1882 - 92
John L. Sullivan
1892 - 97 James J. Corbett
1897 - 99 Bob Fitzsimmons
1899 - 1905 James J. Jeffries
1905 - 06 Marvin Hart
1906 - 08 Tommy Burns
1908 - 15 Jack Johnson
1915 - 19 Jess Willard
1919 - 26 Jack Dempsey
1926 - 28 Gene Tunney
1928 - 30 None
1930 - 32 Max Schmeling
1932 - 33 Jack Sharkey
1933 - 34 Primo Carnera
1934 - 35 Max Baer
1935 - 37 James J. Braddock
1937 - 49 Joe Louis
1949 - 51 Ezzard Charles
1951 - 52 Joe Walcott
1952 - 56 Rocky Marciano
1956 - 59 Floyd Patterson
1959 - 60 Ingemar Johansson
1960 - 62 Floyd Patterson
1962 - 64 Sonny Liston
1964 - 67 Muhammad Ali
1965 - 67 Ernie Terrell *
1968 - 70 Jimmy Ellis *
1968 - 73 Joe Frazier
1973 - 74 George Foreman
1974 - 78 Muhammad Ali
1978 Leon Spinks *
1978 Ken Norton
1978 - 79 Muhammad Ali *
1978 - 85 Larry Holmes
1985 - 86 Michael Spinks
1986 - 90 Mike Tyson
1990 Buster Douglas
1990 - 92 Evander Holyfield
1992 - 93 Riddick Bowe
1993 - 94 Evander Holyfield
1994 Michael Moorer
1994 - 95 George Foreman
1996 Mike Tyson *
1996 - 99 Evander Holyfield *
1999 - 2001 Lennox Lewis
2001

Hasim Rahman

2002

Lennox Lewis

2003 - 05

Chris Byrd

NOTE: Champions not universally recognized are designated * (World Boxing Association title) or (World Boxing Council - WBC - title). First, Holmes was WBC champion, then (1983) International Boxing Federation champion. From 1979 to the mid-1980s there were various titleholders, but Holmes, Spinks, and Tyson were considered by most experts to have the most legitimate claims to the championship.