When it comes to the longest-reigning heavyweight boxing champions the list has changed slightly over the past couple of years with Vitali Klitschko retiring and his younger brother Wladimir losing his title belts to Tyson Fury. This is an updated list and features the 10 heavyweights who reigned over the division for the longest combined number of days. Since it’s quite common for a champion to lose and then regain his title these days we’ve combined their reigns for a grand total.
For example, three of the top 10 listed were three-time heavyweight champions. Of course, that’s not really a good thing since it means they lost their titles twice. These are the men who held onto the heavyweight title(s) the longest from at least one of the major sanctioning bodies in the era they boxed in.
10. Evander Holyfield
When it comes to the number of heavyweight title reigns, Evander ‘The Real Deal’ Holyfield leads the way with four. He made seven successful title defenses and fought in 10 heavyweight championship fights overall. He was also an undisputed cruiserweight champion and at one time was the undisputed heavyweight king. He also won a bronze medal as a light heavyweight at the 1984 Olympics. Holyfield turned pro a few months after the Olympics at the age of 21 and if it seems like he fought forever he came pretty close as he didn’t hang up his gloves until 2011. Holyfield’s record was 44-10-2 with 29 Kos and one no-contest. In total, he was the heavyweight champ for 2,235 days, which approximately 6.1 years. This guy didn’t duck anybody as Holyfield took on the best of his era including Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe, Lennox Lewis, George Foreman, James Toney, John Ruiz, Chris Byrd, Hasim Rahman, Larry Holmes and Michael Moorer.