- Some fight fans who actually watched Ali knockout Foreman in Ali’s stunning upset back in Congo, Africa, 1974 state the current generation of fans will never see boxing as it was.
True boxing fans, and that comes with the utmost respect to the casual fan, (who, just as the supposed true boxing fan does, put down sixty dollars to get his Pay-Per-View card) are given nicknames for loving the sport as if it was a human being they knew personally– nicknames such as “Fight Freaks” or “Fight Junkies” and many more. These “freaks” are the boxing fans who stay up well past midnight analyzing their respective favorite fighter’s career: fight by fight, DVD after DVD. Those fans get into the most heated, logical arguments over which wrongdoings are affecting the sport the most. All knowledgeable fans, for the most part, duke it out over which reasons are the greatest catalysts in holding boxing back. There are several problems that many believe cause boxing to continually shoot itself in the foot.
THE MAIN ISSUES PREVENTING BOXING FROM ATTAINING THE NOTORIETY IT ONCE HELD:
-Four Sanctioning Bodies (The WBC,WBA,WBO, and IBF.) The separation of these bodies and the fact that all claim a title of “World Champion” hurts all parties involved. The madness in having four Champions of the World in one division detracts from the credibility of the sport. The World Champion really should be undisputed, and the top of the top. Perhaps there should be a Champion of each respective body, bouts between those title holders, and then the last person standing claiming the title of World Champion in boxing’s version of the Superbowl.
- The two most dominant Heavyweights in boxing, each holding different sanctioning bodies World Championship. Here is where some casual fans maybe confused. How can they both be Heavyweight Champion of the World? Isn’t there only one Heavyweight Champion of the World?
–Boxing lacks a unified commission. Unlike the NFL, NBA and NHL, where the rules are the same across the country, the rules in boxing differ state to state. Because of this, fighters may receive home turn advantage. For example if a fighter from Texas has his foe come and fight him in Texas, and the judges and referee are from Texas as well. Than you’d have to be naive to believe a fair shake is going on. If boxing had one unified commission, that would lessen problems greatly. Promoters not picking the judges, or anyone else besides a commission whose sole intentions are to always do whats best for the sport, and ultimately it’s growth.
-Selfish promoters. Many promoters opt to match their best fighters with the highest reward possible, including the lowest possible risk as well. This punishes the fans, as doing business like this prevents the fans from seeing the best boxers in the world fight each other. The two biggest boxing promotion companies, Golden Boy and Top Rank, have prevented numerous terrific bouts from taking place, seemingly for the simple fact that they do not get along. Bob Arum has had disagreements with certain fighters over the years, De La Hoya included, and because of that the two sides rarely negotiate for bouts the public wants to see.
- Golden Boy Promotions, the highly successful business venture for former fighter under Bob Arum’s Top Rank stable and promotion company, is now finding a lot of success.
- One of the longest running and successful promotion companies in boxing, if not the most successful company running, Top Rank Inc. headed by Bob Arum.
BRB’s THOUGHTS ON THE MATTER:
- Despite the decline in boxing, and the greed running rampant. Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales showed that despite the BS politics taking place in boxing, that the sport will undeniably produce terrific fights.
First off, this site cannot disagree with any of the common complaints that fight fans have. There is no one reason, but all of these reasons collectively which hit the nail on the head as to what is wrong with the sport. However, BRB would like to touch on another subject that possibly hasn’t been covered as much as the other issues have. Yes, promoters, networks, and everyone else besides the warriors entering the ring want their cut. Well, really, that’s life in general, not just boxing. It seems as though we have fighters who are seething with ambition to mix it up with certain other elite fighters, but because of risk/reward situations, the fight do not materialize.
Now, there aren’t any business majors here at BRB, but here is a plea to the fighters to help the sport: if your (you being any pugilist reader) promoter is preventing you from a bout which you know, in full confidence, you can conquer, but he doesn’t want to risk his business ventures, then it’s time for fighters to start standing up and saying, “Forget that. Make the fight happen or I’ll find a way to make it happen whether you are a part of it or not.” Harsh, I know, and a lot of these men may not want to speak to their promoters in such a way when their promoters put the first big bucks in their pockets. However, what’s right is right. The fighter is the one taking shots on his climb to the top, and as such, has the right to begin calling his own shots. No promoter should deny a champion the opportunity to better his standing or reputation due to simple cowardice. The fighters have a responsibility to take the biggest and first step towards making our sport much more respected and important by standing up to their promoters and going for their dreams, because at the end of the day, it’s the fighter’s decision. The best and most remembered fighters aren’t considered the best because they because they stock piled their World Championships, and signature victories over essentially “No hopers.”. They did it by proving themselves time after time and actually being the best, and being willing to top any knucklehead who thought he could take the title.
I hope the terrific athletes of our sport would consider using some of the thoughts revealed in this article, and stand up for the betterment of the sport. The truth is, once the pugilists fight against that particular corruption, it’s quite plausible all the other pieces may fall into place. If the best fight against the best, regardless of who it upsets, then the public will truly care less about who the WBC/IBF/WBA/WBO anoint as their World Champion, because the public would need no outside clarity after the elite in each division competed. At that point, it’s possible that with the governing bodies, the WBC/WBA/IBF, and WBO can recognize they’ve become obsolete. Logic and a little bit of wishful thinking may lead one to believe that that would mean the four organizations would merge as one, and boxing would once again have it’s unified commission, and one World Champion.