Which is more difficult to become: The youngest or oldest heavyweight champion?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Ironfox222, Feb 10, 2024.


  1. Youngest

    18 vote(s)
  2. Oldest

    20 vote(s)
  1. Ironfox222

    Ironfox222 Member Full Member

    Feb 20, 2022
    Mike Tyson became the youngest Heavyweight Champions at 20 years old
    George Foreman became the oldest Heavyweight Champions at 46 years old

    Which record is harder to break in the modern era? being the Youngest or Oldest guy to become a heavyweight champion of the world?
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  2. DirtyDan

    DirtyDan Worst Poster of 2015 Full Member

    Oct 30, 2011
    I think they're both equally as difficult, it just depends on the opponent. I think if Wlad had a proper training camp and was hungry enough that he can pick up a strap against a Joseph Parker type of fighter. I'm not too familiar with the amateur scene but I imagine one of these young amateur prospects can do the same.
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  3. USFBulls727

    USFBulls727 Member Full Member

    Oct 7, 2022
    Both are difficult, but I'll go with oldest. Remember, Foreman broke the record for the oldest HW Champion by something like 8 years. Walcott had the previous record at 37, and Foreman pulled it off at 45. He smashed Walcott's record. That record may never fall.
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  4. Shay Sonya

    Shay Sonya The REAL Wonder Woman! Full Member

    Aug 15, 2021
    For the REAL Heavyweight Championship (Lineal) I would say getting it at 47 is just a little harder than getting it at 19, but both are extremely difficult.
  5. Fogger

    Fogger Father, grandfather and big sports fan. Full Member

    Aug 9, 2021
    Given how boxing is in 2024, I think it would be much more difficult to be the youngest champion. The key is that boxers don't fight often enough anymore. I can't imagine a young heavyweight fighting often enough to put himself in line for a title shot, let alone winning one by the age of 20. Tyson had 27 fights in his first 20 months as a professional before he took the belt from Trevor Berbick. Jared Anderson, by comparison has had 16 fights in his first four + years.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2024
  6. NoNeck

    NoNeck Pugilist Specialist Full Member

    Apr 3, 2012
    Youngest is harder.

    The sport has changed such that an old but skilled superheavyweight landing a bomb on or outboxing a mediocre champion isn’t that far fetched.

    There just isn’t time for anyone to become the youngest with the way champions make contenders wait now.
  7. themostoverrated

    themostoverrated Member Full Member

    Feb 9, 2022
    Nobody has talked about certain things that are very relevant to the discussion, so I will. The sport of professional boxing has historically been controlled by Americans and to a lesser extent the Brits. That of course is changing now, but to become the youngest HW champion or even earn a shot at the title, you need to earn a professional contract at a very young age, have a good team to support you and be in the good books of both promoters and sanctioning bodies. Mike Tyson could challenge Trevor Berbick because he had a strong team to begin with, with the likes of Bill Clayton and Jim Jacobs. Tyson had failed in the Olympic trials and would have spent years trying for a professional contract if not for Cus D'Amato and this team of his. Amercian Floyd Patterson - the previous youngest HW champion was also managed by Cus, but had to win gold at the Olympics to earn a reputation good enough to embark on a journey to win the championship. Ali also had to win an Olympic gold medal to kickstart his journey. Professional boxing was banned in Soviet Union, Cuba and many other countries for the most of boxing history. In several other countries, pro-boxing would throw you into obscurity. Amateur boxing on the other hand, has had a greater level-playing field.

    Now to become the oldest champion, you need to have a well-set career. This is possible in a wide variety of ways. You could start early or late, and your nationality doesn't matter as much as it would in the case I discussed in the previous paragraph. You still need to earn the grace of promoters and the blessing of sanctioning bodies though. In recent years, it is getting increasingly common for athletes across sports to perform well and even win in their forties due to improvements in medicine, nutrition and technology.

    So, to become the youngest HW champion, you need to hail from the US or UK and have a good team to support you from the start. Being the oldest champion however, is largely up to how you perform. Therefore, it is easier to become the oldest champion, especially if you are hailing from a country which does not control boxing. Other factors are also important such as the state of the HW division, the calibre of the opponent you are facing and the number of titles on offer.
  8. DirtyDan

    DirtyDan Worst Poster of 2015 Full Member

    Oct 30, 2011
    What in the blue hell are you talking about, this post is all over the place. A professional contract :lol: literally anyone can become a professional boxer, it's called a professional boxing license. I agree that having a good promoter get's you the big fights, but how is this based on nationality, anyone from any country can have a good promoter. Tyson had like 27 fights in a little over a year, fought ranked HW contenders and earned his spot to challenge for the WBC title, Floyd Patterson beat the number 1 contender and fought for the vacant belt, what's stopping young fighters from other nationalities to do the same thing, I honestly don't get what point you're trying to make. Matter of fact, boxers such as Ingemar Johansson, Max Schmeling and Primo Carnera have had easier paths to the belt compared to American fighters around the time frame such as Sonny Liston and Joe Louis.
    Saintpat likes this.
  9. themostoverrated

    themostoverrated Member Full Member

    Feb 9, 2022
    This actually isn't true. As I already mentioned in my previous post, professional boxing was banned in Cuba and the Soviet Union and has historically had very little presence in many other countries. Is it even a coincidence that most heavyweight champions in the 20th century were Americans? That most promoters and boxing managers were Americans? Sonny Liston had difficulties in getting to the title scene because of his connections with the mob and due to Patterson (Cus actually) ducking him. Joe Louis did not have such a tough path, his major obstacle was the color bar. Johansson won a silver medal at the Olympics, Schmeling had to toil for years to get a title shot, he was a 49-fight veteran. With Primo Carnera, we all know he was favored by the mob, and he was an 81-fight veteran, these are poor examples, really. We cannot compare them with Tyson who had everything spoon-fed to him from the beginning. Yes, anybody can fight professionally, but fights fought in third-world countries get little to no coverage at all. Prospects from these countries have to work really hard to arrive at a position to fight a ranked contender. American boxers have seldom had to emigrate to another country to fight, something which we cannot say about Cuban and Nigerian boxers for example.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2024
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  10. Fergy

    Fergy Walking Dead Full Member

    Jan 8, 2017
    Yes even tho heavyweight are fighting till older, I can't see anyone beating George's record.
  11. AwardedSteak863

    AwardedSteak863 Boxing Addict Full Member

    Aug 16, 2018
    I agree with this. Also, Tyson was the perfect combination of a guy with insane genetics and a pretty deep amateur background from a time when the US program was its strongest. It seems like that combination is going to be more difficult to come by because kids with Tyson's gifts are directed away from boxing and towards other more popular sports where they make more money.

    Conversely, we are seeing athletes perform at a higher level athletically at an older age. Also, guys simply don't fight as often as they use to so guys have way less wear and tear on them. Hell, Uysk is a pretty fresh looking 38. I doubt he breaks Foreman record but the point is it not that unusual to see guys fighting into their 40's.
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  12. janitor

    janitor VIP Member Full Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    Oldest is harder because your body is working against you.

    Having said that I expect the record for oldest to be broken before the record for youngest.
  13. JackSilver

    JackSilver Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jun 24, 2017
    Yeah but don’t forget Foreman took 10 years off before coming back at 38 or 39. Still impressive but had he not retired for 10 years he wouldn’t have even been still fighting at 45. You could say Walcott at 38 without the long break Foreman had,had more wear an tear on his body an mind than Foreman did at 45
    USFBulls727 likes this.
  14. USFBulls727

    USFBulls727 Member Full Member

    Oct 7, 2022
    Totally agree. Seems like after 10 years away from the sport, returning to the top of
    Totally agree. Seems like it would be extremely difficult for anybody to return to the top of the division after taking 10 years off from the sport, but the long break seemed to help George somehow, and he probably wouldn't have fought until 45 without the break. Just reinforces my original thought that becoming the oldest Champion would be more difficult. The hiatus was necessary for George to pull that off, but who else in history took that long a break and came back at an advanced age to find that kind of success? George was a unique case.
  15. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jul 30, 2014
    Agreed. There's also the fact that boxers are turning pro much much later these days.
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