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Max Baer

1934, 1935

Baer started his professional career in 1929, and just five years later, he became heavyweight champion of the world. He earned the distinction by knocking out Primo Carnera -- a bout in which Carnera hit the canvas 11 times before referee Arthur Donovan mercifully stopped the contest in the 11th round.

Baer kept the title for 364 days but never actually defended the belt during that time. He won an exhibition bout against King Levinsky in 1935, then lost a unanimous decision (and his belt) to James J. Braddock -- a bout that Baer was heavily favored to win but didn't bother to train for.