March 27, 2019
There may be multiple "belt holders" and sanctioning body "title holders" in a weight division, but there can only ever be one true World Champion: The Lineal Champion.
Lineal Championship vacancies, as recognised by LinealBoxingChampion.com (LBC) is filled by the winner of a fight between the #1 and #2 contenders, or in rare instances, a fight between the #1 and #3 contenders. To limit bias and ensure the most deserving contenders are selected, the ratings from five leading independent boxing websites (not sanctioning bodies), are assessed: Boxing News, The Ring, Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (TBRB), Boxing Monthly and World Boxing News.
“Stripping” a champion for inactivity is inconsistent with prize fighting history. The boxing champions of the bareknuckle 18th and 19th centuries were not stripped for inactivity. The pioneering champions of the gloved era were not stripped for inactivity. Ring Magazine founder, Nathaniel Fleischer, repeatedly affirmed during his 50 years as editor, that champions should not be “stripped.”
World titles should be won in the ring, they are earnt. LinealBoxingChampion.com adheres to prize fighting championship history. Champions will not be “stripped.”
A Lineal Champion can only lose his championship status if he retires, is defeated in a championship fight, or moves to another weight division.
For a more detailed explanation of the Lineal Championship Policy, click here.
27-0-1 (19 KOs)
Current Lineage: Wladimir Klitschko defeated Ruslan Chagaev via TKO9, June 20, 2009 - Klitschko and Chagaev were the #1 and #3 Heavyweights in The Ring Magazine rankings at the time of this bout. The Cyber Boxing Zone also recognised Klitschko/Chagaev as for the vacant Lineal title. Wladimir had stated that he would never fight the #2 contender, which was his brother, Vitali Klitschko. Tyson Fury defeated Wladimir Klitschko via UD12, November 28, 2015.
#1: Anthony Joshua - 22-0-0 (21 KOs) - United Kingdom
#2: Deontay Wilder - 40-0-1 (39 KOs) - USA
16 - 0 (12 KOs)
Current Lineage: Oleksandr Usyk defeated Murat Gassiev via UD12, July 21, 2018 - Usyk and Gassiev were the top two Cruiserweights in the TBRB rankings at the time of this bout.
#1: Mairis Briedis - 25 - 1 (18 KOs) - Latvia
#2: Murat Gassiev - 26 - 1 (19 KOs) - Russia
16 - 0 (13 KOs)
Current Lineage: Jean Pascal defeated Chad Dawson via 11th round technical decision, August 14, 2010 - Pascal and Dawson were the top two Light Heavyweights in The Ring rankings at the time of this bout. Pascal - Bernard Hopkins - Chad Dawson - Stevenson. Oleksandr Gvozdyk defeated Adonis Stevenson via 11th round KO, December 1, 2018.
#1: Sergey Kovalev - 33 - 3 - 1 (28 KOs) - Russia
#2: Dmitry Bivol - 16 - 0 (11 KOs) - Russia
#1: Callum Smith - 25 - 0 (18 KOs) - United Kingdom
#2: Gilberto Ramirez - 39 - 0 (25 KOs) - Mexico
*LinealBoxingChampion.com did not recognise George Groves Vs Callum Smith as for the vacant Lineal Championship at it was not a true #1 Vs #2 or #1 Vs #3 match-up. At the time of the bout, Boxing News, The Ring, TBRB, BoxRec and Boxing Monthly all had Groves and Gilberto Ramirez rated at #1 and #2 respectively. In August 2018, Callum Smith was rated at #4 by BoxRec, #3 by Boxing Monthly, #8 by the TBRB, #3 by The Ring, and #6 by Boxing News.
51 - 1 - 2 (35 KOs)
Current Lineage: Bernard Hopkins defeated Felix Trinidad via 12th round TKO, September 29, 2001 - Hopkins and Trinidad were the top two Middleweights in The Ring rankings at the time of this bout. Hopkins - Jermain Taylor - Kelly Pavlik - Sergio Martinez - Miguel Cotto. Saul Alvarez defeated Cotto via UD12, November 21, 2015.
#1: Gennady Golovkin - 38 - 1 - 1 (34 KOs) - Kazakhstan
#2: Daniel Jacobs - 35 - 2 (29 KOs) - USA
#1: Jarrett Hurd - 23 - 0 (16 KOs) - USA
No clear #2 at present: Erislandy Lara, Jaime Munguia, Tony Harrison
#1: Errol Spence Jr. - 25 - 0 (21 KOs) - USA
#2: Terence Crawford - 34 - 0 (25 KOs) - USA
Currently there is no clear top 2 among the leading independent sites. Regis Prograis, Mikey Garcia, Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez are the fighters who are rated most highly.
*At the time of Mikey Garcia Vs Sergey Lipinets, March 10, 2018, Garcia and Lipinets were ranked as the top two Junior Welterweights by the TBRB. However, Lipinets was only rated at #8 by BoxRec and #7 by The Ring - therefore LinealBoxingChampion.com does not recognise Garica/Lipinets as a bout that was for the Lineal Championship.
#1: Vasiliy Lomachenko - 12 - 1 (9 KOs) - Ukraine
#2: Mikey Garcia - 39 - 1 (30 KOs) - USA
#1: Miguel Berchelt - 35 - 1 (31 KOs) - Mexicio
#2: Gervonta Davis - 21 - 0 (20 KOs) - USA
#1: Leo Santa Cruz - 35 - 1 - 1 (19 KOs) - Mexico
#2: Josh Warrington - 28 - 0 (6 KOs) - United Kingdom
18 - 1 (12 KOs)
Current Lineage: Nonito Donaire defeated Toshiaki Nishioka via 9th round TKO, October 13, 2012 - Donaire and Nishioka were the top two Junior Featherweights in the TBRB rankings at the time of this bout. Rigondeaux defeated Donaire via UD12, April 13, 2013.
#1: Rey Vargas - 33 - 0 (22 KOs) - Mexico
#2: Emanuel Navarrete - 26 - 1 (22 KOs) - Mexico
#1: Naoya Inoue - 17 - 0 (15 KOs) - Japan
There is no clear #2. Luis Nery and Nonito Donaire and Zolani Tete are highly rated
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
47 - 4 - 1 (41 KOs)
Current Lineage: Srisaket Sor Rungvisai defeated Juan Francisco Estrada via UD12, February 24, 2018 - Rungvisai and Estrada were the top two Junior Bantamweights in the TBRB rankings at the time of this bout.
#1: Juan Francisco Estrada - 38 - 3 (26 KOs) - Mexico
#2: Donnie Nietes - 42 - 1 - 5 (23 KOs) - Philippines
#1 Contender: Kosei Tanaka - 13-0 (7 KOs) - Japan
#2 Contender: Moruti Mthalane - 37 - 2 (25 KOs) - South Africa
#1: Ken Shiro - 15 - 0 (8 KOs) - Japan
#2: Hiroto Kyoguchi - 12 - 0 (9 KOs) - Japan
#1: Wanheng Menayothin - 52 - 0 (18 KOs) - Thailand
#2: Knockout CP Freshmart - 19 - 0 (7 KOs) - Thailand
12 - 1 (9 KOs)
Boxing News, TBRB, The Ring, ESPN and World Boxing News all have Lomachenko ranked as pound-for-pound #1