Using Weight as a weapon, catch-weights, same day weigh-ins and Re-hydration
By Bradley D. Cision: In the last five or so years we have seen an alarming trend in boxing, and that is the catch-weight. Lately, several boxers have started using catch-weights as weapons, and this needs to be put to an end as quickly as possible.
The latest fight to have a catch-weight contract is the Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. fight on May 6. Historically, Chavez Jr. has had a good amount of difficulty making weight, and lately has been fighting at over 170 pounds. However, in his last fight against Dominik Britsch on December 10, he did come in lighter, but looked incredibly drawn and gaunt on the scales. The Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. fight has a catch-weight set at 164 1/2 pounds. Why the half pound? This seems ridiculous and pointless.
Chavez Jr. already has discipline problems, and forcing him down another few pounds is nothing more than tactical warfare from Canelo, who routinely weighs above 165 pounds on fight night. This was a completely unnecessary catch-weight that could have been avoided. The fight could have taken place comfortably at 168 pounds, or don’t fight at all if the weight is too far apart, but everyone knows this fight is about money and nothing else.
Catch-weights are a dangerous precedent that have been set in boxing, and the commissions need to do something about this as it has gotten completely out of hand. Forcing an opponent to shrink their body down lower than medically safe just to get them to sign the contract should be banned from boxing. The same with re-hydration. Rules need to be in place for same day weigh-ins and re-hydration. Boxers should not be allowed to dehydrate and put on 30 pounds overnight with IV needles. Commissions need to stop sanctioning fights that are blatantly unsafe due to weight restrictions. Fight at a weight class your body is comfortable with, and let your opponent do the same.
Same day weigh-ins are a good step in the right direction for the sport. Most re-hydration is done overnight, and setting up same day weigh-ins would eliminate the time allowed for boxers to re-hydrate. Re-hydration limits could also help. Boxers who routinely put on 20-30 pounds overnight could be restricted from doing this.
Some commissions have started weighing fighters for some period before the official weigh in so that weight is being lost in a safe manor, this is just the beginning of a step in the right direction.
I completely understand that boxers and MMA fighters routinely lose weight to make their weight classes, but this is completely different than forcing your opponent down lower than a weight class as a tactical measure to assure they are weak. This needs to be stopped.