Top 10 Famous White Heavyweight Boxers Of All Time


More and more outstanding white pugilists get their professional boxing positions for the highest weight class. They have enhanced the reputation by remarkable career longevity, impressive technique performance, and exceptional achievements.

So, who are they, and who do deserve to step into the list of the world’s top famous white heavyweight boxers? Let’s take a look at those “big men” individually. 

Things to Know About Heavyweight Boxers 

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the pugilistic popularity led to a weight division launch. The formation aims at creating fair competition among players with various weights when joining in this combat sport. It includes a range of 17 different weight classes from the lowest – “minimumweight” (105 lbs.) to the highest – “heavyweight” (over 200 lbs.). 

To choose well-known white boxers at any weight over 200 lbs., we base on criteria such as weight, nationality, and achievements. Moreover, there are ten main periods to research through. They include 1900-1915, 1916-1925, 1929-1939, 1940-1950, 1951-1961, 1962-1972, 1973-1983, 1984-1994, 1995-2005, 2006-present. 

A Top List Of Famous White Heavyweight Boxers 

From 1900 to the present, 20 white boxers mentioned below are the ones with the most impressive achievements in their pro heavyweight boxing career. 


James John Corbett (US), John Lawrence Sullivan (US)

John Lawrence Sullivan: 1858 – 1918

The “Boston Strong Boy” John L. shone as an icon of American boxing in the late 19th century. Under the London Prize Ring Rules, He was the last bare-knuckle boxing champion and even the first heavyweight gloved boxing champion. Also, John L. was one of the highest-paid professional boxers of this era. He participated in 51 fights in total, won 47, and lost only 4.  

James John Corbett: 1866 – 1933

As the originators of modern boxing, James John Corbett or Gentleman Jim became a World Heavyweight Champion. He got this title by being the only opponent who could knock out the legend John L. Sullivan.  This boxer pioneered in applying a scientific approach for boxing and proved it helpful by daily training routine and admirable achievements. 


Jack Dempsey (US), Gene Tunney (US)

Jack Dempsey: 1895 – 1983

Jack Dempsey or Kid Blackie had his pugilistic career lasting from 1914 to 1927. He kept the World Heavyweight Champion through half of this journey. For years, the boxer powered his reign by an aggressive style. 

Gene Tunney: 1897 – 1978

The period between 1926 and 1928 was the most glorious time for Gene Tunney in boxing. With highly fighting techniques, he upset the great Jack Dempsey in 1926 and 1927 matches. This achievement was still one of the most admirable bouts in boxing history. 

Gene Tunney stopped his professional boxing career right after knocking out Tom Heeney in a 1928 fight. Then, the Ring magazine gave him the name: Fighter of the Year. 


Max Schmeling (German), Jack Sharkey (US)

Max Schmeling: 1905 – 2005

Maximilian Adolph Otto Siegfried Schmeling was a boxer born in German. He had his career longevity with a three-year-achievement of the Heavyweight Champion from 1930 to 1932. Plus, Schmeling got the 55th in the list of 100 greatest punchers of all time by The Ring magazine. 

Jack Sharkey: 1902-1994

The first big year of Jack Sharkey was 1927 when he had impressive matches with Mike McTigue and Jim Maloney. In 1931, he also fought for the championship game with an Italian boxer – Primo Carnera.

1930 was his first chance to fight Schmeling for the World Heavyweight Championship when he lost by a foul. But lots of observers still thought that he deserved a win. And this title is still a controversial result in boxing history.  


Lee Savold (US), Bruce Woodcock (England)

Lee Savold: 1916 – 1972

In boxing history, Savold was one of the boxers with the most wins and losses of any heavyweight class champion. During his career longevity, he defeated both legend Joe Louis and Rocky Marciano.

Bruce Woodcock: 1921 – 1997

The English boxer held the championship for both the light heavyweight and heavyweight. He retained the European heavyweight champion and the World title for periods 1945-1950 and 1946-1949, respectively. 


Rocky Marciano (US), Ingemar Johansson (Sweden)

Rocky Marciano: 1923 – 1969

Rocky Marciano or Rocco Francis Marchegiano started his career in 1947 and finished it in 1955. For the period of eight years with boxing, this great player reigned as the World Heavyweight Champion from 1952 to 1956. 

His impressive boxing record included 49 fights without any losses. Based on the victorious competition of Rocky Marciano, BoxRec gave him a 5-star rating. 

Ingemar Johansson: 1932 – 2009

The competition of Johansson lasted nearly from 1952 to 1963. A decade of boxing left him the World Heavyweight Champion between 1959 and 1960. 

In the match with Floyd Patterson, the Swedish pugilist knocked out his opponent. By the relentless fighting technique, Johansson got the Hickok Belt for the top professional boxer of the year. 

Besides the World Heavyweight Champion, Johansson became the owner of the European Heavyweight Champion twice. In the list of The Ring magazine, he stood in 99th place among the 100 greatest punchers of all time. 


George Chuvalo (Canada), Chuck Wepner (US)

George Chuvalo: 1937 – present

George Louis Chuvalo CM really made an impression on his boxing career. He got the Canadian Heavyweight Championship belts for five times and reigned as the World Heavyweight Champion twice. 

A “never-being-knocked-down” was a funny title that fans gave Chuvalo. In the 93-bout professional pugilistic career, the man defeated the great Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, and George Foreman. There were 93 fights in his journeys with 73 wins, 18 losses, and 2 draws. 

Chuck Wepner: 1939 – present

Charles Wepner is a professional world-ranked contender in the highest weight class. With this admirable title, in 1975, he upset the World Heavyweight Champion – Muhammad Ali right after several of a full 15 rounds. 

In 1976, this boxer became a main part of the Rocky film series. And the Brawler was the next film in which Charles Wepner joined in. 


Gerry Cooney (US), Duane Bobick (US)

Gerry Cooney: 1956 – Present

Gerald Arthur Cooney competed from 1977 to 1990 and fought twice for the World Heavyweight Champion. He was well-known for the powerful left-handed hook along with an orthodox stance. In boxing history, Gerald Arthur Cooney came as the one who gave contenders the most powerful punches.

In total, he participated in 31 boxing matches with 28 wins, only 3 losses, and 24 knockouts. Nearly none of his games lasted more than 15 rounds. The Ring magazine ranked him the No.53 of the 100 greatest punchers of all time.  

Duane Bobick: 1950 – Present

Bobick grew up in a boxing family in the 1960s. His career started in 1971 with a win over Teófilo Stevenson in the Pan American Games. Also, he added another championship into his achievement after beating Larry Holmes in the US Olympic boxing competition. 

He took his first step into the pro journey in 1973. The boxer competed in 52 matches (48 wins and only four losses). 


Tommy Morrison (US), Francesco Damiani (Italy)

Tommy Morrison: 1969 – 2013

He was an American professional puncher with a career lasting from 1988 to 1996. In 1992, Morrison stood in 10th place in the BoxRec list for world heavyweight boxer. And one year later, he won the WBO Heavyweight Championship.

Besides the boxing career, many fans loved Tommy Morrison in the role of an actor. His most successful acting achievement is to star in Rocky V. Unfortunately, he had to retire from boxing and acting due to a positive HIV test. 

Francesco Damiani: 1958 – Present

It was from 1980 to 1984 when Francesco Damiani competed as an amateur boxer. And in the four following years, people knew him as a professional player in the game. During these eight years, this man got several impressive achievements.

As an amateur, Francesco Damiani got silver medals for the super heavyweight class in the 1982 World Championship and the 1984 Summer Olympic. When becoming a professional boxer, he held the WBO Heavyweight Champion from 1989 to 1991. 

>Also read: Swimming for boxing.


Oleg Maskayev (Russia), Andrew Golota (US)

Oleg Maskayev: 1969 – Present

Maskayev debuted in 1993. But his professional boxing career officially started in 1995 and lasted until 2013. Right after debuting, he wasted no time and defeated Alexander Miroshnichenko with a surprising score of 23-0. And he reigned as the WBC heavyweight champion between 2006 and 2008. 

In competing, Maskayev owns the powerful punch with the right hand. Hence, the boxer knocked out many of the boxing greats, such as Derrick Jefferson and Hasim Rahman. And upsetting Hasim Rahman in 1999 helped the boxer have his most glorious victory in life. 

Andrew Golota: 1968 – Present

Andrzej Jan Gołota played as a professional boxer from 1992 to 2013. He held the World Heavyweight title four times during his career longevity and about 40 other professional wins. 

In 1992, Golota gave Roosevelt Shuler and Robert Smith three and six knockouts, respectively. Then, he kept winning the next 16 matches also with relentless knockouts. And soon after, the Polish boxer met Maron Wilson and became the winner only by ten knockouts. 


Wladimir Klitschko (Ukraine), Nikolai Valuev (Russia)

Wladimir Klitschko: 1976 – Present

From 1996 to 2017, Klitschko played as a professional boxer. This man had a proud pugilistic journey in which he won the World heavyweight championship twice and the title in the Ring magazine list. Besides, BoxRec awarded Klitschko as the best active boxer due to his exceptional techniques and powerful knockout. 

During the championship, Klitschko always attracted the attention of more than 500 million viewers all over the world from TVs. In 2021, the organizing committee inducts Klitschko into their International Boxing Hall of Fame Class.

Nikolai Valuev: 1973 – Present

Valuev pursued his ambition with boxing between 1993 and 2009. However, now, some health problems stop his pugilistic journey.

Because of the height of 7.0 ft. and the weight of 328 lbs., fans know about Valuev as the tallest and heaviest boxing champion in this combat sport’s history. He held the WBA Heavyweight champion twice, one in 2005 and the other in 2007. Another interesting point is that he also joined in acting, advertising, and political career. 


What is your list of famous white heavyweight boxers? We bet that it could be different from ours or a little bit similar. It will surely be more interesting for a discussion. So, let’s share! For more useful information, you can also leave us a line so that we can reply as soon as possible. Thank you!

>>Related: How long does it take to recover from a liver punch? and how to box with long hair?

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