Lately, I realised there has been a growing discontent among avid boxing buffs at the direction our sport has taken, with the continued proliferation of multiple world champions across different organisations in professional boxing.
The four main sanctioning organisations recognised at the moment in professional world boxing, the WBC, WBA WBO and the IBF in my opinion have diluted the sport with too many belts, but the problem is not unfixable and there definitely can still be a place for the above organisations.
To get a broad picture of the main points that need to be addressed, I collected some data from multiple secondary sources within the world boxing community.
It seems the majority agreed, boxing needs one unified, global governing body at the very top, one commission per se. The following is derived from replies and feedback from multiple scribes and fans within the sport.
I will call this proposed governing body idea ‘The International World Boxing Commission’ and refer to it as the IWBC in this article.
Hypothetically speaking, if you were the CEO of such a IWBC what policies would you adopt and changes would you make?
Here’s what I’d propose:
1. No catch weights for title fights.
2. No voluntary defences.
3. No automatic title fights for champions going to another weight class. They would be required to fight a contender to earn a title shot.
4. Titles must be defended within a 9 month period. In the case of injury or delay the IWBC would determine the severity of the injury, or the validity of the delay. If the delay is for an extended period the two highest ranked fighters will be substituted. The former champion or challenger will retain the right to contest the title when able.
5. The number one contender would be the challenger for a title fight and there would be no step aside accepted.
6. Re-hydration. Fight night weight would be no higher than the top limit of the next weight division. For instance, 160lbs (middleweight) would have a 168lbs cap. 175lbs – 200lbs weight divisions would have a 10lbs and a 15lbs cap.
7. Title fights. No return clauses. The IWBC would decide if a return was justified.
8. There will be one world title per division. No emeritus, interim or diamond belts etc.
9. Given the re-hydration caps, a review of the weight classes as a whole could be needed.
10. A world champion holding titles in different weight classes will be expected to defend both within a nine month period or relinquish one title.
As a side note to the ideas above, the present sanctioning organisations could still proceed in their usual fashion, but they would not be permitted to call their title fights world championships.
Their champions if good enough, would be rated by the IWBC and work their way into contention. This obviously means they would have to fight top fighters from the other sanctioning organisations to identify this.
Whether these fighters would continue to be prepared to pay sanctioning fees is open to conjecture. Boxing however, would once again have what we all wish – a universally recognised world champion in each division.
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