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Wladimir Klitschko: His Bouts Should be "Events"

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Wladimir Klitschko (59-3, 50 KOs), who turns 37 in less than three weeks, recently announced he has no intention of retiring and will face contender Francesco Pianeta (28-0-1, 15 KOs) on May 4th. Like him or not, Wladimir Klitschko is the lineal heavyweight champion of the world.

So what does the "lineal" distinction mean?

In boxing, there are many "title-holders" but few champions.

A lineal champion (or RING Magazine Champion) is a "true" champion because he occupies the direct lineage that traces back to the first champion in his division(s).

And as far as heavyweights, Wladimir owns the lineage to the original title... lock, stock and barrel.

Pictured: The coveted RING Belt which is far more valuable and respected than belts of the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO


A fighter with boxing's RING Magazine title (i.e. the  lineal distinction) is best described as "the man who beat the man."

Simply put, Wladimir Klitschko is "The Man" in boxing's most glamorous division and carries the same distinction as heavyweight champions from years past when there was only one champion. 

Just as Sergio Martinez is today's 'Marvin Hagler,' Wladimir Klitschko is the modern-day 'Jack Dempsey'... He's the modern-day 'Muhammad Ali.'

What made George Foreman's comeback so special wasn't necesarily the fact he won a major world heavyweight title; Big George won THE Heavyweight Championship i.e. the lineal/RING Magazine Title. 

RING Magazine, often referred to as the 'Bible of Boxing,' was founded in 1922, began awarding world championship belts upon its establishment. The RING, although not a sanctioning body, has the most coveted belt.

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Unlike sanctioning bodies, The RING has no financially-motivated agenda and receives no reward for their services.

The RING's Objective: To maintain, perserve and protect the integrity of boxing, and their lineal championship system is "intended to reward fighters who, by satisfying 'old-school' criteria, can justify a claim as the true and only world champion in a given weight class.

Also, unlike world titles granted by sanctioning bodies such as WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF, the prestigious RING title can only be won by:

a) defeating the previous lineal champion in the ring or

b) via a box-off between two or more top-ranked contenders in the event the previous lineal champ retires, vacates the division or dies

Given Wlad's lineal distinction, he holds the most precious title in sports and all of his fights should be international events, regardless of the opponent.

It shouldn't matter if he's fighting Lady Gaga, all of his bouts bear historical significance given his lineal status.

Wladimir Klitschko is larger-than-life in Germany as well as in a few other areas in Europe but the rest of the world fails to comprehend the significance he carries each time he steps into the ring.


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