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Is the WBC favoring Erik Morales?

Erik MoralesBy Gerardo Granados: The World Boxing Council (WBC) has been criticized for sanctioning the Erik Morales vs. Jorge Barrios fight with the light welterweight title. Some believe that the WBC is deliberately favoring Erik Morales for allowing him to dispute the organization title by stripping the current champion Tim Bradley, who has not defended the title in more than six months; They also argue that the WBC is manufacturing a belt so that the 34-year-old Morales can achieve his fourth division title.

Is this new? Is the WBC the only boxing organization to have done it? Well, it is not new neither exclusive of a single boxing organization; to highly rank fighters or to authorize them to dispute a title without have been previously ranked is not exclusive for the WBC and not even to stripe a champion from his belt due not have defend it against the mandatory challenger.

Maybe we should understand that amateur boxing is a real competition, which is regulated by local or international organizations like AIBA (Amateur International Boxing Association), CABA (Canadian Amateur Boxing Association), USA Olympic Boxing, ABA (Amateur Boxing Association of England), Golden Gloves of America, etc. At the amateur level there are also controversial decisions ruled by the judges (local or international), and the monetary interest is big too, not only by sponsors there are also other kind of interest that influence the development of amateur boxing, but it is not a business. At your local gym you can watch amateur boxing tournaments in which there is a real competition.

On the other corner professional boxing is a real business, it is a show in which the health and life are on the line, this is the way a prizefighter earns a living and get the meal on his table. Some times these warriors get permanently injured and their quality of life is affected, others don’t show early signs of damage but years later after retiring struggle with health issues. The promoter’s job is to generate interest in boxing fans so that they will purchase a product that can bring big revenues, but in some cases they turn too greedy and offer a low quality show offering non competitive fights and create illusions instead of great fighters. The Pay Per View is here to stay and television broadcast can bring great revenues for the business. There will never be a cut down in the number of weight divisions because it would be bad for business. Lets not be naive and think that the honor and the love for the sport pay the bills for the prizefighters and all the involved.

The primal boxing organization goal is to protect the health and life of the fighters. Also to organize and to structure professional boxing, to rank the fighters according to their skills level and to don’t allow mismatch bouts. To sanction fights and yes they charge for doing so. They have favored fighters or promoters in the past, to deny it would be naive, also to think that professional boxing is perfect or that it was perfect in the past.

If the reader believes that the WBC performance is wrongful then the reader should reevaluate the achievements of this organization. The WBC was the first to reduce from 15 to 12 round the title fights in order to protect the health and life of the fighters, official weigh in 24 hours previous the fight time, doping test, annual medical examinations, life and hospitalization insurance, retirement plans . If the reader believes that the WBC is favoring Erik Morales due a bastard interest then you better reconsider because the WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO have done the same in the past and in the present days too, the reason might be because professional boxing is a business and fighters are the most important part of it.

Many great boxers have been “favored” by a boxing organization during his pugilistic career. The WBC is not the first and won’t be the last to authorize a title fight between one or two fighters that have not been ranked previously in the weight division. There are too many examples, the eight belt wonder could be the most favored by this organization practice, Pacquiao was never ranked or fought at lightweight, junior welter or light middle; Margarito was chosen to fight Pacman after a long suspension and have lost his WBA welter title and he did not have enough merits to dispute the WBC light middleweight title. Miguel Angel Cotto got the chance to dispute the WBA World light middleweight title after loosing his WBO welter title. Sugar Ray Leonard won the WBC super middle and light heavy titles at the same time at a catch weight fight against Donny Lalonde. Thomas Hearns won the WBO super middle belt after loosing his WBC middle belt. Roy Jones Jr. won the WBA heavyweight crown in his first ever heavyweight bout. Hector Camacho dispute the IBF welter belt that Tito Trinidad held. Jorge Arce was highly ranked WBO at super bantam and was a big underdog when he upset Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. was given a chance to recover the WBC light welterweight title against Kostya Tszyu when it was evident that he had little chance to win. I guess you know a lot more names that can be add to this short list.

It is not the same to authorized two “veteran former champions” to dispute a vacant title as to authorize a couple of young low ranked fighters that have a small fan base, the ones that wont bring the big numbers, neither will fill the arena or sell well on television. Let’s not forget that money rules professional boxing and boxers need to obtain the most money before they have to retire. If the WBC is accused of favoring Erik Morales and Jorge Barrios then the rest of the boxing organizations are also guilty for doing the same, and it is to favor a veteran fighter to obtain good purse money before he has to hang his gloves. Let’s be fair and recognize that only in the perfect world things work as well as a utopia can offer.

Let us enjoy the fight game but as fans let’s demand good quality bouts, let us don’t allow that the greedy promoters ruins professional boxing by coning us with low quality mismatch fights. Let’s keep an eye on the boxing organizations so that they will always protect the integrity of the prizefighters so that there are no unnecessary injuries or even deaths.

Let’s give a chance for competitive veteran fighters to obtain the glory and the money that they deserve after having a long boxing career, after all the three division former champion Erik Morales proved to be a top light welterweight against the top division contender Marcos Maidana. I believe it´s fair, don´t you?

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