Category:The Ring Magazine Champions

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Emile Griffith's belt from 1961 George Foreman's belt from 1973 Lennox Lewis' belt from 2002
The Ring title belts of Emile Griffith (1962), George Foreman (1973), and Lennox Lewis (2002)

Marvin Hagler displays The Ring belt of the 1980s

The Ring was founded in 1922. It is the oldest sports publication in the United States.

The Ring began awarding championship belts in 1922. The first world title belt was awarded to heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey and the second was awarded to flyweight champion Pancho Villa. The magazine stopped giving belts to world champions in the 1990s, but began again in 2002 when it launched its new championship policy intended to reward fighters who, by satisfying rigid criteria, can justify a claim as the true and only world champion in a given weight class.

From 2002 to 2012, there were two ways a title vacancy could be filled: A fight between the magazine's No. 1 and No. 2 contenders or, in some cases, a fight between the No. 1 and No. 3 contenders.

In 2012, a new policy was announced: If the No. 1 and No. 2 contenders chose not to fight one another, a title vacancy can also be filled if the No. 1 or No. 2 contender fights the No. 4 or No. 5 contender. The new policy was controversial and some members of The Ring ratings panel resigned. Cliff Rold, one of the members who resigned, wrote, "The Ring making it possible for a number two to face a number five and be declared a World Champion is antithetical to the notion of crowning legitimate, strong Champions."

There are seven situations in which the Champion can lose his belt:

1. The Champion loses a fight in the weight class in which he is champion.
2. The Champion moves to another weight class.
3. The Champion does not schedule a fight in any weight class for 18 months.
4. The Champion does not schedule a fight at his championship weight for 18 months (even if he fights at another weight).
5. The Champion does not schedule a fight with a Top-5 contender from any weight class for two years.
6. The Champion retires.
7. The Champion tests positive for a banned substance.