A bizarre post on social media has thrown up a distinctive question amongst boxing fans – ‘Is Deontay Wilder the co-lineal heavyweight champion?’
We all know Tyson Fury is the man who beat the man, who beat the man, who beat the man…etc. But does drawing with that ‘man’ mean you become a co-lineal holder of the imaginary belt?
That’s what one fan has hurled when throwing a curveball into the mix of the top division accolades.
— Phil Manley (@23_manley) June 28, 2019
Wilder being undefeated and holding an eye-catching 41-0-1 record has many believing he’s already the top 200 pound plus fighter on the planet.
Fury stepping up to the plate and gaining a draw, which has since been disputed by the Briton, brought the lineal crown back into play.
Prior to making a comeback, there wasn’t much talk of what is effectively ‘The Rocky’ strap without any gold. But since Fury faced Wilder and subsequently signed with Top Rank, the tag is never far away from promoter’s lips.
The flipside from the question posed remains, though. If beating the man makes you the man, does drawing with the man give you an equal share of the non-existent championship?
We all know the rules from governing bodies. If a champion draws he keeps his belt, but this isn’t just any old trinket. This is an honor bestowed on those who step up and face the best, something Wilder did and never lost.
Top Rank rode that horse all day long when Fury was battling Tom Schwarz. So if Al Haymon fancied a piece of the pie, what would stop him labelling Wilder the co-lineal champ?
It’s highly unlikely to happen, of course. But the original statement throws up a fascinating argument.
The lineal title seems to be used at the holder or their promoter’s specifications. So if Wilder wanted to do likewise nobody could stop him claiming half of what basically doesn’t manifest in real form.
In the WBN divisional rankings, Wilder and Fury have swapped places more than once over the last few months. And it seems to be a coin toss as to who is number one when the average man on the street is asked their opinion.
At the end of the day, Wilder never suffered a reverse when competing with the lineal king. Therefore can give a valid comeback to anyone who fails to concede he’s on a par with Fury at the summit.