Re: ESPN Heavyweight Title Lineage
I dont consider Hart and Burns as linear champs. Johnson defeating Jefferies is the passing of the torch.
Lineage stops with Tunney but as only one title was at stake it is reestablished with Schmelling. Ditto with Marciano and Patterson.
Holmes defeating Ali maintained genuine lineage. Lewis' retirement has muddied the waters as now with the splintered title it is much harder to reestablish. Who and when it is/was reestablished is open to real debate