Some world champions spend an entire career defending a title without ever leaving the comfort of their own country; 'The Phantom' is a prime example. Sven Ottke, a native of Berlin, notched 21 defenses on his IBF super middleweight belt never venturing out of die schutzende Deutschen bubble (ze protective German bubble). No worries Sven, it's not unreasonable for the champ to seek hometown advantage, your local supporters must have appreciated it.
On the flipside you have the global warrior; a champion, prepared if need be, to travel the Earth and into a challenger's backyard. This is to be admired and speaks loudly of a man and the champion he is. A bloke with a pair big enough to fly across the world and stride without fear into the lion's den. Gotta' respect that.
A fine example of this 'have pair will travel' attitude is Florida's Ronald Winky Wright (gonadus giganticus). Winky became the WBO light middleweight champion after defeating Bronco McKart by SD in Michigan back in May '96. Following this he packed his gloves and newly acquired belt then flew over the pond to defend his title in the UK. This was to be the first of three successive defenses held in England over the next year. Manchester's Ensley Bingham, Salford's Steve Foster and Islington's Adrian Dodson all put up a brave fight but were conquered in style by the champ with the visitor's stamp.
The British media and local die-hards were quick to embrace the well travelled 'septic' because they recognised true skill and a fighter's heart. Wink's very next defense landed him in South Africa where he eventually lost his belt to Namibia's Harry Simon by MD.
It appears to be a thing of the past and seems rare in these times for a world champion to rack up the frequent flyer points. But one who is prepared to suffer an occasional inflight meal has to be respected.
Can you recall any others past or present?