Saturday, January 7, 2012

Brief Heavyweight Boxing History

Boxing is a form of hand-to-hand contact that originated from the sparring performed throughout history. Despite its brutal appearance, boxing is a very nuanced sport that rewards split-second reaction times and patient study of one's opponent. Various weight classes have been established to keep matches even and avoid one opponent from a considerable weight advantage. The largest of these boxing weight classes is the heavyweight division.
Early Boxing History
Early boxing was unorganized and took place in pubs and in front of royalty. It was first done as a form of barehanded sparring, but the injuries and fatalities were too great for this practice to be continued. This led to the development of padded gloves to protect boxers from serious injury. It wasn't until the late 19th century that boxing matches became organized by professional sporting leagues and turned into a legitimate sport.
Undisputed Champions
Undisputed champions were common before 1965, when various boxing organizations began issuing different belts that did not always recognize the same champion. Many of boxing's most popular figures had long tenures as undisputed champions in the world of boxing. Joe Louis had the longest run as an undisputed heavyweight champion in terms of both consecutive title fights won and length of time, holding the title for exactly 12 years. Other famous undisputed heavyweight champions include Jack Johnson, Rocky Marciano, George Foreman, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and Mike Tyson, according to
Sponsoring Organizations
Various organizations have been created to cash in on the sport of boxing. The first belt to be awarded that was not undisputed occurred in March 1965 by the World Boxing Association. The World Boxing Council issued its own belt just two months later. Eventually the International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Organization established their own governing bodies. Each of these organizations rank fighters according to their own standards and arrange championship bouts between the fighters.
Recent History
While undisputed champions were common in the early days of boxing, they have become less common in the last few decades. In fact, as of early 2011 Lennox Lewis was the last boxer to hold an undisputed boxing title, earning undisputed status on March 13, 1999 against Evander Holyfield and then defending his title against Holyfield eight months later. In the past decade, Wladimir Klitschko has been the most dominant boxer, owning three of the four major belts at various points during that time.

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