Barry Hugman's History of World Championship Boxing
Having spent many years researching the history of world championship boxing from the start of gloves (1871 to date), I am happy to present my findings, in association with BoxRec, as you have never seen them before. This is due to the excellent research by Harold Alderman MBE in covering the early days in Britain (English championships) and my visits to various libraries around the world, as well as accessing thousands of newspapers on the internet. Many people helped along the way and you will find them under Acknowledgements.
To produce this work, wherever possible all of the leading fighters down the years since the early 1870s have had their known records analysed and cross referenced against thousands of newspapers and magazines in order to find the weight that their prime contests were made at. And work continues.
As a work in progress, I am currently proofing all text for literals, spelling and punctuation, along with checking out any glitches caused by the electronic transfer of data. I expect this process to take several months to finalize, so please bear with me.
Current weight divisions have been maintained by flexing the weights from the early 1870s to those we know today and can be seen in the left-hand column as a point of reference.
Fights (of ten rounds or more, other than where a title claim changed hands over a shorter distance) that are listed in chronological order within those weight divisions are those that were seen as title claims in Britain, America, Australia and the rest of the world prior to standardized weights being in place, along with all recognised world title fights since. Australian title fights are listed separately prior to 1909
This is not just a list of fights, it is the continuing history of world championship boxing, carrying a fight report (up to and including 2005), the weights of the fighters, all manner of risk fights of less than ten rounds, including no-decision contests, black title fights, politics, fights leading to championship bouts where applicable, eliminators, etc, etc. Referring to the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO I would go no further than those commissions, apart from recording The Ring magazine champions since 2002. Introduced in 1922, I believe The Ring Championship Belts to be far more important today with the proliferation of champions as it gives a sound guide as to who is the best. As to the other four body's, where there is a 'super' champion in place the next level down is a 'second tier' champion (reported as regular champions by the commissions) followed by an 'interim' champion. These are covered within the text and should not be seen as full championship contests.
To follow, initially go by (lbs) until you reach standard weights. You can then trace by recognition; ie: WORLD (undisputed), NBA, NY, IBU (EBU), GB, WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO, etc, which will allow you to remain in sequence. When a championship becomes fragmented and a vacant title fight is sponsored by a recognised body, if known supporting bodies are also stated.
When either the WBA, WBC, IBF or WBO, etc fails to accept a title fight for whatever reason but continue to recognise the champion involved, I have left the general status intact while making note of their reasoning within the text. This tends to happen when a challenger is not seen as a worthy opponent by at least one of the main administrations.
After clicking on to a fight for relative details, a further click on any fighter mentioned will take you to his record on BoxRec. You can then move from fighter to fighter, biographies and pictures, etc. There are several early British fighters' records that are still missing, but Harold Alderman will aim to produce them as soon as possible along with additional fights for other men of the time.
If you wish to find all entries relating to a fighter right across the site, click on his name within a fight report and then press on 'what links here' in the sidebar. You next click on the fights listed for the requisite information.
To find the names of all those mentioned within a specific weight division, click on any fighter from that division and then click on the Index.
For further information on how to best understand the data go to the Introduction.
Mini Flyweight Division Junior Flyweight Division Flyweight Division Junior Bantamweight Division Bantamweight Division Junior Featherweight Division Featherweight Division Junior Lightweight Division Lightweight Division Junior Welterweight Division Welterweight Division Junior Middleweight Division Middleweight Division Super Middleweight Division Light Heavyweight Division Cruiserweight Division Heavyweight Division