“Dr. Steel Hammer” Wladimir Klitschko!
Klitschko spent a total of 12 years exactly as Heavyweight Champion during two different reigns. Amazingly, this only puts him 3 months and 22 days ahead of Joe Louis. The “Brown Bomber” held the heavyweight title for 11 years, 8 months, and 8 days without being defeated.
Wladimir Wladimirovitsch Klitschko[a] (Ukrainian: Володимир Володимирович Кличко, born 25 March 1976) is a Ukrainian former professional boxer who competed from 1996 to 2017. He held the world heavyweight championship twice, including the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, and Ring magazine titles. A strategic and intelligent boxer, Klitschko is considered to be one of the best heavyweight champions of all time. He was known for his exceptional knockout power, using a strong jab, straight right hand and left hook, as well as great footwork and mobility, unusual for boxers of his size.
As an amateur, Klitschko represented Ukraine at the 1996 Olympics, winning a gold medal in the super-heavyweight division. After turning professional later that year, he defeated Chris Byrd in 2000 to win the WBO heavyweight title. Klitschko’s first reign as champion ended in an upset knockout loss to Corrie Sanders in 2003, which was followed by another upset knockout loss to Lamon Brewster in 2004. It was during this time that Klitschko hired Emanuel Steward as his trainer, which began an eight-year partnership that lasted until Steward’s death in 2012. In particular, Steward was credited with Klitschko’s transition from an aggressive puncher to a more defensively-oriented boxer, much as he had done with Lennox Lewis in 1995 to 2003.
From 2004 to 2015, Wladimir and his brother Vitali (himself a world heavyweight champion) dominated heavyweight boxing, a period typically known as the “Klitschko Era” of the division. In 2006, Wladimir Klitschko regained a portion of the world heavyweight championship after defeating Chris Byrd in a rematch to win the IBF and IBO titles. He won the WBO title for a second time by defeating Sultan Ibragimov in 2008. Following his defeat of Ruslan Chagaev in 2009, Klitschko was awarded The Ring title, and lastly he won the WBA title from David Haye in 2011.
In September 2015, Klitschko was ranked as the world’s best active boxer, pound for pound, by BoxRec; in November 2014, he reached a career peak of second best on The Ring‘s pound for pound list. After defeating Alexander Povetkin in October 2013 and until his loss to Tyson Fury in November 2015, Klitschko was recognized as the lineal champion by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, while the WBA recognised him as one of its “Super champions“, a distinction given to boxers who hold that title in addition to those by other sanctioning bodies in the same division.
Klitschko holds the record for the longest cumulative heavyweight title reign of all time, with 4,382 days as world heavyweight champion. Wladimir has defeated 23 opponents for the world heavyweight championship, more than any other heavyweight in history. In 2011, Wladimir and his brother Vitali entered the Guinness World Records book as the pair of brothers with most world heavyweight title fight wins (30 at the time; 40 as of 2020). Wladimir Klitschko has reportedly earned €150 million (cca $200 million) during his professional career.