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Fury out to maintain “Lineal” Heavyweight Title



Tyson Fury won’t be defending any official titles against Tom Schwarz this weekend, but his “lineal” heavyweight crown will be on the line.

Fury (27-0-1, 19 KO) failed to beat Deontay Wilder for the WBC Heavyweight Title in his last outing on December 1. But many people (including Fury himself) say Fury is the real title-holder given that nobody has beaten him since he defeated Wladimir Klitschko for the unified world title in November 2015.

On June 15, Fury will attempt to retain his lineal title against German Tom Schwarz (24-0-0, 16 KO) at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. If the betting odds are any indication, Fury is the hot favorite to win this non-title bout.

Fury Heavily Backed in Betting Markets

While the result seems like almost a foregone conclusion, boxing fans can still have fun with the outcome. One popular betting market is round betting, where the most likely scenario in the Fury-Schwarz bout is Fury to win by decision, which is paying 8/5. If Fury does manage to knock Schwarz out, the likeliest stage is round 6, 7, or 8 – each of which are paying 9/1.

In terms of exact method of victory, the likeliest scenario is Tyson Fury by technical knockout, which is paying 11/10. Next is Fury by unanimous decision, at 15/8, and Fury by KO, which is paying 12/5. If Schwarz wins, then the likeliest method of victory is majority decision, which is paying a healthy 20/1.

What’s This Tyson Fury Lineal Champion Thing All About?

After defeating Wladimir Klitschko for the WBA, IBF, and WBO titles in November 2015, Fury took an extended break from boxing to focus on his mental health. As a result of his temporary retirement, he vacated the titles and left them open to other challengers.

Fury returned to boxing in 2018, winning a couple of non-title bouts before taking on Deontay Wilder for the WBC heavyweight title in Los Angeles on December 1, 2018. That bout ended in a split decision, meaning Wilder retained his title and Fury was left without any official titles to his name.

However, many experts consider Fury the lineal champion because he hasn’t lost since defeating Klitschko for the heavyweight title. As Fury himself said ahead of his fight with Wilder, “I am no challenger to no man, I am the lineal heavyweight champion of the world; that means I am the best of the best.”

Fury’s argument rests on the fact that he – and not Wilder – has a direct link to past heavyweight champions. As ESPN has pointed out, his case is that the is the rightful successor to previous lineal champions such as Klitschko, Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, and Muhammad Ali.

Fury-Schwarz Bout Takes on Added Importance

Tyson Fury won’t be awarded any titles if he defeats Schwarz on Saturday night, but he will continue to lay claim to the linear title – making this week’s bout an important one in the scheme of things.

Here’s another thought: if Schwarz somehow achieves a 14/1 upset win over Fury, then he could also lay claim to being the linear title-holder. Either way, the winner of this bout will quickly look ahead to the next opportunity to challenge for the official heavyweight titles.

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