EXPLAINED AND WHY THERE IS A NEED FOR THEM
Tyson Fury said he was a lineal champ, and that lineal goes back 150 years. Lets see if we can make sense of it.
Is Tyson Fury a Lineal Champ?
LINEAL ERA BEGINS
NO SET RULES
There are no set rules chiselled in stone for this.
When a established Champ is beaten by the winner he takes the reigns.
If the Champ decided to retire unbeaten, a new guy would have to make a number of defences of a alphabet belt eg WBC IBF WBA WBO (My preference) ,or a No1 vs No 2 fight it out.
No daft belts Interim ,gold, recess, ibo ect ect count.
JOHN L SULLIVAN Insert
WORLD BOXING BODIES AND RULES
Boxing in the 1750s was more like MMA without the rules!
London Rules was the first guide followed by Queensberry Rules
By the early 1900sNew York Atheletic Commission and the National Boxing Association were running things.
Later to form into the WBC and WBA.
JAMES J JEFFIERES Insert above
ERA 1 JOHN L SULLIVAN TO GENE TUNNEY
Previous bare knuckle fighter John L. Sullivan put enough defences to end the bare knuckle era ,and with it a end to the London Prize Rules by the late 1800s the beginning of the glove era!!
A hand full of heavyweights were passing the title around until James J Jeffries came long eventually retiring unbeaten ....
Years later Jack Johnson took over the reigns.
Jeffries came back out of retirment but lost to Johnson and retired again . Jack Johnson eventually lost to Jack Willard to be beaten by Jack Demsey In turn Gene Tunney defeated demsey and retired leaving it open......
JACK JOHNSON Insert
Marvin Hart fought for, and won the vacant title.
But the next real lineal champ through many defences was Tommy Burns who Joe Louis beat just before world war two. After record 26 defences Louis was beaten by Ezzard Charles . Jersey Joe Walcott in turn beat Charles before big hitting Rocky Marciano knocked him out .
Marciano carried on undefeated with 40-0 record before retiring.
ROCKY MARCIANO Insert above
6 Years passed before Floyd Patterson took up the mantle.
But then losses to Ingmar Johannson in big upset, Patterson then regains the title with KO
The much feared Sonny Liston takes the title from the much smaller Patterson who in turn is beaten by the then Cassius Clay known today as Muhammad Ali.
SONNY LISTON (Right) and FLOYD PATTERSON Insert above
Ali owns both WBC and WBA the only two belts at that time.
He as a fall out and the WBA they strip him making up a tournament to find new champ Ernie Terrell wins it.
Ali and Terrell eventually meet, and Ali wins his old belt back.
Late 1960s Ali refuses to go to war in Vietnam. All his belts get taken off him for three years.
In the mean time Joe Frazier out of the Olympics wins the vacant belts.
Ali allowed to box again the two meet in fight of the century, Frazier wins all the belts and is new lineal king.
JOE FRAZIER (Left) and MUHAMMAD ALI Insert above
Frazier then goes on to fight big hitting George Foreman in Jamaica ,and ends up getting bounced all over the ring!
Setting up "The Rumble in the Jungle"
Ali wins over Foreman in big upset . Regains belts and lineal.
Into latter half of 70s now still the champ Ali takes on lightly regarded Ollympic champ Leon Spinx .Who had a handful of pro fights Ali lost, but regain in rematch becoming the only 3 time lineal champ and then retires.........
Coming back to fight and lose to new lineal champ Larry Holmes.
MUAMMAD ALI ( Standing), GEORGE FORMAN Insert
Larry Holmes fall out with WBC and joins the new formed IBF, making a record number of defences with them.
Another jinx comes along in the form of Olympic champ and brother of Leon unbeaten ex light heavyweight champ Michael Spinx. Holmes fell just short of Marciano s unbeaten record of 40-0
They had a rematch and Holmes lost again and retired (for a while) but never became lineal again.
LARRY HOLMES Insert
Michael Spinx as champ fails to meet the IBF No1 contender so they retake belt from him but he is still the lineal.
Spinx goes for "The great white hope" Gerry Cooney where the big money is! and wins.
Mean time Mike Tyson was collecting all the belts. Spinx and Tyson agree to meet.
Tyson blows him away in one round. Tyson was at peak of his game.
1990 Tokyo things had changed Tyson underestimated Buster Douglas A big betting underdog and got beaten Tysons aura now gone, he was never lineal again.
MIKE TYSON Insert
What You Need
It did not last long Evander Holyfield Olympic and cruiserweight champ stopped Douglas.
Holyfield had number of defences till Riddick Bowe beat him on points.
Bowe had all belts and lineal .
But was stripped of the WBC for not fighting Lennox Lewis. Lewis fought for vacant WBC belt and won
We are now in the late 1990s.
Holyfield had rematch with Bowe and won. But lost it to Michael Moore.
George Foreman the by then old ex lineal champ stops Moore by KO. Lineal champ again for second time.
The WBA strips him for being inactive and other belts fall away as he fights for obscure boxing organizations!
Shannon Briggs beats him on points
Lewis had all the real main belts at the time. Lewis and Briggs meet, Lewis wins KO5 Lewis now lineal being the last man to hold all the the major titles.
His last fight was against Vitali Klitschko in early 2000s winning via cuts round 6 Lewis retired the following year, the lineal was open again.........
Just a quick word why i left out Wladimirs brother Vitali. His loss to Chris Byrd, also him being unable to fight his brother, but mainly his loss to Lennox Lewis
Some people may disagree him not in the line up, thats life!
To Wladimir he had some early losses but went on under Emmanuel Stewart to make a record number of defences up there with Joe Louis, and it was at that point we had new lineal king.
WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO Insert
Going to 2015 Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury meet, Fury gets the decision.
Goes on to draw 1,win 2 with Deontay Wilder. Meaning at different times he as owned every belt including lineal.
TYSON FURY Insert
LINEAL CHAMPS IN ORDER
DEFINITIVE WILL BE IN BOLD OTHERS FOR EXAMPLE HONORAY WILL NOT.
JOHN L SULLIVAN (US)
JAMES J CORBETT (US)
P. JACKSON HONORAY MENTION
BOB FITSZSIMMONS (UK/ NZ)
JAMES J JEFFRIES(US)
MARVIN HART (US)
TOMMY BURNS (CAN)
S. LANGFORD (CAN) HONORAY MENTION
H. WILLIS (Vir Is ) HONORAY MENTION
JESS WILLARD (US)
JACK DEMSEY (US) insert
GENE TUNNEY (US)
M. SCHMELING (GER)
J. SHARKEY (US)
P. CARNERA (ITA)
M. BAER (US)
J. J. BRADDOCK (US)
All of the above were singular belt champs and in order, but not what you would class as lineal.
JOE LOUIS Insert
JOE LOUIS (USA)
EZZARD CHARLES (USA)
JERSEY JOE WALCOTT (USA)
ROCKY MARCIANO (USA) Insert above