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Cruiserweight, also referred to as junior heavyweight, is a weight class in professional boxing between light heavyweight and heavyweight. Before the advent of the current cruiserweight class, "light heavyweight" and "cruiserweight" were sometimes used interchangeably in the United Kingdom.
The current weight limit for the division is 200 pounds (90.7 kg; 14 st 4.0 lb). When originally established, the weight limit was 190 pounds (86.2 kg; 13 st 8.0 lb). The division was established in order to accommodate smaller heavyweight boxers who could not compete with the growing size of boxers in that division. While many great heavyweight champions (such as Rocky Marciano and Joe Louis) weighed around 190 pounds in their career, during the 1970s it became fairly standard that fit heavyweight boxers weighed at least 210 pounds (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb). It was felt by many boxing authorities that asking men weighing between 176 pounds (80 kg; 12 st 8 lb) and 190 pounds (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb) to fight these larger men was unfair.
The WBC was the first boxing organization to recognize the cruiserweight division when it sanctioned a bout between Marvin Camel and Mate Parlov on December 8, 1979, for their version of the title. That fight was a draw, but in the rematch in March 1980 Camel won and became the first cruiserweight champion. In 1982 the World Boxing Association recognized Ossie Ocasio as their first cruiserweight champion when he defeated South African Robbie Williams (although at that time the WBA called the division "junior heavyweight"). The International Boxing Federation followed suit in 1983 when it matched former WBC champion Marvin Camel against Rick Sekorski for their inaugural title. Camel won and became the first IBF cruiserweight champion.
Several boxers moved up to heavyweight after winning world titles at cruiserweight. Evander Holyfield unified the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles to become undisputed champion, the first to do so, and then moved up to the heavyweight division in 1988. The second man to become undisputed champion was O’Neil Bell in 2006 who was later stripped of the IBF title.
Other notable champions in the division have been Bobby Czyz, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Tomasz Adamek, Virgil Hill, Al Cole, Orlin Norris, James Toney, David Haye and Oleksandr Usyk.
|Sanctioning Body||Reign Began||Champion||Record||Defenses||Beaten opponents|
|WBA||May 31, 2019||Arsen Goulamirian||24–0–0 (16 KO)||2||2|
|WBC||January 31, 2020||Ilunga Makabu||28–2–0 (25 KO)||1||1|
|IBF||September 26, 2020||Mairis Briedis||27–1–0 (19 KO)||0||0|
|WBO||March 20, 2021||Lawrence Okolie||16–0–0 (13 KO)||0||0|
As of June25, 2021.
|C||Mairis Briedis||27–1 (19 KO)||IBF|
|1||Yuniel Dorticos||24–2 (22 KO)|
|2||Ilunga Makabu||28–2 (25 KO)||WBC|
|3||Krzysztof Glowacki||31–3 (19 KO)|
|4||Kevin Lerena||26–1 (13 KO)||IBO|
|5||Andrew Tabiti||17–1 (13 KO)|
|6||Lawrence Okolie||16–0 (13 KO)||WBO|
|7||Arsen Goulamirian||26–0 (18 KO)||WBA|
|8||Thabiso Mchunu||23–5 (13 KO)|
|9||Alexei Papin||12–1 (11 KO)|
|10||Michal Cieslak||20–1 (14 KO)|
As of June25, 2021.
|1||Mairis Briedis||27–1 (19 KO)||249.2||IBF|
|2||Ilunga Makabu||28–2 (25 KO)||140.4||WBC|
|3||Lawrence Okolie||16–0 (13 KO)||95.87||WBO|
|4||Yuniel Dorticos||24–2 (22 KO)||88.27|
|5||Thabiso Mchunu||23–5 (13 KO)||84.86|
|6||Arsen Goulamirian||26–0 (18 KO)||68.90||WBA|
|7||Michal Cieslak||20–1 (14 KO)||60.74|
|8||Krzysztof Glowacki||31–3 (19 KO)||32.71|
|9||Ryad Merhy||29–1 (24 KO)||30.14|
|10||Alexei Papin||12–1 (11 KO)||28.77|
Below is a list of longest reigning cruiserweight champions in boxing measured by the individual's longest reign. Career total time as champion (for multiple time champions) does not apply.
|Name||Title reign||Title recognition||Successful defenses||Beaten opponents||Fights|
|1.||Johnny Nelson||7 years, 5 months, 26 days||WBO||13||13|
|2.||Marco Huck||5 years, 11 months, 17 days||WBO||13||10|
|3.||Krzysztof Włodarczyk||4 years, 4 months, 12 days||WBC||6||5|
|4.||Denis Lebedev||4 years, 1 month, 3 days||WBA, IBF||5||5|
|4.||Guillermo Jones||4 years, 1 month, 3 days||WBA||2||2|
|6.||Juan Carlos Gómez||3 years, 11 months, 29 days||WBC||10||10|
|7.||Anaclet Wamba||3 years, 11 months, 17 days||WBC||7||7|
|8.||Yoan Pablo Hernández||3 years, 11 months, 2 weeks and 5 days||IBF||4||4|
|9.||Vassiliy Jirov||3 years, 10 months, 21 days||IBF||5||5|
|10.||Oleksandr Usyk||4 years, 9 months, 1 week and 1 day||WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO||6||6|
|11.||Jean-Marc Mormeck||3 years, 10 months, 15 days||WBA, WBC||4||4|
|12.||Ossie Ocasio||2 years, 9 months, 18 days||WBA||3||3|
|13.||Arsen Goulamirian||2 years, 3 weeks and 4 days||WBA||4||4|
|14.||Evander Holyfield||2 years||WBA, WBC, IBF||5||5|
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