Thousand Oaks,Ca– On November 16th, a rare fight will take place. The undefeated lineal light heavyweight champion will fight the undefeated lineal Super Middleweight Champion. Edwin Rodriguez (24-0, 16 KOs) facesĀ Andre Ward (26-0, 14 KOs) for his 168 lb. world title.

Andre Ward faces Rodriguez November 16th

Andre Ward faces Rodriguez November 16th

It’s a rare fight indeed, especially since hardly anybody realizes that Rodriguez is the legit 175 lb. champ. The Worcester, Massachusetts resident, originally from the Dominican Republic, won his lineal title the right way; he beat the man who beat the man who beat…you get the rest. Roy Jones Jr. who started this whole lineal 175 lb. mess when he beat the man who won the vacant alphabet title that was stripped from the man.Twice!


Make no mistake, Rodriguez is the man at 175 lbs., no matter what the WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF, or even the Ring Magazine says. Interestingly, the Ring Magazine helped out with this whole mess when they awarded Roy Jones their Ring belt, simply because he had 3 of the alphabet titles. If the Ring Magazine had done their homework- which they obviously didn’t – they would have realized that had the Ring’s championship policy existed in 1996, Virgil Hill would have been their champion after he beat Henry Maske. The title would’ve then passed to Dariusz Michalchczewski, then Julio Gonzalez, then Zsolt Erdei, who was beaten this year by Denis Grachev, who was disposed of in one round in July of this year by the aforementioned Rodriguez. Notice the name Roy Jones missing from that list of lineal champs.

This fight is very similar to Ward’s fight with Chad Dawson, where the light heavyweight titleholder moved down in weight for the fight. In Rodriguez’s case though, he really is more of a Super Middleweight than Light Heavyweight. The major difference is that Dawson held an alphabet title,(WBC) and was recognized by the Ring Magazine as their champion, whatever that means anymore. Rodriguez however is the lineal 175 lb. champion, and he has the lineage all the way back to 1996 when Hill became the legitimate champion at 175 lbs. to prove it.

This Rodriguez-Ward fight is a lineal champion vs. a lineal champion bout, extremely rare in boxing today. Ward will probably win because at this point, he can beat practically anybody around 168 lbs., though I would love to see him test that theory out on WBA middleweight beltholder Gennady Golovkin (27-0, 24 Kos). But how could Rodriguez not be at least a live underdog? He is after all, undefeated and the lineal light heavyweight champion!

-Tony Hung


  • The lineal title can not be passed from one fighter to another based on popular opinion. Once established, you MUST go through that fighter to win it. I have little doubt that Jones was the best at 175 at the time, but the lineal title was already set. Also, if unifying 3 alphabet titles was the requirement, Dariusz Michalchewzski had already achieved that 2 1/2 years before Jones did. Hardly anybody ever mentions that fact. There is a major difference between people’s champ and lineal champ.

  • rodriguez might have been lineal champ. but you are splitting hairs. just like you can have lineal champs you can also have recognized champs. roy by holding 3 belts and beating top contenders became the ‘recognized champ’ same thing when wbc stripped spinks and awarded norton and he had to fight the number 1 contender holmes. the wionner which became holmes was the recognozed champ, so no matter who held the wba belt it never attered dokes or any of them holmes was recognozed as champ. spink beat holmes and lineal champ but with tyson beating guys spinks wouldn’t face and holding all 3 (at the time) belts tyson was recognized champ even before ending the debate. lennox lewis was recognized champ even before beating holyfield.

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