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Pictorial History of Boxing's Cruiserweight Division

Updated on April 12, 2016

Great Cruiserweight Boxers and Fights!

Evander Holyfield and Dwight Qawi at a preflight press conference before their title tilt. Qawi was the champion before this bout took place in 1986.
Evander Holyfield and Dwight Qawi at a preflight press conference before their title tilt. Qawi was the champion before this bout took place in 1986. | Source
Evander Holyfield is known as the best Cruiserweight ever and one if the top few best heavyweights ever also. He unified the  Cruiserweight belts and the heavyweight titles.  Not to mention Holyfield has won the  heavyweight crown 4 times.
Evander Holyfield is known as the best Cruiserweight ever and one if the top few best heavyweights ever also. He unified the Cruiserweight belts and the heavyweight titles. Not to mention Holyfield has won the heavyweight crown 4 times. | Source
The Haymaker David Haye lands a huge left hook as Enzo covers up. Haye only lost one bout as a Cruiserweight and he also unified the titles before moving up to heavyweight.
The Haymaker David Haye lands a huge left hook as Enzo covers up. Haye only lost one bout as a Cruiserweight and he also unified the titles before moving up to heavyweight. | Source
Former Cruiserweight champion Carlos De Leon slugs it out with the great Evander Holyfield. The Real Deal won the fight by knockout but it was a hotly contested battle until the end.
Former Cruiserweight champion Carlos De Leon slugs it out with the great Evander Holyfield. The Real Deal won the fight by knockout but it was a hotly contested battle until the end. | Source
"Quicksilver"Virgil Hill was a great light heavyweight and Cruiserweight champion. His  jab was his superior weapon and he was from  the state of North Dakota. Hill fought Thomas Hearns during his career.
"Quicksilver"Virgil Hill was a great light heavyweight and Cruiserweight champion. His jab was his superior weapon and he was from the state of North Dakota. Hill fought Thomas Hearns during his career. | Source
James " Lights Out" Toney seen taking a right hook from Vassily Jirov weathered the storm and  came back. In the 12th round with the fight  hanging in the balance Toney floors Jirov and  wins the title by decision. Jirov is one of the Top cruisers.
James " Lights Out" Toney seen taking a right hook from Vassily Jirov weathered the storm and came back. In the 12th round with the fight hanging in the balance Toney floors Jirov and wins the title by decision. Jirov is one of the Top cruisers. | Source
Thomas"HITMAN"Hearns was trained by the late great Emanuel Steward. Hearns carried hispower from welterweight all the way to Cruiserweight.
Thomas"HITMAN"Hearns was trained by the late great Emanuel Steward. Hearns carried hispower from welterweight all the way to Cruiserweight. | Source
Tomasz Adamek never lost as a Cruiserweight bout or his title. Here he is fighting Steve  Cunningham whom he beat. Adamek now  campaigns as a heavyweight. Adamek is known for having great stamina.
Tomasz Adamek never lost as a Cruiserweight bout or his title. Here he is fighting Steve Cunningham whom he beat. Adamek now campaigns as a heavyweight. Adamek is known for having great stamina. | Source
O Neil Bell unified the World Cruiserweight title, the only boxer to do so besides Evander Holyfield.He was a boxer puncher who had a solid jab.
O Neil Bell unified the World Cruiserweight title, the only boxer to do so besides Evander Holyfield.He was a boxer puncher who had a solid jab. | Source
Orlin Norris fought Mike Tyson at heavyweight but he was also a former Cruiserweight champion. His brother is "Terrible"Terry Norris and he is a boxer puncher.
Orlin Norris fought Mike Tyson at heavyweight but he was also a former Cruiserweight champion. His brother is "Terrible"Terry Norris and he is a boxer puncher. | Source
Bobby Czyz was a light heavyweight and Cruiserweight world champion during his heyday. Not a power puncher but a sharp boxer with great jabs, right hands and lots of body work.
Bobby Czyz was a light heavyweight and Cruiserweight world champion during his heyday. Not a power puncher but a sharp boxer with great jabs, right hands and lots of body work. | Source
Jean Marc Mormeck was a dominate champion who held the title for Four years and he even regained it  later in his career. Mormeck has fought as a heavyweight as well.
Jean Marc Mormeck was a dominate champion who held the title for Four years and he even regained it later in his career. Mormeck has fought as a heavyweight as well. | Source

Top 10 Cruiserweight Boxers Ever

1. Evander Holyfield- The Real Deal won a Bronze medal in the 84 Olympic games and then in 1986 in only his second year as a professional he won the Cruiserweight title by beating Dwight Muhammad Qwai by 15 round decision.(The last bout to ever go 15 rounds before it was abolished.) Holyfield rematched the legendary Qwai and knocked him out decisively in four one sided and brutal rounds. Holyfield unified the Cruiserweight titles and never lost as a Cruiserweight boxer.

2. Carlos DeLeon- De Leon is the first boxer to win the Cruiserweight title twice. He is from Puerto Rico and he finished his career with a record of 52-8-1 with 32 knockouts. Overall, Sugar De Leon held the title 4 times and if it were not for Evander Holyfield he would be the most accomplished of the 190 pounders. De Leon lost by knockout to Holyfield but he also beat his share of champions and contenders such as Leon Spinks, Marvin Camel and Yaqui Lopez.

3. Johnny Nelson- Nelson was the WBO Cruiserweight champion for 7 and a half years and he defended his crown 13 total times. His final resume reads 45-12-2 with 29 knockouts. He had solid boxing skills and he fought a who's who of the cruiserweights. Among his opponents were: Carlos De Leon, James Warring and David Russell.

4. Juan Carlos Gomez- The Black Panther is a southpaw heavyweight but as a Cruiser he won the WBC strap and defended it ten times and he never lost his laurels in the ring. His right jab and footwork were the staples for his success. Among his victims were: Jorge Castro, Marcelo Dominguez and Alfred Ice Cole.

5. David Haye- The Hayemaker was a very big puncher in the cruiserweight division and he suffered only one defeat in this weight class which occurred in his 11th pro bout. He beat Jean Marc Mormeck for the unified 190 pound crown by 7th round K.O. Among his victims were: Mormeck, Enzo Maccarinelli and Giacobbi Fragomeni.

6. James Toney- Lights Out Toney had a relatively short stay in the Cruiserweight class but he was explosive. Toney has a great defense and some of the best counter punching skills the sport has ever seen. He beat the undefeated champion Vasily Jirov, scoring a knockdown and winning a unanimous decision for his laurels. Also, Toney posted wins at Cruiserweight over top contenders and former Champions Saul Montana, Adolpho Washington and Jason Robinson. Toney's is still an active boxer as of 2013 but his record reads 74-8-3 with 45 knockouts.

7. Vassilly Jirov- The Russian Tiger knocked out Arthur Williams in seven one sided rounds to become the IBF Cruiserweight champion and he defended it five times before losing a close decision to James Toney. He also won three non title bouts in that time. He has a porous defense but he is a great pressure fighter and he usually wins by a war of attrition. Jirov has wins over Saul Montana, Adolpho Washington and Julian Letterlough.

8. Al Cole- Ice Cole pounded out a hard fought victory over James Warring for the 190 pound belt and defended it six times. He was not great at any one thing but he was good at everything. Among his best wins are beating the likes of Uriah Grant(Twice), Warring and Nate Miller.

9. Anaclet Wamba- Wamba beat Massie Duran by knockout to win the Cruiserweight Crown and he defended it seven times before retiring without losing the belt in the ring. Among his best wins were victories over Rickey Parkey, Duran and Rocky Bentley. His chin was very solid which is an often overlooked fact.

10. O' Neil Bell- Supernova held all the Cruiserweight titles at once and he beat Dale Brown for his first championship. His best wins posted were over Brown, Jean Marc Mormeck and Arthur Williams.

James Toney Vs. Vastly JirovTitle Bout Highlights

Evander"The Real Deal" Holyfield's Best Cruiser Wins

Dwight Muhammad Qawi
Henry Tillman
Carlos De Leon
Rickey Parkey
Ossie Ocasio
Mike Brothers
Dwight Muhammad Qawi 2
 
 
 
 
 
7 of Holyfield's Top Cruiserweight Triumphs

Evander Holyfield Was More Than a Cruiserweight

Evander "The Real Deal" Holyfield won the heavyweight championship of the world four times and he beat many great fighters in the process. In fact, Holyfield is Hall of Fame worthy as a Cruiserweight and as a Heavyweight fighter. In his prime he was a true physical specimen. He unified the championships in the Cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions during his illustrious career.

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© 2013 Buster Johnson

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