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10 Count: The longest-reigning light-heavyweight champions

Frankie DePaula
With Artur Beterbiev currently the 11th longest-reigning light-heavyweight champion of all time, we take a look at the top 10…

1 Archie Moore

Moore’s reign at light-heavyweight lasted a whopping nine years and four months and in that time he made nine successful defences. He beat Joey Maxim to win the title in 1952 and also beat Harold Johnson, Niño Valdés, Bobo Olsen and Yvon Durelle among others. 

2 Dariusz Michalczewski

During his WBO light-heavyweight title reign, which stretched nine years and one month, Michalczewski racked up an incredible 23 successful defences, besting the likes of Virgil Hill, Montell Griffin and Graciano Rocchigiani between 1994 and 2003.

3 Gus Lesnevich

Lesnevich finally got his hands on light-heavyweight gold in 1941, when outpointing Anton Christoforidis in New York. He then conquered Tami Mauriello on more than one occasion and reigned for seven years, albeit losing some non-title fights during that period.

4 Bob Foster

A sharp-shooter whose best days were at 175 pounds, Foster’s light-heavyweight reign lasted six years, stretching from 1968, the year he stopped Dick Tiger in four rounds, to 1974. In that time, he beat Mike Quarry, Chris Finnegan and Pierre Fourie, and also ventured to heavyweight.

5 Zsolt Erdei

WBO champion for five years and nine months, the fleet-footed Erdei made a total of 11 defences between 2004 and 2009 and surrendered the belt only when moving to cruiserweight to win a WBC title.

Adonis Stevenson

6 Adonis Stevenson

Stevenson, a heavy-handed southpaw, became WBC light-heavyweight champion in 2013 with a first-round stoppage of Chad Dawson and remained champion until 2018, his reign lasting five years and five months.

7 Charles Williams

After winning the IBF title with a ninth-round stoppage of Bobby Czyz in 1987, Williams went on to reign for five years and four months, until finally he was dethroned by Henry Maske in Germany.

8 Roy Jones Jr

A star at multiple weights, Jones’ light-heavyweight adventure lasted from the time he avenged a DQ defeat against Montell Griffin in 1997 to the time he fled to heavyweight to take John Ruiz’s WBA title in 2003. In total, he ruled at light-heavyweight for five years and two months.

9 Virgil Hill

The WBA light-heavyweight champion for four years and nine months, Hill won the belt with a decision against Frank Tate in 1992, then retained it 10 times, beating men like Fabrice Tiozzo and Henry Maske, from whom he also took the IBF version.

10 Dmitry Bivol

The newest addition to the list, Russia’s Bivol won the WBA title in 2017 when stopping Trent Broadhurst inside a round and has reigned now for four years and seven months. Interestingly, Beterbiev, his countryman, won his IBF title a week after Bivol beat Broadhurst. 

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