Farewell sanctioning bodies – Hello WBSS!
By Ian Aldous: I don’t know who’s a genuine world champion anymore. Does anyone really know? Champions in recess, interim champions, super champions, and that’s aside from the ‘regular’ champions. It’s quite frankly beyond ludicrous. For me, the worst part is having to explain to casual fans when they ask me, why there’s so many different world champions in each weight division. I struggle to produce an explanation. International, intercontinental and silver champions muddy the water even more.
How did we get to this stage? Is it greed from sanctioning bodies? Almost certainly, yes. Promoters need to take some of the blame too. Most promoters are desperate to have a title of some sort in their main event or co-main event. I’m all for fighters getting shots at championships when it’s deserved and warranted. But when will this ridiculous circus of ‘champions’ end? Interim championships used to be created when a champion was inactive for a lengthy period of time, now that’s simply not the case.
It’s not just limited to world titles either. We used to have just one European champion. Now we have WBO and IBF versions created in recent years purely for sanctioning fees and glory for pugilists who will probably never win the legitimate European title. Also, why isn’t it clear who the champion of North America is? NABO, NABF, give me a break! We need one champion per country, one champion per continent and one world champion.
This is why I’m such a big fan of the World Boxing Super Series. It’s almost insignificant if one of the quarter-finals is for a world title. The tournament itself holds more value than a world title that multiple other men hold different versions of. The winner of the Muhammad Ali trophy will be a legitimate champion and the leader of the pack in his division because he’ll have beaten the best. Praise must go to each and every participant in the WBSS for wanting to fight the cream of the crop in their respective weight division.
Don’t get me wrong, most world champions want to defend against the very best challengers and unify with other title holders, but some don’t, in certain cases it might be the promoter protecting them, I can’t always be sure who’s protecting who.
My point is that tournament boxing needs to become a major part of the sport we love. Pretty much every major sport has a league/knockout format, but politics will never allow that to happen in professional prizefighting.
I yearn for the days when we had one world champion per weight division – I want them back. I think the closest thing we can get to that happening is the World Boxing Super Series.
Additionally, the fact that every WBSS show so far this season has been available to stream for free in the UK – has really endeared fans to the product. In the current world of subscriptions and PPV costs, it’s so refreshing to see the best fighting the best without being constantly milked for cash. I hope to see more and more of this exciting tournament action. Long live the WBSS!
Agree or disagree? Let me know!