Guide me to the lineal heavyweight champion please.

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by themostoverrated, Feb 20, 2024.



  1. themostoverrated

    themostoverrated Member Full Member

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    Lineal! Lineal! Lineal! I see this term being thrown across this forum (and other forums) all the time whenever a discussion on HW champions comes up. Strangely (but not surprisingly), very few posters are concerned about lineal champions in other divisions (and if you go back in history, you will find lineal champions losing 'non-title' bouts).

    So, who is the current lineal heavyweight champion and why? Is it Tyson Fury? Is it Oleksandr Usyk? Or is there no lineal champ currently?

    Enlighten me folks. Because personally I feel lineal championship is a fantasy creation with zero meaning.
     
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  2. wibispo

    wibispo New Member Full Member

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    The lineal champion is the man who beat the man, in a lineage that goes back to the first undisputed champion and representative of the boundary between modern boxing and bare-knuckle boxing, John L. Sullivan. No lineal champion lost a fight while a lineal champion, if that were the case, he would no longer be a lineal champion. When the lineal champion retires without losing his position, it is a consensus that the two most prominent fighters of the moment face each other to decide who will be the next lineal champion. This happened at the retirement of Jim Jeffries, Gene Tunney, Rocky Marciano and Lennox Lewis.
     
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  3. HistoryZero26

    HistoryZero26 Active Member Full Member

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    If a champ temporarily retires and then returns there are 2 lineal champs or more in the period before they all fight. This goes back to Corbett and Maher/Fitzsimmons and co. Thus both Usyk and Tyson Fury are lineal champs.

    In the 21st century people have generally accepted the Ring Magazine title as the unofficial arbiter of the lineal belt. The Ring replacements for vacancies are generally accepted but stripping a lineal champ does not erase the "man beats the man" logic.

    In the olden times there was an idea that a title could only change hands if certain conditions were met like a fighter getting a stoppage/the fight being planned for a certain number of rounds etc. This was more of an issue at LHW and below then it was at HW though.

    I think the reason why people care so much more about the HWs was the 2nd largest weight class having such a low weight limit before Cruiserweight. It was 175. This concentrated all the bigger talents into HW. MMA has weight classes at 205,185 and 170 and that interest is more spread out. If Cruiserweight was around from the beginning in boxing it would be the same.
     
  4. wibispo

    wibispo New Member Full Member

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    Regarding the current lineal champion, after 5 years of Lewis's retirement, the two most prominent and successful boxers finally faced each other (2009, Chagaev vs Klitschko) generating a new lineal champion. The winner of the two only lost a fight 6 years later, to Tyson Fury, the new (and current) lineal champion.
     
  5. themostoverrated

    themostoverrated Member Full Member

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    So, when exactly did Wladimir Klitschko become lineal champion? When he beat Chagaev in 2009? Or Povetkin in 2013? Also did Fury lose his lineal crown after his retirement in 2016 and regain it later? Or has been lineal all the while?
     
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  6. wibispo

    wibispo New Member Full Member

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    Usyk is not a linear champion.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2024
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  7. wibispo

    wibispo New Member Full Member

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    In Chagaev fight.
     
  8. themostoverrated

    themostoverrated Member Full Member

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    Following Lennox Lewis's retirement in 2004, Vitali Klitschko fought Corrie Sanders for the ring magazine belt and won the fight. Did Vitali become the lineal champ? As per the 21st century vacancy logic, he should have. If so, when did he stop being the linear champ? During his 2005 retirement, I suppose?
     
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  9. wibispo

    wibispo New Member Full Member

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    Vitali was never a lineal champion
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2024
  10. themostoverrated

    themostoverrated Member Full Member

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    Why Chagaev? Why not Povetkin? In 2013, Vitali was retired (and he did not come back), so this was a clear case of #1 vs. #2.
     
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  11. wibispo

    wibispo New Member Full Member

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    You need enough time to lose your lineal title after retirement, and retirement has to be permanent (or seems permanent). Understand, the champion is not decided in real time, but retrospectively.
    In this way, Jeffries lost his lineal status when he retired, even though he returned 5 years later, unlike Muhammad Ali, Corbett or Fury,
    who have not retired permanently or long enough.
     
  12. wibispo

    wibispo New Member Full Member

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    Because Chagaev's fight in 2009 was considered high enough (due to the actors involved and the space in time in which it occurred) to be considered for the lineal championship.
     
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  13. themostoverrated

    themostoverrated Member Full Member

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    Okay. So, as I gather, the various lineages are as follows:

    1. Sullivan -> Corbett -> Fitzsimmons -> Jeffries

    2. Hart -> Burns -> Johnson -> Willard -> Dempsey -> Tunney

    3. Schmeling -> Sharkey -> Carnera -> Baer -> Braddock -> Louis -> Charles -> Walcott -> Marciano

    4. Patterson -> Johansson -> Patterson -> Liston -> Ali -> Frazier -> Foreman -> Ali -> L. Spinks -> Ali -> Holmes -> M. Spinks -> Tyson -> Douglas -> Holyfield -> Bowe -> Holyfield -> Moorer -> Foreman -> Briggs -> Lewis -> Rahman -> Lewis

    5. W. Klitschko -> Fury.

    Am I correct?
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2024
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  14. dmt

    dmt Hardest hitting hw ever Full Member

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    I am sick and tired of this lineal stuff personally. IMO Usyk should be regarded as the lineal champion today. Fury retired and then came back. Joshua beat Wlad and IMO Usyks win over him should make him lineal.
     
  15. wibispo

    wibispo New Member Full Member

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    yes, you are correct
     
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