Heavyweight big brother. “Medium-heavy” little brother. Average “cruiserweight” sibling. “Middleweight” little brother. There is considerable history between these boxing siblings, in particular, the journey of the “younger” brothers to escape the shadow of the “older” brother. The heavyweight division, even at its low points, is the division and toss of soft science, casting countless shadows across the landscape of the sport. There are shadows inside and outside of the division (as covered in the documentary Shadow Champs).
The sport of boxing has undergone considerable evolution; heavyweights used to be under the 200 pound limit, but such a thing is impossible nowadays with the invention of the light heavyweight and (more recently) heavyweight weight classes. We’ve seen fighters from lower weight classes make their leap into the big league; many have fallen, but not all.
Today is the story of big brother against little brother. The times when the light heavyweight champion dared to challenge the heavyweight champion. By extension, the effort and feats of cruiserweights and middleweights who have done the same have also been included. This line goes back to the black and white age in the days of the third lineal heavyweight champion (at least).
As mentioned, pay attention to both evolution and weight disparities over time. You’ll be surprised how close and far the fighters are in weight. Some rivals had the same weight. One had a disparity as big as NINETY-NINE (99) pounds! Other cases have seen the “little” brothers prevail over the “big” brothers! Easter egg exploits, as usual with BoxingPedia, are featured; who is the lightest heavyweight champion of all time? The heaviest? Which heavyweight has conquered the most weight classes before? Who overcame the biggest weight disparity? Answers to all these questions and many more.
At my own leisure, I’ve included bonus fights that may not have had a single fighter as champion. Matches that could have had vacant titles up for grabs, included. Matches in which one or both fighters may not yet have been champions or in which one or more may have already been champions. For example, you’ll see the 1972 mismatch between Muhammad Ali and Bob Foster despite the fact that the taller wasn’t the heavyweight champion at the time (Joe Frazier had won undisputed a year earlier in the Fight of the Century ). There are a lot more “bonus” fights that made the cut, which I think you’ll enjoy.
Our line of crossover (heavyweight) class matchups stretches all the way back to last year with Usyk’s conquest of Oleksandr of former WBA IBF WBO unified champion Anthony Joshua. That match inspired the idea for this video, as well as some of the 80s HBO boxing magic. The event I’m referring to is from the pre-fight show of Larry Holmes and Michael Spinks’ 1985 showdown, in which the network chronicled the story of heavyweights vs. light heavyweights in light of the impending confrontation. Said match was also 30 years after Rocky Marciano’s 49th and final victory on a flawless career. Larry Holmes had the same opportunity, all the way, and history would be made overnight (one way or another, given the opportunity Spinks had).
Without giving too much away, BoxingPedia presents: A timeline of crossover (heavyweight) weight class title matches
Written, narrated and produced (from my heart to yours) by TheCharlesJackson. Keep hitting and stay frosty.