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Modern Heavyweight Champions Ranked From 'GOAT' To 'Not A Boxer’

Modern Heavyweight Champions Ranked From 'GOAT' To 'Not A Boxer’

Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield are among the modern boxing champions to be awarded 'all-time great' status - while Mike Tyson is controversially classed as 'overrated'.

SPORTbible used TierMaker to rank every heavyweight to hold a full world-title belt from the mid-1990s to today, rating them from 'great' to 'not a boxer'.

Current rivals Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua are in different tiers. Fury's stunning KO of Deontay Wilder helps the Gypsy King already reach 'elite' status at the age of only 31. AJ, who suffered his first loss in 2019, is below him - but with time to improve.

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Mike Tyson is ranked 'overrated' due to the enormous hype that surrounds a heavyweight most boxing experts would not have in their all-time top 10.

He was a spectacular, destructive puncher in his youth - but flamed out early, failed to avenge any of his defeats and lost decisively to the two best of his era in Holyfield and Lewis.

Roy Jones Jr joins that pair in the top tier, but is impossible to place accurately. His pound-for-pound skills deserve the highest accolade - but he only fought once in this division (although a former middleweight champ winning a heavyweight belt is an amazing feat).

Wladimir Klitschko is is labelled 'overrated' because, although his reign was long, he suffered several jarring defeats, was boring to watch and feasted on a dreadful era of big men. His old foe David Haye joins him as his heavyweight career - which once promised so much excitement - ended up being a disappointment.

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'Not a boxer' status belongs to two men. Prince Charles Martin, widely regarded as the worst heavyweight to ever hold a title belt, plus Bruce Seldon, the brief WBA champ only memorable because he threw himself to the canvas against an already post-prime Tyson in 1996. Awful.

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The full SPORTbible rankings are below.

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All-Time Great: Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, Roy Jones Jr

Elite: Tyson Fury, Vitali Klitschko, Riddick Bowe

Overrated: Mike Tyson, Wladimir Klitschko, David Haye

Good: Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, Chris Byrd, Michael Moorer

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Average: Andy Ruiz Jr, Joseph Parker, Hasim Rahman, Ruslan Chagaev, Corrie Sanders, Samuel Peter, Sultan Ibragimov, Oleg Maskaev

Terrible: Shannon Briggs, Bermane Stiverne, Nikolai Valuev, Frank Bruno, John Ruiz, Lamon Brewster, Herbie Hide, Siarhei Liakhovich, Henry Akinwande

Not A Boxer: Charles Martin, Bruce Seldon

Let us know what you think of our ranking of modern heavyweight champs in the comments.

Topics: Mike Tyson, David Haye, Tyson Fury, Boxing News, Roy Jones Jr, Boxing, Fight News, Anthony Josuha, Wladimir Klitschko, Evander Holyfield

Alex Reid

Alex Reid is a writer at SPORTbible who’s previously strung words together for FourFourTwo, Boxing News, The Guardian and, yes, Cruise International (it’s about big ships, not Tom). Interests range from football and boxing to real sports like WWE and darts. He is not a cage fighter.