Decade-by-Decade Rankings: 2000-2009

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(1) Vitali Klitschko  6’7 ½, 245- Won the title following Lewis’ retirement only to retire because of injuries. He was more dominate than Lewis during the decade and the two fights he lost he was ahead on points before the fights were stopped. The Chris Byrd fight was not even close when Vitali had to quit because of a shoulder injury. Against Lewis he was ahead on all three cards when the fight was stopped because of a cut over his eye. Ranked ahead of his brother because he has never been on the canvas and was much more dominate against Samuel Peter and Corrie Sanders than Wladimir. He will always be viewed as awkward and ineffective (10-2) *441

(2)  Lennox Lewis  6’5”, 245-Vitali is selected over Lennox because of his ability to take a punch better. Lennox's biggest victories were against Vitali Klitschko, David Tua, Hasim Rahman and Mike Tyson when he was over the hill. Retired unbeaten and with the championship. His only loss was to Hasim Rahman. He will be remembered as one of the all time greats as the years go by.(6-1) *577

(3) Wladimir Klitscho 6’6 ½”, 245- The most dominant fighter of the decade who faced just about everybody that would fight him. His two knockout losses to Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster really put a negative light on his career but nonetheless he had dominant victories over Chris Byrd twice, Samuel Peter, Hasim Rahman, Ruslan Chagaev, Sultan Ibragimov and Lamon Brewster in their rematch. There is no doubt about his place as number three fighter in the decade. You could actually argue a higher place for him in the rankings. (20-2) *729

(4) Chris Byrd  6’0”, 213- Outside of Byrd’s trouble with the Klitschkos’, Chris was a dominate fighter during the decade. Byrd was an over blown light-heavyweight with speed and quickness. He was one of the top fighters throughout the decade. His victories over David Tua and Evander Holyfield rank as his biggest wins during the decade. His other losses were to Alexander Povetkin and Shaun George. He fought a draw against Andrew Golota and very close wins over Jameel McCline and Fres Oquendo. (11-4-1) *600

(5) Hasim Rahman 6’2 ½”, 238-Captured the heavyweight title in 2001 from Lewis with a 5th round-KO upset. This was very typical of Rahman career because it was full of ups and downs. He fought everybody during the decade. Rahman had knockout victories over Lewis and Corrie Sanders and losses to Holyfield, Lewis, Ruiz and fought draws against David Tua and Toney. He holds this high ranking because of his knockout victory over Lewis. (14-4-2, 1 NC) *462

(6) Samuel Peter  6’0 ½”, 250- Holds down the sixth spot mainly on the strength of two victories over James Toney and a knockout win over Oleg Maskaev. His only two losses were at the hands of the Klitschko’s and to Eddie Chambers. ( 30-3) *263

(7) Evander Holyfield  6’2 ½, 217- Yes, Holyfield was well past his prime during the decade but none the less he was a tough out. He had a win, loss and a draw against Ruiz and defeated Rahman, Lou Savarese and Fres Oquendo. His three big defeats were to Toney, Valuev and Byrd. He also lost to Larry Donald. ( 6-6-1) *344

(8) Corrie Sanders  6’4”,225- Sanders big crowning achievement during the decade was his 2nd round annihilation of Wladimir Klitschko in 2003. His other two fights against top competition he lost to Vitali and Rahman. (7-3) *125

(9) David Haye 6’3”, 217- Limited action as a heavyweight, his big victory was over Valuev late in 2009 after dominating the Cruiserweight division. (3-0 as heavyweight) *92

(10) Alexander Povetkin 6’2”, 226- Povetkin had a great amateur career and has progressed through the pro ranks with wins over Chris Byrd and Eddie Chambers.(17-0)*133

(11) Eddie Chambers 6’1”,208- Chambers was very active during the last couple of years of the decade winning against Samuel Peter, Dominick Guinn, Calvin Brock and Alexander Dimitrenko. His only real blemish was his loss to Alexander Povetkin.(35-1) 40*

(12) Ruslan Chagaev  6’1”, 229- Only fighter to have defeated the 7 foot giant Valuev in 2007. He also came away with victories over Ruiz, Virchis and Skelton. Although these fighters were not at the top of the food chain they were capable heavyweights. Chagaev is ranked this high because of his wins over Valuev and Ruiz. His lone loss was to Wladimir Klitschko. (22-1) *230

(13) Nikolay Valuev  7’0”, 320- Valuev defeated Ruiz in two very close decisions which puts him in the top fifteen. His knockout wins over McCline and Monte Barrett were impressive. He also had a dominating win over Serguei Lyakhovich in 2008. His only loss was to Ruslan Chagaev. (28-2) *214

(14) Lamon Brewster  6’2”, 226- Brewster was another fighter who came out of nowhere with his knockout of Wladimir Klitschko in 2004. He was destroyed in the rematch. His only other worthy victory was against Andrew Golota. His losses were to Sergey Lyakhovich, Clifford Etienne, Charles Shufford and Wladimir Klitsckho.(12-5) *151

(15) John Ruiz  6’2”, 224-Ruiz was probably the most active fighter during the decade which has to count for something. He was one of the few fighters to cross over and face the eastern block fighters as well as the best Americans. He faced Valuev twice losing two controversial decisions; he split with Holyfield, defeated Kirk Johnson and Rahman, and lost to Toney and Roy Jones. His activity alone should place him in the top fifteen during the decade. (7-5-1, 1NC) *441

(16) David Tua  5’10”, 233- Tua looked like the second coming of Mike Tyson but he struggled against big tall fighters. His power was incredible and his ability to take a punch was probably tops in the decade. His two losses were to Byrd and Lewis and he fought a draw with Rahman. Outside of these fights he did not fight a real competitive schedule.His biggest wins were over Fres Oquendo and over the hill Michael Moorer.  (14-2-1) *321

(17) James Toney  5-10”, 217- Toney was a very smooth boxer who could have been one of the best had he been able to handle his weight problem. His 2003 victory of Holyfield got everybody’s attention. His two victories over Ruiz and Rahman were both later ruled as no contest. He also fought a draw with Rahman. He lost twice to Samuel Peter. (12-2-1, 2NC)  *295

(18) Jameel McCline 6’6 260- McCline was a strong contender throughout the decade with wins over Alfred Cole, Michael Grant, Lance Whitaker, Shannon Briggs, Charles Shufford, Cedric Boswell. His losses were to Wladimir Klitschko, Chris Byrd(questionable decision), Calvin Brock, Zuri Lawrence, Nikolay Valuev, Samuel Peter, John Ruiz and Chris Arreola. (20-8-2)

(19) Shannon Briggs  6’4”, 268-  Briggs was very competitive during the decade with wins over an old Ray Mercer and Siarhei Liakhovich. He lost to Sedreck Fields, Jamaal McCline, Sultan Ibragimov and Vitali Klitschko. (20-4)

(20) Oleg Maskaev  6’3”, 238- Oleg lost to Kirk Johnson and Lance Whitaker early in the decade and was thought to be done as a contender. His 2006 KO of Rahman put him back into the heavyweight picture only to lose to Peter by knockout. (17-4) *274

(Omitted) Mike Tyson 5’10”, 222- The legendary heavyweight struggled big time during the decade but remained highly ranked just on reputation. He defeated Andrew Golota and Brian Nielson. His losses were to Lennox Lewis, Danny Williams and Kevin McBride. He was very overrated during his later years. There is no way he can be placed any higher during this decade, he did not beat anybody. (4-3-1) *333

{average weight 234 of the top heavyweights of the 2000s}

*Fighters Ring Rankings Totals for the Decade
(Ring Record for the Decade)

Top Heavies During the 2000s

2000     Lewis                      Holyfield                M.Grant                 David Tua              Tyson
2001     Lewis                      Tyson                    David Tua             K. Johnson            W.Klitschko
2002     Lewis                      W.Klitschko          Byrd                       Tyson                      Rahman
2003     Lewis                      Byrd                       Holyfield                David Tua              W.Klitschko
2004     Byrd                         V.Klitschko           Toney                     Sanders                 Ruiz
2005     V.Klitschko             Byrd                       Ruiz                        Rahman                Toney
2006     Rahman                 Toney                    Byrd                        Brewster                W.Klitschko
2007     W.Klitschko           Peter                      Maskev                  Valuev                    Chagaev
2008     W.Klitschko           Peter                      Chagaev                Valuev                    Maskev
2009     W.Klitschko           V.Klitschko            Chagaev                Povetkin                Valuev

History of the Heavyweight Division 2000-2009

2000-Champion, Lennox Lewis                              
#1 Mike Tyson                                    
#2 Kirk Johnson                                 

def. Michael Grant 2-KO
def. David Tua 12-D
def. Andrew Golota 2-KO

def. Oleg Maskaev 4-KO

2001-Champion, Lennox Lewis                           

#1 Wladimir Klitschko      
#2 Mike Tyson                                    

loss Hasim Rahman 5-KO
def. Hasim Rahman 4-KO

2002-Champion, Lennox Lewis                              
#1  Wladimir Klitschko                    

#2 Chris Byrd                                      

def. Mike Tyson 8-KO 
def. Francois Botha 8-KO
def. Ray Mercer 6-KO
def. Jameel McCline 10-KO
def. Evander Holyfield 12-D

2003-Champion, Lennox Lewis                              
#1 Vitali Klitschko                              

#2  Chris Byrd                                     

def. Vitali Klitschko 6-KO
loss Lennox Lewis 6-KO
def. Kirk Johnson 2-KO
def. Fres Oquendo 12-D

2004-Champion, Vitali Klitschko                           

#1 Chris Byrd                                      

#2 John Ruiz                                       

def. Cory Sanders 8-KO
def. Danny Williams 8-KO
DRAW Andrew Golota 12-DR
def. Jameel McCline 12-D Split
def. Fres Oquendo 11-KO
def. Andrew Golota 12-D

2005-Champion, Vitali Klitschko           
#1 Chris Byrd                                      
#2 Hasim Rahman                            
#3 James Toney                                 

def. DaVarryl Williamson 12-D
def. Monte Barrett 12-D
def. John Ruiz 12-D (later declared NC)
def. Dominick Guinn 12-D

2006-Champion, Title Vacant                         
#1 Wladimir Klitschko                      

#2 Oleg Maskaev                               
#3 Samuel Peter                                

def. Chris Byrd 7-KO
def. Calvin Brock 7-KO
def. Hasim Rahman 12-KO

def. James Toney 12-D Split

2007-Champion, Title Vacant                         
#1 Wladimir Klitschko                      
#2 Samuel Peter                                

#3 Oleg Maskaev                              

def. Lamon Brewster 6-KO

def. James Toney 12-D
def. Jameel McCline 12-D

2008-Champion, Title Vacant
#1 Wladimir Klitschko                      

#2 Vitali Klitschko                              
#3 Ruslan Chagaev                           

def. Sultan Ibragimov 12-D
def. Tony Thompson 11-KO
def. Hasim Rahman 7-KO
def. Samuel Peter 9-KO

2009-Champion, Wladimir Klitschko   
#1 Vitali Klitschko                              

#2 Alexander Povetkin                     
#3 Eddie Chambers                          

def. Ruslan Chagaev 9-KO
def. Juan Carlos Gomez 9-KO
def. Chris Arreola
def. Jason Estrada 10-D
def. Samuel Peter 10-D
def. Alexander Dimitrenko 12-D








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