There is no doubt about Holyfield’s cruiserweight legacy. He beat Dwight Muhammad Qawi for his first title and unified against Ricky Parkey and Carlos De Leon.
The slick Puerto Rican won the WBC cruiserweight title four times and despite some surprising losses, he always bounced back to prominence.
3. Anaclet Wamba
Often overlooked, the Congo-born Frenchman’s two career losses were dubious, and he never lost his WBC cruiser crown in the ring.
4. Juan Carlos Gomez
His lethargic years as a heavyweight damaged his reputation, but as a cruiser Gomez reigned for almost four years as WBC champion, and only one man went the distance with him in that time.
5. Dwight Muhammad Qawi
His stellar first performance against Holyfield proved he was a top cruiserweight, and he KO’d WBA titlist Piet Crous on away turf in South Africa to become champ.
6. David Haye
He might best be remembered for his heavyweight days, but few have unified a division the way Haye did at cruiser.
7. James Toney
He never defended the IBF title he won from Vassily Jirov, but Toney is arguably the most talented fighter on this list, beside Holyfield, and he was excellent at cruiserweight.
8. Johnny Nelson
The Sheffield man bounced back from a slew of early career defeats to become WBO champion and set the division record (13) for most successful world title defences.
9. Vassily Jirov
Another who failed at heavyweight, but Jirov was an impressive IBF cruiser king before his unbeaten record was snapped by Toney.
10. Jean Marc Mormeck
He unified titles for a spell – the first to do so since Holyfield – and was a fearsome belt-holder, before Haye got off the floor to stop him.