Often in the sport of Boxing after a year that saw plenty of action and also opened possibilities as to what may happen in the next year, topics of discussion among both Boxing fans and experts alike tend to center on what was the best fight of the previous year and/or what potential fights may be in store for the new year. Although such discussions are very interesting, what sometimes should also be talked about is what could benefit the sport as a whole in the New Year.
This observer has over the years and will continue to discuss various subjects that occur in the sport as they emerge. One thing that I have not discussed too often after a busy year is what I believe could benefit the sport as a new year begins. Even though there are likely several things that readers could say about the subject of what could benefit Boxing, I will offer three topics that in my opinion could have long-term benefits for the sport in 2015.
Many would say that one of the biggest stories in the sport in 2014 was the end of what some have called Boxing’s cold war as promoters Bob Arum and Oscar De La Hoya have stated that they are willing to work together again in order to bring fights between each promoter’s stable of fighters to fruition. Although some may be skeptical that this will be something that will last, if a working relationship between the two promoters does serve the purpose in signing fights that will draw the interest of Boxing fans it will ultimately work out for the sport’s benefit.
What may be seen as an obstacle by some however, will be the agreements between the promoters and television networks like HBO and Showtime. This observer believes that if all parties involved come together and are willing to work together in order to bring marquee fights to fruition that it will ultimately benefit not only the sport, not only the fans of the sport, but will benefit the parties involved even if it were on an occasional basis.
Another subject that to some drew attention last year which could benefit the sport in 2015 is three of the sport’s major sanctioning organizations the World Boxing Association (WBA), the World Boxing Council (WBC), and the International Boxing Federation (IBF) began meeting to discuss various issues that surround the sport of Boxing. There are some who may believe that the sport’s sanctioning organizations may not have the best interest of the sport or it’s fans. The leaders of the WBA, WBC, and IBF establishing an ongoing dialogue between each other however, should be viewed as a positive. A positive particularly if it leads to unification of each of Boxing’s seventeen weight classes in order to establish one undisputed champion per division.
This process has seemingly begun in both the Heavyweight and Light-Heavyweight divisions as there are two recognized champions in each division, Wladimir Klitschko and Bermane Stiverne in the Heavyweight division, Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev in the Light-Heavyweight division. Even though it is not set in stone that an undisputed champion will emerge in either weight class in 2015, I believe that Boxing fans should be optimistic that one champion will eventually emerge in each division.
With three of the five major sanctioning organizations establishing an ongoing dialogue, it is my hope that the leaders of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and the International Boxing Organization (IBO) eventually will be involved in these discussions with the WBA, WBC, and IBF. Much as is the case with rival promoters and television networks, if the sanctioning organizations come together and all having the same goal of improving the sport, if it can last, it will promote long-term benefits.
Finally, a subject that I feel could benefit from the ongoing dialogue between the sport’s sanctioning organizations is the subject of interim/regular “champions.” Readers over the years have become accustomed to seeing this observer refer to fighters who are designated as an interim “champion” as simply having interim/regular champion status in regard to a sanctioning organization’s ratings in any weight class.
The subject of interim/regular “champions” as well as other designated titles has led readers to ask me over the years to help them understand what it all means in the grand scheme of things. Although the purpose of having an interim status would appear to be in place if in the event a unified or undisputed champion is either injured or refuses to defend their title against a sanctioning organization’s mandatory challenger, and does serve a purpose ensuring that if a title is vacated that fighters who hold interim status either are elevated to champion or placed in a fight to determine a new champion, the concept although well-intentioned has created more confusion than it has created solutions.
Even though it has become commonplace for Boxing experts to routinely criticize and ridicule the sport’s sanctioning organizations, this observer will not criticize the organizations in this instance. I will however, offer my opinion and suggest that the concept of interim/regular/emeritus “champions” should be rethought and simplified. I applaud the leaders of the WBC, WBA, and IBF for establishing a dialogue and hope that not only it continues, but that other sanctioning organizations that are currently not involved become involved. Conferences between all five sanctioning organizations can only serve the purpose of improving the sport overall.
The three topics I have discussed and have offered my opinion on will likely leave some with the impression that I am perhaps overly optimistic. Although all I can offer is my opinion, it is my hope in 2015 that the progress that was made in 2014 in regard to these topics will continue.
For those who have regularly read my work over the years there has been one consistent theme throughout all the various topics that I have regularly discussed. “What will benefit the sport?” Of course, there will be those who will choose to point out the negatives of the sport. Although Boxing has had more than its share of black eyes in regard to things that has left the sport open to much ridicule, Boxing as a whole has never seen the count of ten. Boxing as other sports continues to evolve. This can only be viewed as a “Positive!” If everything remains the same and nothing changes, then why discuss it at all?
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
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