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Light heavyweight, also referred to as junior cruiserweight or light cruiserweight, is a weight class in combat sports.
In professional boxing, the division is above 168 pounds (76 kg) and up to 175 pounds (79 kg), falling between super middleweight and cruiserweight.
The light-heavyweight class has produced some of boxing's greatest champions: Bernard Hopkins (who, upon becoming champion, broke the record for oldest man to win a world title), Tommy Loughran, Billy Conn, Joey Maxim, Archie Moore, Michael Moorer, Bob Foster, Ann Wolfe, Michael Spinks, Dariusz Michalczewski, Roy Jones, Jr., Sergey Kovalev and Zsolt Erdei.
Many light heavyweight champions unsuccessfully challenged for the heavyweight crown until Michael Spinks became the first reigning light heavyweight champion to win the heavyweight championship. Bob Fitzsimmons captured the light-heavyweight championship after losing his heavyweight championship. Two all-time great heavyweight champions, Ezzard Charles and Floyd Patterson, started out as light heavyweights. Charles defeated Archie Moore and Joey Maxim several times in non-title bouts before becoming heavyweight champion and Patterson lost an eight-round decision to Joey Maxim before becoming heavyweight champion himself. Evander Holyfield successfully moved up from the light-heavyweight division to the cruiserweight division and eventually the heavyweight division and became undisputed champion of the latter two.
|Sanctioning Body||Reign Began||Champion||Record||Defenses||Beaten opponents|
|WBA||Sep 18, 2017||Dmitry Bivol||18–0 (11 KO)||7||7|
|WBC||Oct 18, 2019||Artur Beterbiev||16–0 (16 KO)||1||1|
|IBF||Nov 11, 2017||Artur Beterbiev||16–0 (16 KO)||4||4|
|WBO||Apr 10, 2021||Joe Smith Jr.||27–3 (21 KO)||0||0|
Current interim champions
|Sanctioning Body||Reign Began||Champion||Record||Defenses||Beaten opponents|
|WBA||Oct 10, 2020||Robin Krasniqi||51–6 (19 KO)||0||0|
As of July10, 2021.
|1||Artur Beterbiev||16–0 (16 KO)||IBF, WBC|
|2||Dmitry Bivol||18–0 (11 KO)||WBA|
|3||Sergey Kovalev||34–4–1 (29 KO)|
|4||Joe Smith Jr.||27–3 (21 KO)||WBO|
|5||Jean Pascal||35–6–1 (20 KO)|
|6||Badou Jack||24–3–3 (14 KO)|
|7||Eleider Alvarez||25–2 (13 KO)|
|8||Marcus Browne||24–1 (16 KO)|
|9||Umar Salamov||26–1 (19 KO)|
|10||Lyndon Arthur||18–0 (12 KO)|
As of July10, 2021.
|1||Sergey Kovalev||34–4–1 (29 KO)||306.7|
|2||Dmitry Bivol||18–0 (11 KO)||266.5||WBA|
|3||Artur Beterbiev||16–0 (16 KO)||250.0||IBF, WBC|
|4||Joe Smith Jr.||27–3 (21 KO)||160.8||WBO|
|5||Jesse Hart||26–3 (21 KO)||117.7|
|6||Maxim Vlasov||45–4 (26 KO)||103.8|
|7||Jean Pascal||35–6–1 (20 KO)||86.42|
|8||Badou Jack||24–3–3 (14 KO)||82.00|
|9||Gilberto Ramirez||42–0 (28 KO)||81.24|
|10||Eleider Alvarez||25–2 (13 KO)||80.80|
Below is a list of longest reigning light heavyweight 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.||Archie Moore||9 years, 4 months, 24 days||NYSAC, NBA||9||7|
|2.||/ Dariusz Michalczewski||9 years, 1 months, 8 days||IBF, WBA, WBO||23||20|
|3.||Bob Foster||6 years, 0 months, 23 days||WBC, WBA||14||13|
|4.||Zsolt Erdei||5 years, 9 months, 27 days||WBO||11||10|
|5.||Adonis Stevenson||5 years, 5 months, 24 days||WBC||9||9|
|6.||Charles Williams||5 years, 4 months, 21 days||IBF||8||8|
|7.||Roy Jones Jr||5 years, 2 months, 25 days||WBC, IBF, WBA (Super)||11||11|
|8.||Virgil Hill||4 years, 9 months, 15 days||WBA||10||10|
|9.||Michael Spinks||4 years, 2 months, 3 days||IBF, WBA, WBC||10||10|
|10.||Battling Levinsky||3 years, 11 months, 19 days||World||0||0|
|12.||Dmitry Bivol||3 years, 9 months, 3 weeks and 1 day||WBA||7||7|
|13.||Victor Galindez||3 years, 9 months, 8 days||WBA||10||7|
|14.||Artur Beterbiev||3 years, 7 months, 4 weeks and 1 day||IBF, WBC||4||4|
|15.||Sergey Kovalev||3 years, 3 months, 3 days||IBF, WBA, WBO||8||7|
In amateur boxing, light heavyweight is a weight division above 165 pounds (75 kg) and up to 178 pounds (81 kg), falling between middleweight and heavyweight.
In MMA, the light heavyweight division is from 186 lb (84 kg) to 205 lb (93 kg).
Michael Spinks is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1977 to 1988. He held world championships in two weight classes, including the undisputed light heavyweight title from 1983 to 1985, and the lineal heavyweight title from 1985 to 1988. As an amateur he won a gold medal in the middleweight division at the 1976 Summer Olympics.
Leon Spinks was an American professional boxer who competed from 1977 to 1995. In only his eighth professional fight, he won the undisputed heavyweight championship in 1978 after defeating Muhammad Ali in a split decision, in what is considered one of the biggest upsets in boxing history. Spinks was later stripped of the WBC title for facing Ali in an unapproved rematch seven months later, which he lost by a unanimous decision.
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Zsolt Erdei is a Hungarian former professional boxer who competed from 2000 to 2014. He held world championships in two weight classes, including the WBO and lineal light-heavyweight titles from 2004 to 2009, and the WBC cruiserweight title from 2009 to 2010. Erdei is the first boxer from Hungary to win world titles in two weight divisions. As an amateur, he won a bronze medal in the middleweight division at the 2000 Olympics. He also competed at the 1996 Summer Olympics.
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