Muhammad Ali (56-5, 37 KOs) is widely viewed as the greatest heavyweight of all time. During his long and illustrious career, Ali has the unique distinction of being the only three time lineal heavyweight champion in the rich history of professional boxing.
Ali retired on July 27, 1979, and this would be the last time that the great Muhammad Ali held a claim to a portion of the heavyweight championship. He came out of retirement twice in two losing efforts when he was well past his best.
So who is the greatest heavyweight champions since Muhammad Ali?
Following the end of Ali’s championship reign, Larry Holmes (69-6, 44 KOs) became the man who dominated the heavyweight landscape during the late 70s and the first half of the 80s. Holmes piled up 20 consecutive title defenses, a total only surpassed by the great Joe Louis who had 25 consecutive defenses.
Then Mike Tyson (50-6, 44 KOs) become the dominant force over the second half of the 80s. Tyson was known for his devastating power and his explosive fighting style, and he took the division by storm becoming the youngest heavyweight champion of all time.
The early parts of the 90s were defined by the epic rivalry between Riddick Bowe (43-1, 33 KOs) and Evander Holyfield (44-10-2, 29 KOs). These two had an epic three fight rivalry when both were in their respective primes, and it produced the most memorable heavyweight trilogy in the post-Ali era.
Then during the later parts of the 90s, and beyond, Lennox Lewis (41-2-1, 32 KOs) had become the dominant force among heavyweights. In November 1999, Lewis had unified all three of the major belts that had been splintered back when Riddick Bowe tossed the WBC into a garbage bin.
After Lewis retired, there was a brief stretch when Vitali Klitschko (45-2, 41 KOs) was viewed as the best heavyweight, followed by the long and dominant reign of his younger brother, Wladimir Klitschko (64-5, 53 KOs).
This edition of Rummy’s Corner will focus on those seven boxers – Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe, Lennox Lewis, Vitali Klitschko, and Wladimir Klitschko. Which of these seven heavyweight champion is the greatest since Muhammad Ali? Please watch and enjoy the video for one man’s opinion!