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EVIL~! alkeiper

History of Boxing's Heavyweight Championship

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There are so few fights worthy of having rematches that I can't see another one happening for quite some time.

Wow, I'm an idiot. I totally forgot about Vazquez-Marquez. That's okay. There still won't be another for a while.

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2000 saw Lennox Lewis beat a fair trio of contenders. His first bout pitted Lewis against the previously undefeated Michael Grant.



Lewis next took on Francois Botha and knocked him out in the second round. In November, he took on tough David Tua. Though Tua was a fine fighter, he was no match for Lewis's superior height, and Lewis took home a unanimous decision.


In 2001, Lewis was challenged by Hasim Rahman, a decent boxer who nonetheless had lost his biggest fights.



Lewis received a rematch later in the year.



In 2002, a dream match came to fruition as Lennox Lewis took on Mike Tyson.



That brings us to Lewis's most controversial fight, against Vitali Klitschko.



Obviously Lewis deserved to win the fight. Klitschko probably could not have possibly have won the fight if it had continued with his eye in that bad of shape. Klitschko certainly deserved a rematch, but never got one as Lewis took that fight as his cue to retire.


Ring Magazine at this time chose to ignore the alphabet rankings and issue their own championships. Journeyman Corrie Sanders had scored a shocking upset knockout of Wladimir Klitschko and based on that, his next bout versus Vitali was declared a World title bout.


Sanders was not a legitimate option, but Vitali was as good a choice as any. Next up was Danny Williams, who had stunned Mike Tyson with a fourth round knockout.



Klitschko then chose to retire due to injuries. Though he since returned, the heavyweight title now sits vacant. As long as Vitali and Wladimir are the number one and two heavyweights, it is unlikely we will see a new undisputed champion.

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In their Holiday '96 issue, Ring Magazine presented their 100 greatest title fights of all time. Here's the heavyweight fights separated from the rest of the list.


1. Muhammad Ali KO15 Joe Frazier, September 30, 1975.

2. Jack Dempsey KO2 Luis Firpo, September 14, 1923

3. Joe Frazier W15 Muhammad Ali, March 8, 1971

4. Joe Louis KO13 Billy Conn, June 18, 1941

5. Rocky Marciano KO13 Jersey Joe Walcott, September 23, 1952

6. Larry Holmes W15 Ken Norton, June 9, 1978

7. Jack Johnson KO12 Stanley Ketchel, October 16, 1909

8. Muhammad Ali KO8 George Foreman, October 30, 1974

9. Rocky Marciano W15 Ezzard Charles, June 17, 1954

10. Buster Douglas KO10 Mike Tyson, February 11, 1990

11. Riddick Bowe W12 Evander Holyfield, November 13, 1992

12. Muhammad Ali W15 Ken Norton, September 28, 1976

13. Jim Jeffries KO8 Bob Fitzsimmons, July 25, 1902

14. George Foreman KO10 Michael Moorer, November 5, 1994

15. Rocky Marciano KO8 Ezzard Charles, September 17, 1954

16. Rocky Marciano KO9 Archie Moore, September 21, 1955

17. Jack Dempsey KO4 Georges Carpentier, July 2, 1921

18. Joe Frazier KO7 Jerry Quarry, June 23, 1969

19. Evander Holyfield W12 George Foreman, April 19, 1991

20. Mike Weaver KO15 John Tate, March 31, 1980

21. Larry Holmes KO12 Mike Weaver, June 22, 1979


Since then Holyfield-Tyson I would probably make the list. I'm not certain if there's another fight that really qualifies, even amongst the alphabet soup.

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