Thurman’s WBA title not mentioned in introduction last night
By Allan Fox: If you watched last night’s fight between WBA welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (25-0, 21 KOs) and Roberto Guerrero (32-3-1, 18 KOs) on NBC, it was the fact that Thurman’s WBA title wasn’t mentioned at all when he was introduced before the fight.
The announcer only gave Thurman’s name and his ring record as he was walking out to the ring. The fight definitely had Thurman’s WBA title on the line. This has some boxing fans speculating whether the world titles are going to be de-emphasized in Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions series.
The question now is whether Haymon is going to come up with his own titles for his fighters in his stable to fight over. It would be similar to how the UFC has their own titles, and how they only fight other fighters signed with the UFC label. Is Haymon starting his own boxing league/club in which the fighters will only fight other Haymon fighters, and fight for titles that are created by Haymon for his Premier Boxing Champion series? If so, it wouldn’t be the first time where we’ve seen a sport split into leagues.
Haymon could end up a very, very wealthy man if the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) becomes as popular as the UFC. The UFC sticks out in the minds of a lot of MMA fans at the No.1 league despite there being a lot of other interesting organizations. If Haymon can make his own PBC brand stand out as the one that fans are more interested in seeing, then he’ll have all the top fighters flocking to sign with him. This in turn will result in Haymon becoming wealthy beyond imagination. The sanctioning bodies – IBF, WBA, WBO and WBC – will increasingly be marginalized if the PBC doesn’t recognize their titles or rankings.
Look at baseball with the National League and American league. There was a time when those different leagues would only play against each other in the World Series and All Star games. If Haymon is going to limit his fighters in facing only other guys in his stable, it’s going to obviously reduce their chances of becoming the stars that they could be.
Not mentioning Thurman’s WBA title last night probably didn’t help Thurman’s case with the casual boxing fans. It would have been good for them to know that he’s a world champion and not just some guy pulled in from some local boxing club to fight an ex-world champion in Guerrero. Haymon doesn’t have his own world titles that are on the line yet, so it’s important for the fighters he has in his stable to have their world titles mentioned.
It’ll be a controversial move by Haymon if he does decide to wall off his fighters from fighting the other guys from rival stables.
Haymon definitely has enough fighters for him to completely isolate his fighters if he wants to. But he would need to have them completely pulled out of the world rankings, because they’ll be eventually forced to defend their titles against mandatory challengers and such.