Re: Do alphabet titles dilute fighters legacies and punish them in the long run?
Before I start, I will say that I love the purity of linearity and idealistically this would be the way forward, but it isn't for 2 main reasons:
2) Lack of enforcement
1) the prestige right now i in picking up a title and unifying. That's the reality we live in today. A boxer gets their promoter to play the sanctioning game, they earn a title shot and they usually seek unification providing equal terms can be secured.
2) a lineal claimant has no requirement to face anyone of any worth (think Foreman 94-97). Whilst the Alpha rankings are paid for, the idea is sound in that a man should face his best challengers.
Pretending that there is only one champ per division is futile as is pretending the belts mean nothing. The reality is the belts are what the fighters seek and there can be upwards of 5 claimants at anyone time. opefully they'll unify claims but more often than not we just have to decide ourselves who the best of the bunch is.
Saying that, context has to be remembered here in that unifying 3 or 4 belts is akin to the 30-60's crowd defending against their top 3-4 contenders.
they don't dilute anything, they just make it harder to compare and evaluate.