How Boxing Drug Testing could be improved and Boxing’s future

Published On January 8, 2013 | By Niall Doran | Boxing News

How Boxing Drug Testing could be improved and Boxing's future

How Boxing Drug Testing could be improved and Boxing’s future

By Niall Doran

Drug Testing

It seems like every year we hear more and more about high level professional boxers been caught for performance enhancing drugs or at least accused of being on them (without getting caught).

If you look at boxing as a whole, America is still by far the boxing capital of the world. If any change is to come about it will have to be sparked here first. The current situation as it stands is each individual State has it’s own Athletic Commission which governs boxing, state to state. So as you can imagine (like from country to country) laws can be different and discrepancies can arise. At the moment the drug testing being enforced by these commissions really isn’t effective in terms of it’s time frame. Sure they may test athletes but it is not done randomly, year round.

It is well documented that athletes can cycle on and off drugs by taking the drugs well in advance of their respective competition, letting the drugs leave their system before they compete and reap the benefits of the drugs long after they have left their system. Probably the biggest time for an athlete to take performance enhancing drugs is during the ‘off season’ or for a boxer months before they have signed a contract to fight. So what’s the answer?

My idea would be that the Federal Government in the US pass something to the effect that puts the onus on the promoter. For example something that might say that any licensed promoter in the country (regardless of what State) that puts on professional combat sports events, are financially liable to have each of their fighters under contract with them – randomly tested (blood & urine) year round. Maybe a drawback of this is you might see fighter pay decrease slightly. However you would have a much cleaner sport and might stop some serious, unnecessary injuries from taking place.

Go back to One Belt, Multiple World title/Intercontinental titles have confused the average boxing fan

Ultimately the main problem I feel facing boxing over the next 10 years is somehow trying to manage the mess that is the many belts and titles that are being passed around these days. It seems like there is a different title for every day of the week, between different versions of world titles, intercontinental titles, etc.

I think a lot of good would be achieved if things went back to the old days where there was just one belt, one world title, one world champion per weight class. I can see how the multiple bets came to effect from a commercial standpoint (multiple greedy promoters popping up!). The more cards you can bill as having world champions on, the more tickets you can sell, the more money you can make. In theory this should have had a knock on effect for the sport, by making more ‘World Title’ fights thus drawing more fans in. However I think they underestimated the intelligence of the boxing fan. Fans have grown disillusioned and confused with all these belts.

There in lies the big issue facing boxing going forward (next 10 years) amidst heavy competition from brands like UFC (who have 1 champion, 1 belt and put on the fights fans want to see on a regular basis). Boxing must once again make it clear to the average sports fan (not the hardcore fight fan) who the clear champion is in each weight division. Boxing must once again be promoted as one brand to the masses (like it was in the glory days).

Obviously to do this would be extremely hard in reality, but not impossible. If the four main governing bodies came together (WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF) and formed into one, unified, World Boxing Board maybe?

Well just some food for thought anyway fight fans…

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About The Author

Niall Doran
Founder of Boxing News and Views (@NiallerDoran). Writer at the Huffington Post. Digital marketing guy. Journalist. Irish tech entrepreneur. Avid Yellow M&M's hound! Favourite boxing related quote: "It's the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen." - Muhammad Ali

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