View Full Version : Greatest "Paper" Champion?


alishuffle
05-23-2009, 12:06 AM
Who would you say is the best paper champion in the history of boxing? And for those who don't understand, by paper champion I mean a fighter that was awarded a title without ever actually beating the champion.

An example would be Floyd Patterson, who after the retirement of Rocky Marciano, fought Archie Moore for the vacant title and then became heavyweight champion of the world.

glidesmack
05-23-2009, 12:20 AM
looking at that picture, I honestly can't remember anything you wrote for more than like 2 seconds.

Leakbeak
05-23-2009, 01:55 AM
Joe Calzaghe his at 168lbs for ten years, whilst the elite had to jump around him to make big fights, from 160 to 175 or even meet at a catch weight of 170!

dde91
05-23-2009, 01:59 AM
Joe Calzaghe his at 168lbs for ten years, whilst the elite had to jump around him to make big fights, from 160 to 175 or even meet at a catch weight of 170!

exactly, he had that Weak WBO belt for ten years in an already weak ass super Middleweight division. At least get One Recognizable belt. DAMN!

GJC
05-23-2009, 02:20 AM
Who would you say is the best paper champion in the history of boxing? And for those who don't understand, by paper champion I mean a fighter that was awarded a title without ever actually beating the champion.

An example would be Floyd Patterson, who after the retirement of Rocky Marciano, fought Archie Moore for the vacant title and then became heavyweight champion of the world.
You could I suppose include Larry Holmes in that. He didn't really beat the man as such, he later defeated a shell of the man.

JAB5239
05-23-2009, 06:44 AM
You could I suppose include Larry Holmes in that. He didn't really beat the man as such, he later defeated a shell of the man.

I disagree. There where some fighters I think Holmes should have fought and rematched, but he beat the top ranked heavyweight (Norton) besides himself to take the title and defended it what, 20 times? Hardly a paper champion in my opinion.

Miburo
05-23-2009, 02:23 PM
I don't know if I'd call winning a vacated (by way of retirement) title a paper champion, it's a situation that can't be avoided. As long as the best fight to claim it, there shouldn't be any objections.

As for examples though, Hopkins first became a titleholder at MW by winning the belt Jones vacated (which wasn't linear in any case),

GJC
05-23-2009, 03:28 PM
I disagree. There where some fighters I think Holmes should have fought and rematched, but he beat the top ranked heavyweight (Norton) besides himself to take the title and defended it what, 20 times? Hardly a paper champion in my opinion.
No not disrespecting Holmes in the slightest I'm just saying you could make the argument that he faught for a vacantish title against Norton given that Norton never won it in the ring. Not that different from Patterson really? Neither of their faults that the champion was not available as such to defend the title.
Holmes was a superb HW champion and makes mine and most top 10 atg lists I'm just making the point that if you criticise the way Patterson won the title it is not much of a stretch to include Holmes on that criteria.

GJC
05-23-2009, 03:28 PM
I don't know if I'd call winning a vacated (by way of retirement) title a paper champion, it's a situation that can't be avoided. As long as the best fight to claim it, there shouldn't be any objections.

As for examples though, Hopkins first became a titleholder at MW by winning the belt Jones vacated (which wasn't linear in any case),
Agree totally

Leakbeak
05-24-2009, 12:01 AM
exactly, he had that Weak WBO belt for ten years in an already weak ass super Middleweight division. At least get One Recognizable belt. DAMN!

I know. I'm glad I'm not the only one to realise he has only actually been champion for a few years and not a decade! Kessler was the only decent fighter in their prime he has actually beaten as Lacy was umproven and he robbed Hopkins. Even then kessler is only a good fighter and not one of the elite like Toney, Wright, Hopkins and a prime Jones. 7-8 years ago Joe would have been in his prime too and could have fought any of these guys and more but he doesn't like risks. Alot of WBO fighters are paper champs. Johnny Nelson even said that being champ meant alot to him and he wanted to retire as champ! In other words he knew that Haye, Hobson or Macca would have knocked him out.

Thread Stealer
06-06-2009, 08:52 PM
Would you count someone like Jimmy Bivins, who were "Duration" champs (held the titles while the champ was in WW2)?

What about "Colored" champions? Some of them were greater than the "real" champs.

Oasis_Lad
06-06-2009, 08:59 PM
I'd say Roy Jones, but that would be overrating him. :dance:

GJC
06-07-2009, 10:05 AM
Would you count someone like Jimmy Bivins, who were "Duration" champs (held the titles while the champ was in WW2)?

What about "Colored" champions? Some of them were greater than the "real" champs.
Good points, they certainly derserve to be remembered with more respect than a WTF holder of an artificial weight who makes one defense. I'm sure it has been done but maybe a poll on ATG non title holders to give the Langford's etc their due

BennyST
06-07-2009, 03:06 PM
I think it's more about whether a fighter won a title by fighting an opponent not worthy of a title match, rather than just winning it on a vacant title. If the two top fighters fought for the title then it's not really a paper title as such because it's the two top ranked guys going at it. It's the only way to get a new champion.

Though with things the way are today and the constant jumping around of fighters through weight divisions and everything more and more people are winning vacant titles but too often today they are winning just an alphabet title, and as such become 'champion' of another weight class, by fighting someone who wouldn't have even been in the top five of the division thirty years ago.

#1Assassin
06-07-2009, 03:15 PM
Who would you say is the best paper champion in the history of boxing? And for those who don't understand, by paper champion I mean a fighter that was awarded a title without ever actually beating the champion.

An example would be Floyd Patterson, who after the retirement of Rocky Marciano, fought Archie Moore for the vacant title and then became heavyweight champion of the world.

thats not at all the definition of a paper champion. a paper champion is someone who benefits from the multiple titles being tossed around and calls himself champion without havin deserved that distinction. floyd patterson deserved to call himself champion! there was only ONE HW champion and it was him. when marciano retired he was no longer active so he was irrelevant. patterson won a tournament involving all the top contenders to prove he was beyond belief the best HW in the world.

but to answer your question.. joe calzgahe.

them_apples
06-07-2009, 09:11 PM
Joe Calzaghe his at 168lbs for ten years, whilst the elite had to jump around him to make big fights, from 160 to 175 or even meet at a catch weight of 170!

gotta agree, it's got to be Joe Calzaghe.

bklynboy
06-08-2009, 12:41 AM
Who would you say is the best paper champion in the history of boxing? And for those who don't understand, by paper champion I mean a fighter that was awarded a title without ever actually beating the champion.

An example would be Floyd Patterson, who after the retirement of Rocky Marciano, fought Archie Moore for the vacant title and then became heavyweight champion of the world.

Well, by that standard, Joe Frazier would be among the best. But, as with Floyd, it shouldn't be held against him that he couldn't take the title from the champion. It wasn't Patterson's fault that Marciano retired and it wasn't Frazier's fault that Ali's title was stripped away from him.

black.ink
06-08-2009, 04:23 AM
Well, by that standard, Joe Frazier would be among the best. But, as with Floyd, it shouldn't be held against him that he couldn't take the title from the champion. It wasn't Patterson's fault that Marciano retired and it wasn't Frazier's fault that Ali's title was stripped away from him.

He did beat Ali for the undisputed title though, no matter what the circumstances were.

bklynboy
06-08-2009, 10:41 AM
He did beat Ali for the undisputed title though, no matter what the circumstances were.

True. But there was a period of time when he was champion without having fought Ali.

#1Assassin
06-08-2009, 10:52 AM
True. But there was a period of time when he was champion without having fought Ali.

well ali shuffles definition of a paper champion is wrong. neighter frazier or patterson were paper champions at all.

paper champions didnt excist until the multiple titles came along. then u was able to hold a belt that didnt mean anything, a paper title, hense be a paper champion. it has nothing to do with weather u win a vacant title or take it from the champion. ali wasnt active so frazier was THE man, not a paper champion. patterson won a tournament with all the top contenders at HW, so he was THE man. calzaghe held one of 4 titles and only defended it against bums = paper champion

bklynboy
06-08-2009, 11:16 AM
well ali shuffles definition of a paper champion is wrong. neighter frazier or patterson were paper champions at all.

paper champions didnt excist until the multiple titles came along. then u was able to hold a belt that didnt mean anything, a paper title, hense be a paper champion. it has nothing to do with weather u win a vacant title or take it from the champion. ali wasnt active so frazier was THE man, not a paper champion. patterson won a tournament with all the top contenders at HW, so he was THE man. calzaghe held one of 4 titles and only defended it against bums = paper champion


Funny how in golf or tennis you can win one of the four major championships and not be called a champ -- or the best in the game. I think that many fans are starting to make that leap in boxing as well. You can have a belt and not be a champ. Of course in tennis and in golf the best players compete for all the championships every year.

Boxing is way more complicated. We all would like to see something different than what we have.

JC Warrior
06-08-2009, 11:42 PM
Lennox Lewis or Joe Frazier its a tossup in my estimation. Lewis got awarded his belt from a trash can and Joe frazier was paper champ until he beat Ali. Calzaghe an honorable mention there as well but in my mind the best of 'em all to get the belt for nothing was Lewis.

portuge puncher
06-09-2009, 12:01 AM
joe frazier,

the lineal title was empty when Ali left,
joe fought jimmy ellis (or quarry),
and won the vacont lineal title.

Jim Jeffries
06-09-2009, 01:40 AM
Bernard Hopkins and Larry Holmes, by definition were "paper" champs, at least for some time, and I rank both quite a bit higher than Joe Calzaghe. Both Bhop and Larry both went on to become legitimate, true champs though.

TheGreatA
06-09-2009, 01:56 AM
joe frazier,

the lineal title was empty when Ali left,
joe fought jimmy ellis (or quarry),
and won the vacont lineal title.

I think this thread should be reserved for those greats who never did actually win the linear title.

Ceferino Garcia was one of the best welterweights to never win a title and won the NYSAC recognized middleweight title by KO'ing Fred Apostoli. Tony Zale held the NBA version of the title and later unified the belts by beating Georgie Abrams.

Gene Fullmer won the legit world middleweight title from Sugar Ray Robinson in 1957 and later in his career held the NBA version of the middleweight title, the linear champion being Paul Pender who had somewhat controversially beaten Robinson twice.

Fullmer was pretty much thought to be the legit middleweight champion at the time. He defended his claim against such men as Ray Robinson, Carmen Basilio, Giardello, Benny Paret, Spider Webb, Florentino Fernandez and Dick Tiger.

Harry Wills was never officially champ but he held the coloured heavyweight title and for the most part did better work in the division than the champion Jack Dempsey during his reign.

Ken Norton was a great heavyweight but he only held the WBA belt for a brief time after beating Jimmy Young and lost it to Larry Holmes in his first title defense.

Obama
06-09-2009, 08:28 PM
The current greatest paper champion in boxing: Zsolt Erdei

Zsolt, the lineal LHW Champion of the World!

Virgil Hill -> Darius M. -> Julio Cesar Gonzalez -> Zsolt Erdei

Erdei is 30-0, and has been a World Champion for about 5.4 years, making 11 title defenses.

I've never seen a guy with a paper accomplishment this good with such a low profile. To be honest the wins on his resume since winning the title aren't even all that bad:

Mehdi Sahnoune (former WBA LHW Champ)
Thomas Ulrich (beat the guy that won the title from Sahnoune)
Yuri Barashian (beat Ulrich :rofl:)

OK OK, on to the more serious ones:

Julio Cesar Gonzalez
Hugo Hernan Garay (x2)