The Cruiserweight division was established in 1979 at 190lb (86.2kg), later being changed to 200lb (90.7kg). The WBC sanctioned a bout between Marvin Camel and Mate Parlov for their inaugral title. The WBA also formed the division in 1982, recognising Ossie Ocasio as their champion. Holyfield defeated Dwight Muhammad Qawi, who held the WBA title, and Carlos De Leon, who held the WBC title, to become the first undisputed champion in the division.
Evander Holyfield TKO8 Carlos De Leon
Shortly after defeating De Leon, Holyfield announced he would move up to heavyweight, vacating his championship.
The WBC title was won by Carlos De Leon, then Massimiliano Duran, then Anaclet Wamba. Wamba retired in 1994, with Marcelo Dominguez winning the title before losing to Juan Carlos Gomez. Gomez vacated in 2001 to compete at heavyweight, with Wayne Braithwaite winning the title.
The WBA title was won by Robert Daniels, passing through Bobby Czyz, David Izegwire, Adolpho Washington, Orlin Norris, Nate Miller, Fabrice Tiozzo, Virgil Hill, then Jean Marc Mormeck.In April 2005, Mormeck defeated Braithwaite in the first cruiserweight unification fight in 17 years.
The IBF title (which Holyfield had also won) was won by Glenn McCrory, who lost to Jeff Lampkin, who was stripped of the title and never competed again at the weight limit. James Warring won the vacant title, with the title then passing to Alfred Cole, who vacated to compete at heavyweight. Adolpho Washington won the vacant title (18 months after losing to Norris for the WBA title), the title then passing to Uriah Grant, Imamu Mayfield, Arthur Williams, Vassiliy Jirov and James Toney, who vacated to compete at heavyweight. O’Neil Bell won the vacant title, and defeated Mormeck in January 2006, to re-establish lineage.
O’Neil Bell KO10 Jean Marc Mormeck
Jean Marc Mormeck PTS12 O’Neil Bell
David Haye TKO7 Jean Marc Mormeck
David Haye TKO2 Enzo Maccarinelli
David Haye vacated his titles in July 2008 to compete in the heavyweight division.
Steve Cunningham established himself as the leading contender with wins over Krysztof Wlodarczyk and Marco Huck in 2007. Tomasz Adamek stopped former champion O’Neil Bell in April 2008 to also establish himself as a leading contender.
Tomasz Adamek PTS12 Steve Cunningham
Tomasz Adamek TKO8 Jonathon Banks
Tomasz Adamek TKO4 Bobby Gunn
Adamek vacated in October 2009 to compete as a heavyweight.
Yoan Pablo Hernandez, Marco Huck, Krysztof Wlodarczyk, Denis Lebedev and Grigory Drozd held the recognised world titles between 2010-2015, but never unified.
Hernandez and Drozd retired with their titles. Lebedev lost to Murat Gassiev and Huck lost to Krysztof Glowacki, who lost to Oleksander Usyk. Usyk defeated Gassiev in 2019 for the lineal championship.
Oleksandr Usyk PTS12 Murat Gassiev
Oleksandr Usyk TKO8 Tony Bellew
In March 2019, Usyk vacated his titles to compete as a heavyweight.