Rightly or wrongly it is often the big men of boxing who are those who go down in history. Ask any casual boxing fan to name some of the greats of all time and the likelihood is that they will come up with names like Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman or even Lennox Lewis and all of these were heavyweights. What follows then is a rundown of the longest reigning champions in history to have graced that most popular and famous of heavyweight divisions.
5. John L Sullivan – Seven Years and Nine Days
A name probably not readily recognisable even by the biggest of boxing fans, John L Sullivan was a fighter from the end of the 19th century, whose career spanned both the bare knuckle and gloved boxing eras.
Sullivan was named the first ever official heavyweight champion following the 36th straight victory of his career in August of 1885, when he defeated Frank Herald. He then held this newest of titles until the 7th September 1892 when he was knocked out in the 21st round of a contest against ‘Gentleman’ Jim Corbett.