Originally Posted by Boilermaker
Thanks for that, but
Sam Langford may have "claimed" it, but you cannot "claim" a lineal title. This means that Johnson retained the lineal title (in the same way that George Foreman retained the lineal World title) when he refused to fight no1 contenders or when Spinks maintained the lineal title until he lost to Tyson, or Ali, until he lost to Frazier.
When Johnson lost to Willard, he did not lose a fight for 11 years. That is an amazing record, when you think about it. His next loss was to Fighting Bob Lawson. I guess the question here is does 'fighting' Bob Lawson qualify for the coloured heavyweight championship. And if he does, doe this mean that he holds the lineal title until he meets George Godfrey, or Is bob lawsons record different to what is on boxrec.
Johnson wouldn't give any of the top "BLACK" fighters a title shot, so Langford and other top "Black" fighters claimed the title. When Langford, who challenged Johnson many times, beat all the rest of the top "Black" fighters, he was recognized as the rightful title holder.
You could say that Johnson was the "Lineal" Champion BUT he never claimed to be the Champion during that time.