‘Canelo’ Alvarez became the undisputed super-middleweight world champion against Caleb Plant, but who are boxing’s six undisputed world champions?
The likes of Sonny Liston, Muhammed Ali and Evander Holyfield have all been undisputed world champions in their respective weights in the past.
However, a change in the mid-2000s reset the current meaning of being an undisputed world champion.
The WBO was officially recognised as a sanctioning body, with this bringing about a change in the status of unified champions.
Now, to be undisputed world champion, a boxer must hold the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO belts in their respective weights.
Only six boxers have managed to become undisputed world champion in that time, but who are they?
Undisputed champions in boxing
The first boxer to become undisputed world champion was American Bernard Hopkins in 2004.
A middle-weight, Hopkins originally became IBF world champion in 1995.
He would go on to beat Oscar de la Hoya after knocking him out in the ninth round of their bout in Las Vegas.
This earned Hopkins the title of undisputed middle-weight champion – until he lost it in his very next fight.
That was against Jermain Taylor in July 2005.
It was a split decision – also in Vegas as Hopkins was vanquished by Taylor.
Turn of the light welterweights
Over a decade would pass until there was another unified world champion in boxing – this coming in August 2017.
Terence Crawford unified the light welterweight division against Julius Indongo in Nebraska.
A few weeks later, Crawford vacated his WBO belt – this was to move up a weight to welterweight.
In May 2021, British boxer Josh Taylor matched Crawford’s feat and unified the light welterweight belts.
Taylor already held the WBA and IBF belts, but took Jose Ramirez’s WBC and WBO titles in Nevada.
Taylor, from Scotland is the only Briton to be an undisputed boxing world champion since the rules were reset.
The cruiserweight champion
Oleksander Usyk may have better fame as a heavyweight champion these days, but he unified the cruiserweight division in July 2018.
The Ukrainian defeated Murat Gassiev at the Olympic Stadium in Moscow, shortly after the end of football’s World Cup.
Usyk defeated Tony Bellew in his only fight as the unified cruiserweight champion.
He would move up to the heavyweight division, seeking a fight against Anthony Joshua.
Usyk would defeat Joshua in 2021 to win the IBF, WBO, and IBO titles.
Tyson Fury holds the WBC belt after defeating Deontay Wilder.
Undisputed boxing world champions list
- 1. Bernard Hopkins – middleweight
- 2. Jermain Taylor – middleweight
- 3. Terence Crawford – light welterweight
- 4. Oleksander Usyk – cruiserweight
- 5. Josh Taylor – light welterweight
- 6. Canelo Alvarez – super middleweight