When Greatness Turned Sour: Examining the Downfall of the 8 Worst Heavyweight Champions


Prince Charles Martin’s pathetic defense of his “heavyweight” title had to rank right up there with Bruce Seldon’s quitting in defense of his title against Mike Tyson.

I started thinking about just how bad Martin was? I just wrote a top ten champions in heavyweight history article, why not write a top nine worst heavyweight champions in history?

will not include guys like Seldon or Martin; I only include real heavyweight champions, so the following is my list of the ten worst champions in heavyweight boxing history.

8) Jack Sharkey

Was KO’d by Primo Carnera. A loss to Carnera would make you number one even if it were fixed. But Sharkey was a good fighter and the Carnera fight I believe was fixed.


7) Buster Douglas

Beat a prime Tyson, but that’s it. He lacked the motivation to be a great champion.

6) Ingemar Johansson

–Beat some good fighters, but had a poor chin and questionable stamina.

5) Marvin Hart

He did beat a prime Jack Johnson but overall was not very successful.


4) Jim Braddock

Was an excellent light heavy. He had his one moment in the sun by beating Max Baer.


He held onto the title for two years by not fighting until he gave a prime Joe Louis at the title, and he even knocked Louis down in the first round.
In the end, Louis was too good for Braddock, but the courage Braddock showed in this fight was second to none,

3) Jess Willard

Had one great fight against an old Jack Johnson, but was slow and plodding.

2) Leon Spinks

He won an Olympic Gold Medal and upset Muhammad Ali, but after the Ali it was all downhill. Spinks was his own worst enemy.

He had one last great win at heavyweight upsetting Bernardo Mercado. That win led to a last shot at regaining the title but he was beaten badly by Champion Larry Holmes.


1) Primo Carnera

He had some decent skills but a china chin, and a lot of his fights were questionable because of the men who ran his career.


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