By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
A third fight between heavyweight boxing stars Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder is reportedly in the works, with the bout tentatively set for July 24. The first fight resulted in a draw, while Fury dominated the rematch en route to a seventh-round TKO. In anticipation of this trilogy fight, here’s a Pop Quiz spotlighting some of boxing’s most famous heavyweight champions. Fair warning: This isn’t kid stuff. While some of the questions may be considered as stiff jabs, others pack a wallop and may put you down for the count. See how well you do!
1. Who is recognized as the very first world heavyweight boxing champion?
2. Max Baer reigned as heavyweight champ from June 1934 to June 1935. What connection does he have to a famous 1960s TV sitcom?
3. Muhammad Ali is boxing’s only three-time lineal heavyweight champion. Name the three fighters he beat to gain the title.
4. Name the only heavyweight boxing champion to retire undefeated.
5. Which heavyweight champion had the longest title reign?
6. Name boxing’s first black heavyweight champion.
7. Who is the oldest fighter to win the heavyweight championship?
8. What fighter broke Muhammad Ali’s jaw in their first of three clashes?
9. Who defeated Larry Holmes to win the heavyweight championship in 1985?
10. Leon Spinks and Michael Spinks were the first pair of brothers to win boxing’s heavyweight championship. Who was the second pair of brothers to achieve this feat?
11. On February 11, 1990, Buster Douglas knocked out champion “Iron” Mike Tyson in what announcer Jim Lampley called, “The biggest upset in the history of heavyweight championship fights.” Where was the fight held?
12. What highly unusual incident took place during the seventh round of the November 1993 title bout between Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield?
1. John L. Sullivan is regarded as the first heavyweight champion of “gloved boxing.” “The Boston Strong Boy” is also recognized as the last heavyweight champion of “bare-knucked boxing.” He was presented with a championship belt – inscribed with “Champion of Champions” on Aug. 8, 1887.
2. Max Baer’s son, Max Baer Jr., played the role of “Jethro Bodine” in the TV hit Beverly Hillbillies.
3. Ali beat Sonny Liston (1964), George Foreman (1974) and Leon Spinks (1978).
4. Rocky Marciano, who reigned as champion from 1952 to 1956, went a perfect 49-0 in his career.
5. Joe Louis held boxing’s heavyweight title from 1937 to 1949 – 140 consecutive months. He emerged victorious in 25 straight title defenses.
6. Jack Johnson captured the heavyweight crown on Dec. 26, 1908 in Australia. Known as the “Galveston Giant (Johnson was born in Galveston, Texas) Johnson pummeled Tommy Burns for 14 rounds until police intervened and stopped the slaughter. As a sad sign of the times, one recap of the lopsided battle was headlined, “Twas a Dark Day in Australia.”
7. In 1994, at age 45, George Foreman knocked out Michael Moorer in the 10th round to win the heavyweight title for the second time. In doing so, he broke the record for the fighter with the longest interval between championships (20 years).
8. On March 31, 1973, at the San Diego Sports Arena, Ken Norton upset Ali via split decision. During the fight, Norton broke Ali’s jaw. Norton’s son, Ken Norton Jr., would later witn Super Bowl rings with the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers.
9. In 1985, Michael Spinks beat Holmes in a 15-round split decision to capture the heavyweight crown. He became the first light heavyweight champion to win the heavyweight title.
10. Vitali Klitschko captured the WBO heavyweight crown in 1999, and younger brother Wladimir Klitschko beat Chris Byrd to win the title in 2000.
11. The Tyson-Douglas fight took place in Tokyo, Japan.
12. During the second minute of the Bowe-Holyfield fight, parachutist James “Fan Man” Miller descended onto one side of the ring area. Fans and security detail attacked him, knocking him out. Said Miller later, “It was a heavyweight fight and I was the only guy who got knocked out.”
HOW DID YOU SCORE?
0 to 3 Correct: Back to the preliminaries for you.
4 to 6 Correct: Not bad. You coulda been a contendah.
7 to 9 Correct: You’re main event material.
10 to 11 Correct: Nice job, champ!
All 12 Correct: Like Muhammad Ali, you are the GREATEST!
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