Old Timers and the Lineal Championship
I love the idea of a "lineal championship". It is certainly easy to say that Shannon Briggs does not belong in the list or to say that Harry Wills does. More importantly though is the fact that the "lineal championship" really is a list and not a spreadsheet.
I know I make myself appear foolish for mixing terms like "logic" with terms like "WBO" but I would like to avoid the debate about the alphabet soup champions and ask another question.
The question is, if Tony Tubbs is included on a list of heavyweight champions then why isn't Paddy Ryan? Before you say, "Hey, Paddy Ryan sucked", I would like to ask why John L. Sullivan is declared the champ after beating Paddy Ryan if Ryan himself was not champ?
I hear someone saying, "well it's the gloves and the overall implementation of the Marquis of Queensbury rules". I answer that by saying there were more significant changes after "Broughton's Rules" took effect than during the MOQ period. When the London Prize Rules fight went into effect no one took Jack Slack's name off of the list of heavyweight champions.
I love the idea of a lineal championship since we now live in such a watered-down world. I think it is a totally different question to ask why Marvin Hart, with gloves, and having never defeated a champion, is included in the list of heavyweight champions while Cribb, Spring and Sayers are not?
If Paddy Ryan was not the heavyweight champion then at exactly what point in time (not questioning his greatness) did John L. Sullivan become the champ?
If there is an afterlife I hope Jack Broughton can get an autograph from James Toney.