Tyson Fury, Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe – The shortest heavyweight reigns
World Boxing News delves into the record books to look at the shortest ever world heavyweight title reigns in history.
Over the years, the complication of more organizations being added to the mix has muddied the waters for unified holders.
That’s where the majority of the minimal spells as ruler have emanated from.
Below, WBN looks at the ten briefest title tenures since boxing began.
1/ TYSON FURY – 10 DAYS
The top honor goes to none other than current number one Tyson Fury, who held the IBF strap for just TEN DAYS in 2015.
Fury defeated Wladimir Klitschko in Germany to claim four versions of the crown but was given an almost instant ultimatum by the IBF.
Having already been contracted and obliged to give Klitschko a rematch, Fury was backed into a corner.
The title then had to be relinquished and was eventually fought for by Charles Martin and Vyacheslav Glazkov. Martin won via stoppage in January 2016.
2/ RIDDICK BOWE – 1 MONTH, 1 DAY
Winning the unified IBF, WBA and WBC titles in November 1992 against Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe would give up the World Boxing Council version just over a month later.
The WBC wanted Bowe to face Lennox Lewis next. Bowe had other ideas and chucked his green and gold strap in the bin at an infamous press conference.
Bowe would instead take on Michael Dokes and knock him out in less than a round.
3/ LEON SPINKS – 1 MONTH 3 DAYS
Scoring one of the biggest shocks of all time, Leon Spinks defeated Muhammad Ali in February 1978. Having won the WBC and WBA belts from Ali, Spinks was ordered to face number one contender Ken Norton.
Rather than battle Norton, Spinks chose the most lucrative option in Ali and was subsequently stipped by the WBC.
Spinks then dropped his WBA version in a rematch reverse to Ali in September.
4/ MIKE TYSON & TONY TUCKER – 2 MONTHS, 2 DAYS
Mike Tyson took out Bruce Seldon in just 109 seconds to win the WBA title in September 1996. Agreeing to defend his title just two months and two days later, Tyson was stopped by Evander Holyfield in eleven rounds.
6/ LUCAS BROWNE – 2 MONTHS, 7 DAYS
Beating Ruslan Chagaev to win the WBA ‘regular’ (now unrecognized) version on March 5 of 2016, Lucas Browne tested positive for a banned substance in the aftermath.
The WBA eventually took away the Australian’s title on May 12th.
7/ RUSLAN CHAGAEV – 2 MONTHS 13 DAYS
On May 12 of 2016, Ruslan Chagaev was reinstated following his previous defeat to Lucas Browne. Just two months and thirteen days later, the Uzbeki retired from boxing.
8/ KEN NORTON – 2 MONTHS 22 DAYS
Installed as WBC champion in place of Leon Spinks in March 1978, Ken Norton lost the championship in his very first defense against Larry Holmes in June.
9/ MUHAMMAD ALI – 2 MONTHS, 23 DAYS
Beating Ernie Terrell in February 1967, Muhammad Ali became fully unified heavyweight champion. A defense followed in March against Zara Folley.
Two months and 23 days after adding the WBA version to his WBC and NYSAC belts, Ali gave up his position on April 29, 1967 in direct opposition of the Vietnam War.
Ali would not fight against until 1970.
10/ CHARLES MARTIN – 2 MONTHS, 24 DAYS
American Charles Martin picked up the IBF title harshly taken from Fury in 2015 against Glazkov in early 2016. Two months and 24 days on, Anthony Joshua pummelled the ‘Prince’ in London to win his first-ever world title.
Look out for more features on WBN in the coming days.