Sunday, December 5

Who is the current heavyweight champion? Holders of WBA, WBO, WBC, IBF and The Ring titles

Anthony Joshua will defend his WBA (super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles on Saturday against Oleksandr Usyk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England.

Joshua, who won three of his four belts against Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017, will make his third consecutive title defense after momentarily losing his belts to Andy Ruiz Jr. in December 2019. He defeated Ruiz in a rematch and then knocked out. Kubrat Pulev in December 2020.

MORE: Betting Preview for Joshua-Usyk

Usyk, who was previously the undisputed cruiserweight champion, will make his third heavyweight appearance, in which he is ranked the No. 4 fighter behind Tyson Fury, Joshua and Deontay Wilder on ESPN. He defeated Chazz Witherspoon by referee technical decision in October 2019 and then Derek Chisora ​​by unanimous decision in October 2020.

The winner of Saturday’s fight will likely be promoted to face the winner of Fury and Wilder on October 9. Joshua and Fury signed a two-fight contract to unify their heavyweight titles (Fury is WBC magazine and The Ring), though things could change. depending on the results of their respective next match.

The heavyweight division hasn’t had an undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis in 2000, so Joshua and Fury’s results will have big implications for the history of the sport. Here’s a look at every title Fury and Joshua hold for every governing body.


World Boxing Association – Anthony Joshua

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Joshua won the World Boxing Association (super) title on April 29, 2017, after defeating Klitschko by knockout in the 11th round and regaining the belt after beating Ruiz in a rematch.

The WBA has been around since 1921 and was known as the National Boxing Association until August 23, 1962. The WBA can have up to four world champions in any weight division, although Joshua holds the most important distinction with the super title.

MORE: How to Watch Joshua-Usyk

American boxer Trevor Bryan is currently recognized as the division’s world champion, while Syrian Mahmoud Charr is the champion in recess.

World Boxing Council – Tyson Fury

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Fury became the WBC champion on February 22, 2020 by defeating Wilder, who had previously held the belt since January 2015.

Fury has yet to defend his title, as his third fight with Wilder in July was postponed after his camp suffered a COVID-19 outbreak. Fury became the third heavyweight to win the title in the past seven years, as Bermane Stiverne was recognized as the divisional champion from 2014 to 2015.

The WBC was formed in 1963 and its green belt features the 161 flags of the countries that represent the sanctioning body. Britain’s Dillian Whyte is recognized as an interim heavyweight champion and is the immediate rival to the winner of Fury and Wilder.

Fury previously said that if he defeats Wilder, he would like to fight Whyte in December.

MORE: Fury Plans His Next Five Fights

World Boxing Organization – Anthony Joshua

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Joshua won the World Boxing Organization title in March 2018 over Joseph Parker and got it back after his rematch with Ruiz.

The WBO, which was formed in 1988, was recognized as one of the four major groups of the world championship by the International Boxing Hall of Fame along with the WBA, the WBC and the IBF in 2004.

The WBO recognizes “super” champions, in which a boxer has had a multi-fight contract with a major television network for several years and defended his title cumulatively by 10 limits or against highly regarded opponents, among other criteria. Joshua has been tagged as a super champion along with Klitschko, while Usyk earned cruiserweight recognition.

International Boxing Federation – Anthony Joshua

Joshua first won the International Boxing Federation title in April 2016 against Charles Martin and has held the longest belt of his current championships.

The IBF, which was preceded by the United States Boxing Association, has had seven champions since 2002: Lennox Lewis; Chris Byrd; Klitschko; Fury; Charles Martin; Ruiz; and Joshua.

Ring Magazine – Tyson Fury

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The Ring is a premiere boxing magazine that began publication in 1922, which is also when it began to award a linear title to each division.

Fury won the vacant The Ring title in his second fight against Wilder. He previously earned it with his unanimous decision win over Klitschko in November 2015, but was stripped in January 2018 due to inactivity.

The Ring’s initial policy was to award a championship based on linear reign, or “the man who beat man.” Now, the vacancy can be filled if No. 1 and No. 2 contenders fight each other, or a champion could lose his belt because of one of the following seven conditions:

  • The champion loses a fight in the weight class in which he is champion.
  • The champion moves to another weight class.
  • The champion does not schedule a fight in any weight class for 18 months.
  • The champion does not schedule a fight at his championship weight for 18 months (even if he fights at another weight).
  • The champion does not schedule a fight with a top five contender in any weight class for two years.
  • The champion retires.
  • The champion tests positive for a performance-enhancing substance and is fined, suspended, or sanctioned by the appropriate authority (athletic commission or sanctioning body).

Other belts and former undisputed champions

Joshua’s International Boxing Organization belt will also be up for grabs, although it is considered a “minor” championship as it is not recognized as one of the “big four” governing bodies.

If Joshua, Wilder, Fury or Usyk meet to unify world titles from all the major sanctioning organizations, the heavyweight division will have its first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis in 2000. The division has yet to hold an undisputed title in all four belts . was.

Here’s a list of undisputed heavyweight champions in boxing history, from the years of the New York State Athletic Commission and the National Boxing Association to the present era.

NYSAC-NBAJack dempseyJuly 24, 1922 to September 23, 1926
NYSAC-NBAGene TunneySeptember 23, 1926 to July 31, 1928
NYSAC-NBAMax schmelingJune 12, 1930 – January 7, 1931
NYSAC-NBAJack SharkeyJune 21, 1932 to June 29, 1933
NYSAC-NBAFirst RamJune 29, 1933 to June 14, 1934
NYSAC-NBAMax baerJune 14, 1934 to June 13, 1935
NYSAC-NBAJames J. BraddockJune 13, 1935 to June 22, 1937
NYSAC-NBAJoe LouisJune 22, 1937 to March 1, 1949
NYSAC-NBAEzzard CharlesSeptember 27, 1950 to July 18, 1951
NYSAC-NBAJoe Walcott JerseyJuly 18, 1951 to September 23, 1952
NYSAC-NBARocky marcianoSeptember 23, 1952 to April 27, 1956
NYSAC-NBAFloyd pattersonNovember 30, 1956 to June 26, 1959
NYSAC-NBAIngemar JohanssonJune 26, 1959 to June 20, 1960
NYSAC-NBAFloyd pattersonJune 20, 1960 to September 25, 1962
NYSAC-NBASonny listonSeptember 25, 1962 to July 22, 1963
WBC-WBASonny listonJuly 22, 1963 to February 25, 1964
WBC-WBAMuhammad AliFebruary 25, 1964 to September 19, 1964
AMB-AMBMuhammad AliFebruary 6, 1967 to April 28, 1967
WBC-WBAJoe frazierFebruary 16, 170 to January 22, 1973
WBC-WBAGeorge ForemanJanuary 22, 1973 to October 30, 1974
WBC-WBAMuhammad AliOctober 30, 1974 to February 15, 1978
WBC-WBALeon spinksFebruary 15, 1978 to March 18, 1978
WBC-WBA-IBFMike tysonAugust 1.1987 to February 11, 1990
WBC-WBA-IBFJames “Buster” DouglasFebruary 11, 1990 to October 25, 1990
WBC-WBA-IBFEvander HolyfieldOctober 25, 1990 to November 13, 1992
WBC-WBA-IBFRiddick boweNovember 13, 1992 to December 14, 1992
WBC-WBA-IBFLennox lewisNovember 13, 1999 to April 29, 2000

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