The Lineal Heavyweight Championship

The Lineal Heavyweight Championship

The Lineal Heavyweight Championship: Boxing is one of the most popular sports around to watch, especially in Ireland. There is just something about the hard-hitting, skilful action in the ring which makes it awesome to follow. Of course, the cast of colourful characters the sport has seen over the years also helps draw in fans.

In addition, boxing is popular because it is a top sport to bet on. This is not only because of the many safe sportsbooks to bet at online but also because of the cool mobile apps which sports bettors can use now. This is certainly true in the Emerald Isle where the best sports betting apps in Ireland are easy to use when betting on fights.

Of course, before you watch or bet on this sport, it pays to know more about it first. One term you might hear a lot about is the lineal heavyweight championship. But what is this and what is the history behind it?

What is the lineal champion in heavyweight boxing?

This can be a confusing concept for even the most ardent boxing fan! In simple terms, the lineal champion is the fighter in a weight class who is considered the best. It dates back to a time in boxing when there were no different sanctioning bodies, such as the WBO or WBC.

The lineal heavyweight championship in boxing exists outside of belts and who might hold the official crown of champion according to different bodies. If you beat the current heavyweight boxer who is known as the lineal champ in the ring, you take over this status. Of course, if someone were to win all belts in the heavyweight division and become undisputed champion of the world, the lineal title would usually pass onto them by default as the best around.

History of the lineal heavyweight championship in boxing

For many fans, the first lineal champion at heavyweight was John L Sullivan. He clinched an impressive win over Dominick McCaffrey in 1885 to claim the title as best in the division. Sullivan lost this status when falling to the great James L Corbett a few years later in what was the maiden official world title heavyweight bout.

As ‘the man who beat the man’, Corbett was now regarded as the lineal heavyweight champion and reigned for around five years. Eventually though, he ran into the tough British boxer Bob Fitzsimmons who knocked him out to take the lineal crown.

Roll of honour for lineal title holders at heavyweight

Although there were others to come after Fitzsimmons lost to James L Jeffries in 1899, the next big lineal holder was the iconic Jack Johnson. He took the title in 1908 and made nine defences in just seven years. Although he lost to Jess Willard, the legendary Jack Dempsey showed up to rip the title from Willard after just one defence. Dempsey then enjoyed a great run as lineal champion which lasted until his defeat by Gene Tunney in 1926.

After Tom Heeney bowed out of the spot in 1928, this crown lay quiet for two years before Max Schmeling grabbed it in June 1930. His victory against Jack Sharkey was a major deal and saw him regraded as the best of the best in the heavyweight class. Subsequent to this, some famous names such as James Braddock and Joe Louis held this honour – Louis for an awesome 12 years!

Modern times in the fight for the lineal heavyweight crown

Although famous names such as Sonny Liston and Rocky Marciano held the crown in the 1950s, with Marciano eventually retiring with an amazing 49-0 record, the next lineal heavyweight title holder was perhaps the most famous – Muhammed Ali. He took this title when beating Liston in their title fight of 1964. Along with people like Joe Frazier and George Foreman, he made the battle for lineal champ riveting in the 1960s and 70s.

The 1980s saw top fighters like Larry Holmes and Michael Spinks take over before they ran into another legendary figure – ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson. He smashed all before him to become lineal champion as well as the undisputed heavyweight champ of the world.

Lineal champions in heavyweight boxing

After boxers like Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Vitali Klitschko and Wladimir Klitschko carried forward the lineal crown through the 1990s and 2000s, it has most famously been highlighted recently by Tyson Fury’s reign. He seems to be the man to beat in the heavyweight division now and whoever does will surely become the new lineal champion. Working out who the perfect heavyweight is might be tricky, but looking at who is considered the lineal champion can really help.

The Lineal Heavyweight Championship

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