Another book on the world heavyweight championship

By Ron Jackson

Over the years there have been numerous books written on the history of the world heavyweight boxing championship and now Koos van Zyl from Namibia has added to the illustrious history of the top division in boxing, with his book Boxing: Heavy Weight World Champions Through the Ages.

This must be the first boxing book written by a Namibian and deals with the various champions from 1885 when John L. Sullivan claimed the heavyweight championship of the world on 29 August when he won on a disqualification against Dominick McCaffrey, up until the present champions Tyson Fury who holds the WBC version of the title and Oleksandr Usyk the holder of the WBA, WBO and IBF belts.

During the early years, there was only one world champion in the gloved era beginning with Sullivan who was the world bare-knuckle champion before being recognized as the first gloved Universal champion.

The occurrence of various champions for the respective organizations followed later.

According to Koos, over the years there have been 22 normal, 64 “major” and 27 “minor” champions, which is 113 heavyweight champions in total.

This publication aims to place specific focus on some of the most prominent figures.

The book is only available on order from Malherbe Uitgewers (Pty) Ltd

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    • The author’s “another “ comment makes it sounds a bit scathing of the book. Clearly it’s boxing stuff worth a comment . Most boxing books would get no mention on here at all. It’s always good to educate boxing peeps with good book reference .

  • There’s only ever one, at most, champion per division. Plenty of title/belt holders, though, which is not the same thing.

    • And that 1 champion is usually disputed. How do you figure who’s champion and who’s the belt holder? Surely both Usyck and Fury consider themselves the heavyweight champ.

      • The heavyweight championship is currently vacant, as is the welterweight championship.

  • Sounds like it might be an interesting book. I’m assuming of the 113 heavyweight heavyweight champions, they all at some point held either the WBA, WBC, IBF or even the WBO belt and some of the fringe belts are not included like the WBU, IBO, IBA, IBC, amongst others.

    • My question is: are guys like Trevor Bryan or Brian Nielson , who held the IBO title, or Micheal Grant, who held the IBC title considered amongst the 113 heavyweight champs. If so, they would definitely fall under the “minor” category. Since I’ve been following boxing, the major heavyweight champs were Ali (at the end of his rope) Larry Holmes, Micheal Spinks, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe, Lennox Lewis, VItali Klitsko, Wladimer Klitsko, and I guess I would have to consider Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury as well. Guys that held versions of that title over those years were Leon Spinks, Mike Weaver, Micheal Dokes, Gerrie Cotzee Greg Page, Pinklon Thomas,Trevor Berbick,TonyTucker, Tony Tubbs, , Buster Douglas, Ray Mercer, Tommy Morrison, MIcheal Bentt, Micheal Moorer, George Foreman, Herbie Hide, Axel Shulz, Frans Botha, Bruce Seldon, Oliver McCall, Frank Bruno , Henry Akiwande Hasim Rahman, Chris Byrd, Quiet Man Ruiz, Roy Jones,Corrie Sanders, Lamon Brewster, Nicolai Valuev,David Haye, Joseph Parker, Anthony Joshua, Andy Ruiz. I know I’m forgetting a couple names. This is from around 1977 to prresent

      • Very placed out Mr P…offeson nice thick tableside boxing books like this are great to have. It would help more folks to get a clear idea about the proper history of these men . How dare you miss Tim Witherspoon.

        • Yes, how dare I! I loved Terrible Tim! I also missed Bonecrsuher Smith. More recently I missed Alexander Povetkin and Charles Martin. I’m sure I missed a few others as well.

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