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Lineal Boxing Heavyweight Championship...

BJBirdy

Registered Member
Clearly I seem to have an obsession with title lineages lately. For those interested, here's a complete lineage of the boxing heavyweight title since 1841. I was a little surprised to find only 2 true vacancies along the way.

In the 1800s, it seems as though a fighter just inherited the title of world champion after a champion retired.

Tom Hyer 1841 – 1851 (defeated Country McCloskey)
Yankee Sullivan 1851 – 1853 (inherited Hyer’s title)
John Morrissey 1853 – 1859
John Camel Heenan 1859 – 1862 (defeated Tom Sayers)
Joe Coburn 1862-1866 (Retired)
Mike McCoole 1866-1873
Tom Allen 1873 - 1876
Joe Goss 1876 – 5/30/1880
Paddy Ryan 5/30/1880 – 2/7/1882
John Sullivan 2/7/1882 (8/29/1885) – 9/7/1892
James Corbett 9/7/1892 – 3/17/1897
Bob Fitzsimmons 3/17/1897 – 6/9/1899
James Jeffries 6/9/1899 – 5/13/1905
Marvin Hart 7/3/1905 – 2/23/1906
Tommy Burns 2/23/1906 – 12/26/1908
Jack Johnson 12/26/1908 – 4/5/1915
Jess Willard 4/5/1915 – 7/4/1919
Jack Dempsey 7/4/1919 – 9/23/1926
Gene Tunney 9/23/1926 – 7/31/1928 (Retired)
*Vacant* 7/31/1928 – 6/12/1930
Max Schemling 6/12/1930 – 6/21/1932 (defeated Jack Sharkey)
Jack Sharkey 6/21/1932 – 6/29/1933
Primo Carnera 6/29/1933 – 6/14/1934
Max Baer 6/14/1934 – 6/13/1935
James Braddock 6/13/1935 – 6/22/1937
Joe Louis 6/22/1937 – 3/1/1949 (Retired)
*Vacant* 3/1/1949 – 6/22/1949
Ezzard Charles 6/22/1949 – 7/18/1951 (defeated Jersey Joe Walcott)
Jersey Joe Walcott 7/18/1951 – 9/23/1952
Rocky Marciano 9/23/1952 – 4/27/1956 (Retired)
*Vacant* 4/27/1956 – 11/30/1956
Floyd Patterson 11/30/1956 – 6/26/1959 (defeated Tommy Jackson and Archie Moore)
Ingemar Johansson 6/26/1959 – 6/20/1960
Floyd Patterson 6/20/1960 – 9/25/1962
Sonny Liston 9/25/1962 – 2/25/1964
Muhammad Ali 2/25/1964 – 3/22/1967 (Stripped; Returned on 1/26/70)
Joe Frazier 3/4/1968 – 1/22/1973 (Defeated Buster Mathis for World title)
*Frazier defeated Ali for Undisputed Championship on 3/8/71)
George Foreman 1/22/73 – 10/30/74
Muhammad Ali 10/30/74 – 2/15/78
Leon Spinks 2/15/78 – 9/15/78
Muhammad Ali 9/15/78 – 10/2/80
Larry Holmes 10/2/80 – 9/21/85
Michael Spinks 9/21/85 – 6/27/88
Mike Tyson 6/27/88 – 2/11/90
Buster Douglas 2/11/90 - 10/25/90
Evander Holyfield 10/25/90 – 11/13/92
Riddick Bowe 11/13/92 – 11/6/93
Evander Holyfield 11/6/93 – 4/23/94
Michael Moorer 4/23/94 – 11/5/94
George Foreman 11/5/94 – 11/22/97
Shannon Briggs 11/22/97 – 3/28/98
Lennox Lewis 3/28/98 – 4/22/01
Hasim Rahman 4/22/01 – 11/17/01
Lennox Lewis 11/17/01 – 2/6/04 (Retired)
*Vacant* 2/6/04 – 4/24/04
Vitali Klitschko 4/24/04 – 11/9/05 (Defeated Corrie Sanders) (Retired)
*Vacant* 11/9/05 – 6/20/09
Wladimir Klitschko 6/20/09 – Present (Defeated Ruslan Chagaev)


Really, the only sort of controversy along the way was when Muhammad Ali was stripped of the title because he refused to join the military. Joe Frazier was crowned the new champion in his absence, but I consider Frazier to be the "interim" champion until he fought Ali for the true undisputed championship.

Next up on the title lineage list... the MMA heavyweight title lineage, which might surprise some people.
 
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