Who was, or is, the heaviest world heavyweight champion in boxing history?

Of all the divisions in professional boxing, the heavyweight division is unique insofar that it imposes no upper limit on body weight. The heaviest, and tallest, world heavyweight champion in boxing history was Russian Nikolai Valuev, who held the World Boxing Association (WBA) for two spells, between 2005 and 2007 and 2008 and 2009. As the result of hormonal disorders known gigantism and acromegaly, both of which are characterised by excessive bone growth, Valuev stood 7′ 2″ tall and weighed in at a little over 348lb, at his heaviest, and weighed in at 328lb for his WBA heavyweight title defence against Monte Barrett at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois on October 7, 2006. ‘The Russian Giant’, as he was known, retired from boxing in November, 2009 with a 50-2-0 record.

In terms of size, Valuev may have been in a division of his own but, in recent years, one or two other gargantuan world heavyweight champions have graced the ‘squared circle’. Andy Ruiz Jr., for example, weighed in at a dainty 268lb when he caused one of the major upsets in boxing history by beating Anthony Joshua, by technical knockout in the seventh round, at Madison Square Garden, New York in June, 2019 to become unified world heavyweight champion. Ruiz Jr., a last-minute replacement for Jarrell Miller, had fought, and beaten, Alexander Dimitrenko less two months previously, so had only put on 6lb in the interim.

However, six months of inactivity before his rematch with Joshua, at the Diriyah Arena in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, in December, 2019, clearly took its toll on Ruiz Jr.. His weight ballooned to just over 283lb at the weigh-in and his lack of fitness, coupled with more circumspect tactics by Joshua, led to defeat, not only by unanimous decision, but by a wide margin, too.

How many times did Sonny Liston defend the world heavyweight boxing title?

The short answer is just once. Born in Sand Slough, Arkansas in the early thirties – in the absence of a birth certificate, his actual date of birth is disputed – Charles ‘Sonny’ Liston became the leading contender for the world heavyweight title in 1960. However, despite having been beaten just once, by split decision – when suffering broken jaw in the first round against Marty Marshall in September, 1954 – Liston was snubbed by reigning champion Floyd Patterson because of his known links to Philadelphia racketeer Frank ‘Blinky’ Palermo.

Liston finally challenged Patterson at Comiskey Park, Chicago on 25 September 25, 1962 and needed just two minutes and six seconds of the opening round to knock out his opponent. Weighing in at 25lb heavier than Patterson, and boasting a 13″ reach advantage, Liston landed three heavy blows, which sent the champion reeling, and finished him off with a powerful left-right-left combination. The pair met again at the Convention Center, Las Vegas on July 22, 1963, with almost identical results; Liston twice knocked down Patterson before landing two jarring right hands and a left uppercut, which knocked him down for a third and final time after 2 minutes and 10 seconds of the opening round.

Dubbed ‘unbeatable’, Liston next faced 22-year-old Cassius Clay – soon to become Muhammad Ali – at the Convention Center, Miami on February 25, 1964. At the end of the fourth round, Clay complained that he had something burning in his eyes, blinding him; he managed to evade Liston until the sixth round, by which time his vision had cleared and he had taken control of the fight. Citing a shoulder injury, Liston failed to answer the bell for the seventh round and Clay was declared the winner by technical knockout.

What is the nickname of Oscar De La Hoya, a former professional boxer and Olympic gold medalist?

Oscar De La Hoya, the charismatic former professional boxer and Olympic gold medalist, proudly donned the moniker “The Golden Boy” throughout his illustrious career. This exalted title, gleefully bestowed upon him by the media, originated in the wake of his awe-inspiring conquest in the lightweight division at the scintillating 1992 Barcelona Olympics. A mere 19 years young, De La Hoya etched his name in the history of boxing lore as the youngest American pugilist in over 70 years to claim Olympic gold.

With his magnificent golden touch and a head of lustrous blond locks, De La Hoya ventured forth into the professional game, where he seamlessly transcended weight classes. Like a virtuoso artist, he masterfully crafted his legacy by capturing world titles in an astonishing six distinct weight divisions. This awe-inspiring feat, has left a mark in the world of boxing greatness, and solidified his hallowed status among the pantheon of boxing legends.

“The Golden Boy” persona perfectly encapsulates De La Hoya’s unique blend of dazzling charm and fistic brilliance. His magnetic aura and undeniable flair captured the hearts of fans worldwide, propelling him into the mainstream spotlight and revitalising boxing’s allure during the electric 1990s.

Even in the present day, De La Hoya remains a towering figure in the pugilistic realm, his name whispered reverently in the hallowed halls of boxing lore. The legacy of “The Golden Boy” endures as a testament to his enduring impact on the sweet science, etching an indomitable mark on the collective consciousness of boxing aficionados worldwide.

Who was the first British UFC champion?

The history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) dates back to November 12, 1993, but it was not until nearly 23 years later, on June 4, 2016, that the franchise produced its first British champion. The fighter in question was Cyprus-born Englishman Michael Bisping who, in the main event at ‘UFC 199: Rockhold vs. Bisping 2’, at The Forum in Inglewood, California, knocked out Luke Rockhold with a heavy left-hand punch after 3:36 of the first round to become UFC Middleweight Champion.

Descended from Polish nobility, hence his nickname, ‘The Count’, Bisping sprang a major surprise on that occasion, insofar as he only accepted the fight at short notice, following the withdrawal of former champion Chris Weidman with a neck injury, and had lost, by second-round submission, to Rockford in their previous meeting, ‘UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Bisping’, 18 months previously.

Already a 10-year UFC veteran, Bisping defended his title just once, beating Dan Henderson by unanimous decision in the main event at ‘UFC 204: Bisping vs. Henderson 2’ at the Manchester Arena on October 8, 2016. Over a year later, on November 4, 2017, he lost his title to former welterweight champion George St. Pierre, by third-round technical submission, in the main event at ‘UFC 217: Bisping vs. St. Pierre’ at Madison Square Garden, New York. Just three weeks later, Bisping suffered a first-round knockout at the hands of Kelvin Gastelum at ‘UFC Fight Night 122’ at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Shanghai and, worse, suffered an eye injury, which ultimately led to his retirement from mixed martial arts (MMA) competition the following May.

Who is the oldest heavyweight champion in boxing history?

With a career spanning decades and a spirit that burned with an unquenchable fire, Foreman captivated the world with his remarkable journey. Born on January 10, 1949, in Marshall, Texas, Foreman’s path to boxing glory was paved with determination and an unwavering will to succeed.

It was on November 5, 1994, in Las Vegas, Nevada, that Foreman achieved his historic feat. At the age of 45, he stepped into the ring to face Michael Moorer, a formidable opponent nearly two decades his junior. The odds seemed stacked against Foreman, but he possessed an inner fire that refused to be extinguished.

As the rounds unfolded, Foreman demonstrated his trademark power, unleashing thunderous blows that reverberated through the arena. In the tenth round, a seismic right hand from Foreman found its mark, sending Moorer crashing to the canvas. The referee’s count marked the beginning of a new chapter in boxing history.

With his victory over Moorer, Foreman claimed the heavyweight crown at the age of 45 years and 10 months, shattering the previous record held by Jersey Joe Walcott. In that singular moment, Foreman transcended the boundaries of age and defied the limitations that society often imposes.

George Foreman’s triumph as the oldest heavyweight champion is a testament to the extraordinary resilience of the human spirit. It serves as a reminder that determination, heart, and a burning passion can overcome any obstacle, regardless of age or perceived limitations. Foreman’s legacy shines brightly, inspiring generations of fighters to push beyond their boundaries and chase their dreams with unyielding fervour.