In case no one but this writer knows Mexico’s Julio Cesar Chavez, Sr. (27) and Argentina’s Omar Narvaez (26) have surpassed the great Joe Louis’ record of 25 title defenses. Yes, Louis did it in one division. Narvaez is still active.
The other well-known record is Rocky Marciano’s 49-0. Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. 46-0 and Cesar “El Distinto” Cuenca 47-0 of Argentina are quickly approaching that record. There have been 3 that I know of who have surpassed it before their defeat. One was the before mentioned Chavez who was 87-0 before drawing with Pernell Whitaker. Then Chavez was 89-0-1 before losing to Frankie Randall.
Another was Nina “Cheid Tidjani Sidibe” LaRocca 56-0 before losing to Gilles Elbilia of France. No, Nina wasn’t Italian. He was born in Mauritania. The other was the great Willie “Will o’ the Wisp” Pep who was 62-0 before losing to Sammy Angott.
One fighter actually tied Marciano’s record and that was “Super” Brian Nelson of Denmark who was 49-0 before losing to Dickie Ryan in Denmark. Mexico’s Ricardo Lopez was 47-0 before drawing with Rosendo Alvarez of Nicaragua. Then he defeated Alvarez in a re-match in his next fight before retiring at 51-0-1. Going way back was Scotland’s Jimmy “The Mighty Atom” Wilde 93-0-1 losing to UK’s Tancy Lee.
Poland’s Darius “Tiger” Michalzewski out of Germany was 48-0 before losing to Julio Cesar Gonzalez.
Paul “Pittsburgh Kid” Spadafora was 36-0 when he drew with Leonard “The Lion” Dorin and 48-0-1 and lost to Johan “El Terrible” Perez of Venezuela. A week apart from Spadafora’s loss was Indonesia’s Chris “The Dragon” John 48-0-3 to South Africa’s Simpiwe “V12” Vetyeka. Heavyweight champion Larry “Easton Assasin” Holmes will never let anyone forget at 48-0 when he lost to light heavyweight champion Michael Spinks but doesn’t want to talk about “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon and Carl “The Truth” Williams fights prior to this.
Brazil’s 2-division world champion Eder “Golden Bantam” Jofre was 47-0-3 losing to flyweight champion Fighting Harada of Japan. Frenchman Marcel “Casablanca Clouter” Cerdan was 45-0 losing by disqualification to Harry Craster.
Thailand’s Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo was 44-1 before losing to Chris John. Wales' Joe “Italian Dragon” Calzaghe was 46-0 when he retired. Don Steele was 41-0 when he lost to “Super” Brian Nielsen. Heavyweight champion Gene “The Fighting Marine” Tunney was 40-0-1 when he lost to middleweight champion Harry “Pittsburgh Windmill” Greb. 2-division champion “Sugar” Ray Robinson was 40-0 losing to middleweight champion Jake “Bronx Bull” La Motta. Welterweight champion Felix “Tito” Trinidad of Puerto Rico was 40-0 when he lost to now light heavyweight and former middleweight champion Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins.
So as one can see when approaching Marciano’s 49-0 one must watch out for the pitfalls. Mayweather has his 47th fight coming up in September in a rematch with Argentina’s Marcos “El Chino” Maidana whom he won a majority decision over. Cuenca won an elimination match and before August is out has to negotiate with IBF light welterweight champion Lamont “Havoc” Peterson for a title fight.