fistic Statistic [#1609.14]
Fights get heavier and heavier from era to era. The amount of heavy and heavier KOs increases. If you are a fan of heavy boys KO'ing heavy boys then the fun started with Mike Tyson and continues to this day.
If you are interested in real superheavyweight fights 215×2 (= what we nowadays consider the lower limit of the heavyweight division) then anything before Larry Holmes is a letdown.
As a general rule of thumb:
What we consider heavyweight now
basically did not exists prior to Larry Holmes.
The Klitschko era might be considered the first real heavyweight era, since it's the first era in which there are more genuine heavyweights (= those who never boxed below 200 lbs) than former cruisers.
Amongst real heavyweights Wladimir Klitschko is the most powerful champ of all times while Muhammad Ali is one of the most featherfisted if not THE most featherfisted of all champs. Thus from a competitiveness point of view Klitschko-Ali would probably be a terrible mismatch in favor of Klitschko, whereas Klitschko-Lewis, Klitschko-Bowe or Klitschko-Morrison would be THE clash of powers.
If there are champions who deserve the title "heavyweight champion of the world" then it's these two (Lennox, Wladimir) followed by Vitali Klitschko, Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes and Evan Fields.
Considering all stats (experience against heavy opponents, world title wins, quality of opposition) Wladimir Klitschko vs Lennox Lewis would be the most competitive fight. Interestingly both Klitschko and Lennox have the same trainer (Emanuel Steward) thus this makes him the best heavyweight trainer of all time. And as a side-effect…
…The outcome of
Wladimir Klitschko vs Lennox Lewis
would maybe not be decided in the ring
but by whose corner Emanuel Steward would sit in.
Boxing eras (4) Golden Age of Heavyweight -OR- Is the Klitschko era the first heavyweight era in history?,