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Ezzard Charles

1950-51

"The Cincinnati Cobra" was considered one of the best light heavyweight fighters in the world, despite never having won a title in that division. But Charles earned even greater recognition by claiming the heavyweight lineal championship with a unanimous decision over Joe Louis in 1950.

Charles made four successful defenses -- including a win over Jersey Joe Walcott -- before losing the title to Walcott in 1951. Years after, Charles engaged in a pair of memorable bouts with Rocky Marciano, losing both. In the first, Charles went the distance and became the first fighter to last 15 rounds against Marciano. He lost often in his later years but still won 93 of 119 career fights (with 52 knockouts).