Who is the current heavyweight champion? WBA, WBO, WBC, IBF and The Ring title holders

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

Joshua, who gained three of his 4 belts towards Wladimir Klitschko in April of 2017, will likely be making his third consecutive title protection after he momentarily misplaced his belts to Andy Ruiz Jr. in December of 2019. He defeated Ruiz in a rematch after which knocked out Kubrat Pulev in December of 2020. 

MORE: Betting preview for Joshua-Usyk

Usyk, who was previously the undisputed champion at cruiserweight, will likely be making his third look at heavyweight, wherein he’s ranked because the No. 4 fighter behind Tyson Fury, Joshua and Deontay Wilder on ESPN. He defeated Chazz Witherspoon by referee technical choice in October of 2019 after which Derek Chisora by unanimous choice in October of 2020. 

The winner of Saturday’s bout will seemingly promote himself to face the winner of Fury and Wilder on Oct. 9. Joshua and Fury signed a two-fight deal to unify their heavyweight titles — Fury is the WBC and The Ring journal — although issues may change relying on outcomes of their respective subsequent bout. 

The heavyweight division has not had an undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis in 2000, so Joshua and Fury’s outcomes may have huge implications for the game’s historical past. Right here’s a take a look at every title Fury and Joshua maintain by every governing physique. 


World Boxing Affiliation — Anthony Joshua 

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Joshua gained the World Boxing Affiliation (tremendous) title on April 29, 2017, after defeating Klitschko by an Eleventh-round knockout and regained the belt after beating Ruiz in a rematch. 

The WBA has been round since 1921 and was known as the Nationwide Boxing Affiliation till Aug. 23, 1962. The WBA can have as much as 4 world champions in any given weight division, although Joshua holds a very powerful distinction with the tremendous title. 

MORE: The right way to watch Joshua-Usyk

American boxer Trevor Bryan is at the moment acknowledged because the world champion of the division, whereas Syrian Mahmoud Charr is the champion in recess. 

World Boxing Council — Tyson Fury 

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Fury grew to become the WBC champion on Feb. 22, 2020 by defeating Wilder, who beforehand held the belt since January of 2015. 

Fury is but to defend his title, as his third battle with Wilder in July was postponed after his camp suffered a COVID-19 outbreak. Fury grew to become the third heavyweight to win the title up to now seven years, as Bermane Stiverne was acknowledged because the divisional champion from 2014 to 2015. 

The WBC was fashioned in 1963, and its inexperienced belt portrays the 161 flags of the international locations that symbolize the sanctioning physique. Britain’s Dillian Whyte is acknowledged because the interim champion at heavyweight and is the speedy challenger for the winner of Fury and Wilder. 

Fury beforehand mentioned if he defeats Wilder, he wish to battle Whyte in December. 

MORE: Fury plans out his subsequent 5 fights

World Boxing Group — Anthony Joshua 

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Joshua gained the World Boxing Group title in March of 2018 over Joseph Parker and bought it again after his rematch with Ruiz.  

The WBO, which was fashioned in 1988, was acknowledged as one of many 4 main world championship teams by the Worldwide Boxing Corridor of Fame together with the WBA, WBC and IBF in 2004.  

The WBO acknowledges “tremendous” champions, wherein a boxer has held a multiple-fight contract with a significant tv community for a number of years and defended his title cumulatively for 10 bounds or towards opponents of excessive recognition, amongst different standards. Joshua has been labeled as a brilliant champion together with Klitschko, whereas Usyk earned the popularity at cruiserweight. 

Worldwide Boxing Federation — Anthony Joshua 

Joshua first gained the Worldwide Boxing Federation title in April of 2016 towards Charles Martin and has held the belt the longest out of his present championships. 

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

The Ring Journal — Tyson Fury  

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The Ring is a premiere boxing journal that started publication in 1922, which can be when it started awarding a linear title to every division.

Fury gained The Ring’s vacant title in his second battle towards Wilder. He beforehand earned it along with his unanimous choice victory over Klitschko in November of 2015 however was stripped in January of 2018 because of inactivity.  

The Ring’s preliminary coverage was to award a championship based mostly on a linear reign, or “the person who beat the person.” Now, the emptiness will be stuffed if the No. 1 and No. 2 contenders battle each other, or a champion may lose his belt from one of many following seven circumstances:  

  • The champion loses a battle within the weight class wherein he’s champion. 
  • The champion strikes to a different weight class. 
  • The champion doesn’t schedule a battle in any weight class for 18 months. 
  • The champion doesn’t schedule a battle at his championship weight for 18 months (even when he fights at one other weight). 
  • The champion doesn’t schedule a battle with a top-five contender from any weight class for 2 years. 
  • The champion retires. 
  • The champion checks optimistic for a performance-enhancing substance and is fined, suspended or in any other case penalized by the right authority (athletic fee or sanctioning physique). 

Different belts and former undisputed champions  

Joshua’s Worldwide Boxing Group belt can even be at stake, although it’s thought of a “minor” championship as it isn’t acknowledged as one of many “huge 4” governing our bodies. 

If Joshua, Wilder, Fury or Usyk meet to unify world titles from all the main sanctioning organizations, the heavyweight division may have its first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis in 2000. The division has not but had an undisputed titleholder within the four-belt period. 

Listed below are an inventory of undisputed heavyweight champions in boxing’s historical past, from the New York State Athletic Fee and Nationwide Boxing Affiliation years to the present period. 

Period Champion Dates
NYSAC-NBA Jack Dempsey July 24, 1922 to Sept. 23, 1926
NYSAC-NBA Gene Tunney Sept. 23, 1926 to July 31, 1928
NYSAC-NBA Max Schmeling June 12, 1930 to Jan. 7, 1931
NYSAC-NBA Jack Sharkey June 21, 1932 to June 29, 1933
NYSAC-NBA Primo Carnera June 29, 1933 to June 14, 1934
NYSAC-NBA Max Baer June 14, 1934 to June 13, 1935
NYSAC-NBA James J. Braddock June 13, 1935 to June 22, 1937
NYSAC-NBA Joe Louis June 22, 1937 to March 1, 1949
NYSAC-NBA Ezzard Charles Sept. 27, 1950 to July 18, 1951
NYSAC-NBA Jersey Joe Walcott July 18, 1951 to Sept. 23, 1952
NYSAC-NBA Rocky Marciano Sept. 23, 1952 to April 27, 1956
NYSAC-NBA Floyd Patterson Nov. 30, 1956 to June 26, 1959
NYSAC-NBA Ingemar Johansson June 26, 1959 to June 20, 1960
NYSAC-NBA Floyd Patterson June 20, 1960 to Sept. 25, 1962
NYSAC-NBA Sonny Liston Sept. 25, 1962 to July 22, 1963
WBC-WBA Sonny Liston July 22, 1963 to Feb. 25, 1964
WBC-WBA Muhammad Ali Feb. 25, 1964 to Sept. 19, 1964
WBA-WBA Muhammad Ali Feb. 6, 1967 to April 28, 1967
WBC-WBA Joe Frazier Feb. 16, 170 to Jan. 22, 1973
WBC-WBA George Foreman Jan. 22, 1973 to Oct. 30, 1974
WBC-WBA Muhammad Ali Oct. 30, 1974 to Feb. 15, 1978
WBC-WBA Leon Spinks Feb. 15, 1978 to March 18, 1978
WBC-WBA-IBF Mike Tyson Aug. 1,1987 to Feb. 11, 1990
WBC-WBA-IBF James “Buster” Douglas Feb. 11, 1990 to Oct. 25, 1990
WBC-WBA-IBF Evander Holyfield Oct. 25, 1990 to Nov. 13, 1992
WBC-WBA-IBF Riddick Bowe Nov. 13, 1992 to Dec. 14, 1992
WBC-WBA-IBF Lennox Lewis Nov. 13, 1999 to April 29, 2000

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