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Why I think Boxing weight classes should be cut from 17 to 10

By Gari Jones: Following on from a previous article why there should only be one true champion (http://www.boxingnews24.com/2010/11/wba-wbc-wbo-and-ibf-why-there-should-be-only-one-true-champion/ ) I believe the number of weight classes should be cut down from 17 to about 10 (I made a revised table down below).

Current Weight DIVISIONS

1. Strawweight – Minimumweight/Mini-Flyweight (105 lbs),
2. Junior Flyweight/Light Flyweight (108 lbs),
3. Flyweight (112 lbs),
4. Super Flyweight/Jr. Bantamweight (115 lbs),
5. Bantamweight (118 lbs)
6. Super Bantamweight/Jr. Featherweight (122 lbs)
7. Featherweight (126 lbs)
8. Super Featherweight/Jr. Lightweight (130 lbs)
9. Lightweight (135 lbs)
10. Super Lightweight/Jr. Welterweight (140 lbs)
11. Welterweight (147 lbs)
12. Super Welterweight/Jr. Middleweight (154 lbs)
13. Middleweight (160 lbs)
14. Super Middleweight (168 lbs)
15. Light Heavyweight (175 lbs)
16. Cruiserweight/Jr. Heavyweight (200 lbs)
17. Heavyweight (unlimited)

My Revised version of the Weight Division’s

(Note: this is merely an idea, but if you must criticize do it constructively or offer an alternative suggestion)

1 starting at 108 lbs – 115 lbs – Flyweight
2: 116 lbs – 122 lbs – Bantamweight
3: 123 lbs – 130 lbs – Featherweight
4: 131 lbs – 140 lbs – Lightweight
5: 141 lbs – 150 lbs – Light Welterweight
6: 151 lbs – 161 lbs – Welterweight
7: 162 lbs – 172 lbs – Middleweight
8: 173 lbs – 185 lbs – Light Heavyweight
9: 186 lbs – 200 lbs – Cruiserweight
10: 201 lbs – Unlimited – Heavyweight

In the current system the first 4 weight divisions are separated by only 10lbs, 2-3lbs between each of those weight classes. The Problem with that is too many fighters can so easily move up a down between a division, if they have a reputation they can quickly gain a title shot (Amir Khan, David Haye, Pacquiao) and it demeans the sport I feel.

The current system of 17 weight divisions causes this to happen. Now over a period of time metabolism slows down and fighters who have been out of the sport for a while can struggle to meet the contracted weight class.

Now 10lbs may not sound like much to a normal person in terms of dieting for a period of time but to a boxer that’s a lot. Sometimes fighters have had to sweat and starve the weight off before a fight, it can be very damaging to their health, it can leave fighters feeling weak, dehydrated and affect their performance on fight night (Just ask De La Hoya when he fought Pacquiao two years ago).

With the underlying problem of so many world titles, fighters ducking each other, milking there belts for all they’re worth, fighting lesser opponents and ripping the fans off with lacklustre events such a shake-up would quickly put an end to some of these issues.

Whose to say Pacquiao would’ve have had it much easier against Margarito if he hadn’t had to lose 16-17lbs in order to make weight. When David Haye fought at cruiserweight he looked jaded at times from having to sweat out over 15 to 20lbs, Jean Marc Mormeck knocked Haye down in the forth and at times looked to be gasping for air.

With my revised idea up the top you would see a drastic reduction in the number of world title’s, fights being made that normally wouldn’t happen, the best man in his weight class being the proper champion (not holding some Mickey Mouse version) and boxing could revamp it image and gain some credibility back with the fans.

I can’t see this being implemented anytime soon but with sports like the UFC becoming more popular by the day, Boxing could find itself becoming a sideshow so drastic steps (like a weight class reduction) should be taken now.

The Super Six tournament despite suffering some teething problems is trying to revamp the sport and to make the fights happen that the fans want to see, I don’t think Froch and Abraham would’ve have fought each other if not for this tournament coming about.

I reckon by tweaking the weight classes a little, things like the Super Six and Prize-fighter Tournaments could prove to be the way forward for boxing and help make the sport a huge success again, like it once was when Ali and Frazier were around.

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