Junior Featherweight World/Lineal Championship Fights

The weight division’s first lineal champion would come from a match made between the top-ranked Wifredo Gomez, the WBC champion, and Nicky Perez, the division’s number three man.

 

26 October 1979. Wilfredo Gomez w rsc 5 (15) Nicky Perez

Venue: Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA. Recognition: WBC/Lineal. Referee: Arthur Mercante.

Fight Summary: Despite allowing Perez (120) to dictate the opening two rounds, Gomez (122) went to work in the third and dropped the challenger with a heavy left hook in the next session. Into the fifth Perez was dropped three more times, the last time on the bell, and after the referee decided that he had seen enough he put the latter out of his misery.

 

3 February 1980. Wilfredo Gomez w rtd 6 (15) Ruben Valdez

Venue: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: WBC/Lineal. Referee: Ferd Hernandez.

Fight Summary: Breaking the record for successive inside-the-distance defences, Gomez (122) once again proved that he was in a different class to his challengers, swarming all over Valdez (121) from the opening bell. Although the crouching Valdez was not floored it was patently obvious that he was completely mastered as Gomez hit him with just about everything, straight rights, uppercuts and left hooks et al, and at one stage landed 30 punches without reply. Having been again badly staggered towards the end of the sixth round, the brave Valdez was wisely retired by his corner during the interval.

 

22 August 1980. Wilfredo Gomez w rsc 5 (15) Derrik Holmes

Venue: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: WBC/Lineal. Referee: Joey Curtis.

Fight Summary: Down five times prior to the fifth round - once in the third and four times in the fourth - and suffering a broken jaw in the second round, Holmes (120¼) gamely fought on against a champion on top of his game. Somehow making it through to the fifth Holmes was dropped twice more by Gomez (121), who used his famed uppercut and overarm rights to wreak havoc against a now defenceless foe. Proceedings were ended when Holmes' cornermen jumped into the ring, leaving the referee to call a halt on the 2.29 mark.

 

13 December 1980. Wilfredo Gomez w co 3 (15) Jose Cervantes

Venue: Jai-Alai Fronton, Miami, Florida, USA. Recognition: WBC/Lineal. Referee: Ismael Quinones-Falu.

Fight Summary: Following two fairly even rounds, Gomez (122) got down to business in the third session, firing right hands in the direction of Cervantes (120½) before finally catching him with a tremendous right cross. Smashed face down on the canvas there was no way the challenger was going to make it and he was counted out with 1.30 on the clock.

 

27 March 1982. Wilfredo Gomez w rsc 6 (15) Juan Meza

Venue: Playboy Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA. Recognition: WBC/Lineal. Referee: Harold Valan.

Fight Summary: Coming back from an unsuccessful crack at the WBC featherweight title and two catchweight victories, Gomez (121¼) again showed his class and power, especially to the body, when he subjected Meza (120) to a one-sided beating despite a lack of knockdowns. Unable to keep Gomez at bay due to his lack of punch-power and volume the challenger was always under pressure, and at 2.28 of the sixth he was rescued by the referee after he had been driven into a corner and was being pounded non-stop to head and body without reply.

 

11 June 1982. Wilfredo Gomez w co 10 (15) Juan Antonio Lopez

Venue: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: WBC/Lineal. Referee: Davy Pearl.

Fight Summary: Controlling every round bar the fifth, when the challenger scored well with the left hand, Gomez (121) put Lopez (121) down twice in the first but was unable to repeat the feat until the tenth. By that time Lopez was extremely tired and was ready to go, and after a sustained battering a cracking left to the ribs sent him down to be counted out on the 1.02 mark.

 

18 August 1982. Wilfredo Gomez w rtd 7 (15) Roberto Rubaldino

Venue: Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Recognition: WBC/Lineal. Referee: Isidro Rodriguez.

 

3 December 1982. Wilfredo Gomez w rsc 14 (15) Lupe Pintor

Venue: The Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Recognition: WBC/Lineal. Referee: Arthur Mercante.

 

A few months later, on 6 May 1983, Gomez relinquished the WBC version of the title due to continued weight-making difficulties, and at the same time the lineal title was also vacated. When the top-ranked Jaime Garza defended his WBC title against Felipe Orozco, who was rated fourth in the division, the contest would carry the lineal title.

 

26 May 1984. Jaime Garza w co 3 (12) Felipe Orozco

Venue: Carlisle Stadium, Miami, Florida, USA. Recognition: WBC/Lineal. Referee: Tony Perez.

 

3 November 1984. Juan Meza w co 1 (12) Jaime Garza

Venue: Midtown Centre, Kingston, New York, USA. Recognition: WBC/Lineal. Referee: John LoBianco.

 

19 April 1985. Juan Meza w rsc 6 (12) Mike Ayala

Venue: Inglewood Forum, Los Angeles, California, USA. Recognition: WBC/Lineal. Referee: John Thomas.

 

18 August 1985. Lupe Pintor w pts 12 Juan Meza

Venue: Sports Palace, Mexico City, Mexico. Recognition: WBC/Lineal. Referee: Octavio Meyran.

Scorecards: 115-111, 116-110, 117-110.

 

18 January 1986. Samart Payakaroon w co 5 Lupe Pintor

Venue: Hua Mark Indoor Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand. Recognition: WBC/Lineal. Referee: Arthur Mercante.

 

10 December 1986. Samart Payakaroon w rsc 12 (12) Juan Meza

Venue: Hua Mark Indoor Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand. Recognition: WBC/Lineal. Referee: Roland Dakin.

 

8 May 1987. Jeff Fenech w rsc 4 (12) Samart Payakaroon

Venue: Entertainment Centre, Sydney, Australia. Recognition: WBC/Lineal. Referee: Arthur Mercante.

 

10 July 1987. Jeff Fenech w rsc 5 (12) Greg Richardson

Venue: Entertainment Centre, Sydney, Australia. Recognition: WBC/Lineal. Referee: Larry Nadayag.

 

16 October 1987. Jeff Fenech w tdec 4 (12) Carlos Zarate

Venue: Hordern Pavilion, Sydney, Australia. Recognition: WBC/Lineal. Referee: Henry Elesperu.

Scorecards: 40-34, 40-34, 40-34.

 

Fenech relinquished the WBC version of the championship on 15 December 1987 to challenge for the WBC featherweight crown, and at the same time the lineal title became vacant. When the top-rated Welcome Ncita, the IBF champion, met Kennedy McKinney, ranked at number five, the contest should be seen as involving the lineal title.

 

2 December 1992. Kennedy McKinney w co 11 Welcome Ncita

Venue: Tenda Theatre, Tortoli, Italy. Recognition: IBF/Lineal. Referee: Steve Smoger.

 

17 July 1993. Kennedy McKinney w rsc 3 Rudy Zavala

Venue: The Pyramid, Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Recognition: IBF/Lineal. Referee: Chris Wollesen.

 

16 October 1993. Kennedy McKinney w pts 12 Jesus Salud

Venue: Caesar’s Palace, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA. Recognition: IBF/Lineal. Referee: Vic Drakulich.

Scorecards: 119-109, 119-109, 118-110.

 

19 February 1994. Kennedy McKinney w co 5 Jose Rincones

Venue: Carousel Casino Resort, Temba, South Africa. Recognition: IBF/Lineal. Referee: Stan Christodoulou.

 

16 April 1994. Kennedy McKinney w pts 12 Welcome Ncita

Venue: Convention Centre, South Padre Island, Texas, USA. Recognition: IBF/Lineal. Referee: Rafael Ramos.

Scorecards: 117-110, 117-111, 114-114.

 

20 August 1994. Vuyani Bungu w pts 12 Kennedy McKinney

Venue: Carousel Casino Resort, Temba, South Africa. Recognition: IBF/Lineal. Referee: Stan Christodoulou.

Scorecards: 116-112, 116-112, 117-111.

 

19 November 1994. Vuyani Bungu w pts 12 Felix Camacho

Venue: Carousel Casino, Hammanskraal, South Africa: Recognition: IBF/Lineal. Referee: Clement Martin.

Scorecards: 118-111, 119-110, 117-111.

 

4 March 1995. Vuyani Bungu w pts 12 Mohammad Nurhuda

Venue: Carousel Casino, Hammanskraal, South Africa. Recognition: IBF/Lineal. Referee: Clement Martin.

Scorecards: 119-109, 119-109, 118-110.

 

29 April 1995. Vuyani Bungu w pts 12 Victor Llerena

Venue: FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa. Recognition: IBF/Lineal. Referee: Clement Martin.

Scorecards: 118-108, 120-105, 117-111.

 

26 September 1995. Vuyani Bungu w pts 12 Laureano Ramirez

Venue: Carousel Casino, Hammanskraal, South Africa. Recognition: IBF/Lineal. Referee: Clement Martin.

Scorecards: 117-111, 117-111, 118-111.

 

23 January 1996. Vuyani Bungu w pts 12 Johnny Lewus

Venue: Grand Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi, USA. Recognition: IBF/Lineal. Referee: Fred Steinweinder.

Scorecards: 118-111, 118-112, 120-108.

 

15 April 1996. Vuyani Bungu w rsc 2 Pablo Osuna

Venue: Carousel Casino Carpark, Hammanskraal, South Africa. Recognition: IBF/Lineal. Referee: Stan Christodoulou.

 

20 August 1996. Vuyani Bungu w pts 12 Jesus Salud

Venue: Carousel Hotel and Casino, Hammanskraal, South Africa. Recognition: IBF/Lineal. Referee: Stan Christodoulou.

Scorecards: 117-111, 118-109, 118-110.

 

5 April 1997. Vuyani Bungu w pts 12 Kennedy McKinney

Venue: Carousel Casino, Hammanskraal, South Africa. Recognition: IBF/Lineal. Referee: Stan Christodoulou.

Scorecards: 117-113, 115-113, 113-115.

 

Bungu forfeited the lineal title on 18 April, having failed to meet a top-five rated opponent for over two years. Further to that, a return match on the same day between the top-ranked Junior Jones against Marco Antonio Barrera, the fourth-rated man in the division, should be seen as carrying the lineal title.

 

18 April 1997. Junior Jones w pts 12 Marco Antonio Barrera

Venue: Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: WBO/Lineal. Referee: Mills Lane.

Scorecards: 116-111, 114-113, 114-112.

 

19 December 1997. Kennedy McKinney w rsc 4 Junior Jones

Venue: Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA. Recognition: WBO/Lineal. Referee: Wayne Kelly.

 

It was reported on 11 May 1998 that McKinney had been stripped of the title by the WBO after pulling out of a prospective 6 June defence against Richie Wenton, while looking for a featherweight title challenge instead. Following that, Wenton was matched against Marco Antonio Barrera to find a successor, and at the same time the lineal title was vacated. When the top-ranked Erik Morales defended his WBC crown  against Wayne McCullough, rated at number five, the fight should be seen as involving the lineal title.

 

22 October 1999. Erik Morales w pts 12 Wayne McCullough

Venue: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan, USA. Recognition: WBC/Lineal. Referee: Frank Garza.

Scorecards: 118-110, 116-112, 116-112.

 

19 February 2000. Erik Morales w pts 12 Marco Antonio Barrera

Venue: Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: WBC/WBO/Lineal. Referee: Mitch Halpern.

Scorecards: 114-113, 115-112, 113-114.

 

On 2 September, when Morales relinquished the WBC version of the title to fight in a higher weight class the lineal title also became vacant. Eventually, Clarence Adams, who was recognised as the best man in the weight division by The Ring magazine, met the second-ranked Paulie Ayala to decide the vacant IBO and lineal titles rather than defend his WBA title

 

4 August 2001. Paulie Ayala w pts 12 Clarence Adams

Venue: Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: Lineal. Referee: Joe Cortez

Scorecards: 114-113, 115-112, 113-114.

 

23 February 2002. Paulie Ayala w pts 12 Clarence Adams

Venue: Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: Lineal. Referee: Kenny Bayless.

Scorecards: 118-110, 117-111, 118-110.

 

When Ayala moved up in weight to meet Erik Morales on 16 November 2002, the lineal title was automatically vacated. The next lineal champion would come when the third-ranked Israel Vazquez met the division’s top man, Oscar Larios.

 

3 December 2005. Israel Vazquez w rsc 3 Oscar Larios

Venue: Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: IBF/WBC/Lineal. Referee: Tony Weeks.

 

16 September 2006. Israel Vazquez w rsc 10 Jhonny Gonzalez

Venue: MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Recognition: WBC/Lineal. Referee: Kenny Bayless.

 

3 March 2007. Rafael Marquez w rtd 7 Israel Vazquez

Venue: Home Depot Centre, Carson, California, USA. Recognition: WBC/Lineal. Referee: Raul Caiz Jnr.

 

4 August 2007. Israel Vazquez w rsc 6 Rafael Marquez

Venue: Dodge Arena, Hidalgo, Texas, USA. Recognition: WBC/Lineal. Referee: Lupe Garcia.

 

1 March 2008. Israel Vazquez w pts 12 Rafael Marquez

Venue: Home Depot Centre, Carson, California, USA. Recognition: WBC/Lineal. Referee: Pat Russell.

Scorecards: 114-111, 113-112, 111-114.

 

Vazquez was stripped of the WBC title on 3 January 2009 when unable to make a defence following retina surgery. Meanwhile, The Ring magazine continued to recognise Vazquez as the lineal champion until 1 June 2009 when it became clear that he would be fighting in a higher weight division. Further to Israel Vazquez moving up in weight, Caballero, the unified title holder, should also be seen as the lineal champion from 1 June.

 

29 August 2009. Celestino Caballero w rtd 7 Francisco Leal

Venue: Calafia Bullring, Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. Recognition: IBF/WBA/Lineal. Referee: Rafael Ramos.

 

Caballero handed in his WBA ‘super’ title in order to move up to featherweight on 10 December 2010, an action that also saw the lineal title vacated. The next time the lineal title was up for grabs was when Nonito Donaire, the WBO champion, met the IBF’s Jeffrey Mathebula.

 

7 July 2012. Nonito Donaire w pts 12 Jeffrey Mathebula

Venue: Home Depot Centre, Carson, California, USA. Recognition: IBF/WBO/Lineal. Referee: Pat Russell.

Scorecards: 119-108, 118-109, 117-110.

 

13 October 2012. Nonito Donaire w rsc 9 Toshiaki Nishioka

Venue: Home Depot Centre, Carson, California, USA. Recognition: WBO/Lineal. Referee: Raul Caiz.

 

15 December 2012. Nonito Donaire w rsc 3 Jorge Arce

Venue: Toyota Centre, Houston, Texas, USA. Recognition: WBO/Lineal. Referee: Laurence Cole.

 

13 April 2013. Guillermo Rigondeaux w pts 12 Nonito Donaire

Venue: Radio City Music Hall, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA. Recognition: WBA/WBO/Lineal. Referee: Benjy Esteves Jnr.

Scorecards: 116-111, 115-112, 114-113.

 

7 December 2013. Guillermo Rigondeaux w pts 12 Joseph Agbeko

Venue: Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA. Recognition: WBA/WBO/Lineal. Referee: Benjy Esteves.

Scorecards: 120-108, 120-108, 120-108.

 

19 July 2014. Guillermo Rigondeaux w co 1 Sod Kokietgym

Venue: Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort, Macao, SAR China. Recognition: WBA/WBO/Lineal. Referee: Mark Nelson.

 

31 December 2014. Guillermo Rigondeaux w rtd 11 Hisashi Amagasa

Venue: Bodymaker Coliseum, Osaka, Japan. Recognition: WBA/WBO/Lineal. Referee: Michael Ortega.

 

Rigondeaux was stripped of his WBO title due to inactivity on 29 October 2015, and a day later was classed as 'champion in recess' by the WBA after the body had rejected Cesar Seda as a world championship opponent in December.  Finally, having not defended against a top-five man for almost three years, on 9 February 2016 Rigondeaux forfeited his hold on the lineal title. In a contest that would involve the lineal title due to it being a unification bout, Carl Frampton’s next defence of the IBF title would be against Scott Quigg, the WBA champion.

 

27 February 2016. Carl Frampton w pts 12 Scott Quigg

Venue: The Arena, Manchester, England. Recognition: IBF/WBA/Lineal. Referee: Ernie Sharif.

Scorecards: 116-112, 116-112, 113-115.

Frampton forfeited the WBA version of the title on 7 April after not agreeing to a defence against their mandatory challenger, Rigondeaux. Following that, Rigondeaux was reinstated as the WBA 'super' champion on 6 May. To take a fight with Leo Santa Cruz for the WBA featherweight title, Frampton handed in his IBF belt on 28 April, thus vacating the lineal title at the same time.

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