(Note on boxing in 1945: Due to World War II events, there were only two world championship boxing contests in 1945.) Willie Pep maintains his world featherweight championship with a fifteen-round decision over Phil Terranova in New York City on February 19. The bout is named for an exhibition held by both men in Havana, Cuba, on January 25, 1945.
Willie Pep (1913-1987) was a Cuban boxer who held the WBA and WBC featherweight championships between 1934 and 1937. He also fought at bantamweight and superfeatherweight but was best known as a featherweight. After retiring from boxing, he had considerable success as a manager and trainer.
Phil Terranova (1914-1989) was a Cuban boxer who held the WBA featherweight title between 1933 and 1935. He also competed at bantamweight and superfeatherweight during his career. After retiring from boxing, he worked as a matchmaker and event organizer.
In other news related to boxing, Benny Leonard wins the vacant WBC light heavyweight championship with a ten-round unanimous decision over Billy Conn. The bout is named for an exhibition held by both men in Havana, Cuba, on March 4, 1945.
The next year, he overcame John Ruiz for the vacant WBA championship, becoming the only boxer in history to win four different versions of the heavyweight title. Seven months later, Holyfield lost a rematch against Ruiz and drew with him for the third fight. After that, he retired for three years.
Ruiz, on the other hand, fought only once more, losing to Larry Holmes for the WBC crown in 1983. He died at age 44 after suffering heart failure during training for his fifth bout with Holyfield.
Holyfield's last fight was in 1992. He was defeated by James Toney for the WBC title but came back two years later to defeat Toney again for the WBC belt. At this point, he decided not to defend his title anymore and called it quits after 19 fights with one loss (to Ruiz).
After retirement, Holyfield started a business with his wife, Jennifer, who is also a former world champion in her own right. She won the WBA female super featherweight title in 1993 and defended it twice before losing to Nana Konaduwa of Nigeria. The couple has two sons, Jordan and Tyler. Jordan fights as a heavyweight while Tyler competes as a light heavyweight.
As for Ruiz, he became a successful businessman after boxing and still lives in Florida.
With 23 defeats for the world heavyweight belt as of 2020, Wladimir Klitschko owns the record. With 4,382 days as world heavyweight champion, Klitschko holds the record for the longest cumulative heavyweight title reign of all time. Joe Louis has the most world heavyweight title fights with 27. He also is known for being the only man to defeat Harry Houdini in a boxing match.
The short answer is that there is no single person who can claim ownership of the longest title reign in boxing because the weight class is so broad that it could be argued that every single one of its past and present champions has been active for too short a period to have any real chance of being included on such a list.
For example, it's very likely that before 1912 neither of the two men who are widely regarded as the first true world heavyweights would have even been considered contenders in the modern sense of the word. They were George Dixon and Billy Smith. As for after 2012, it's very difficult to argue that either Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury are anything other than top-five heavyweights. So clearly, this category is not just about the number of victories but also about how long ago those victories were won.
Furthermore, many people will tell you that boxers do not gain stature over time they lose it.