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Are There Too Many Champions, Contenders & Organizations?

Canelo Alvarez boxing photo and news image

By Ken Hissner: Every time you look, there is another title fight for the WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF, and IBO organizations belts. There are the minor ones like NABF, USBA, Continental-Americas, and International titles to get ranked.

Are there too many champions? Back in the day, there were eight weight classes and ten contenders. Today there are Heavyweight, Cruiserweight, Light Heavyweight, Super Middleweight, Middleweight, Super Welterweight, Welterweight, Super Lightweight, Lightweight, Super Featherweight, Featherweight, Super Bantamweight, Bantamweight, Super Flyweight, Flyweight, Light Flyweight and Minimumweight (Strawweight). Now the WBC adds the Bridgerweight? That’s eighteen opposed to eight?

Most organizations have top fifteen contenders, while the IBO shows a hundred boxers in each weight class and gets little recognition. Only the Super Lightweight’s Josh Taylor of the UK has all the belts in his division.

Back in the day, there was the world champion, and then along came the National Boxing Association. Now the heavyweights have two champions, the cruiserweights four, the light heavyweights three, the super middleweights two, the middleweights four, the super welterweights two, the welterweights three, the lightweights two, the super featherweights three, featherweights four, super bantamweights three, bantamweights three, super flyweight three, flyweights four, light flyweights four and the minimumweights four. That’s FIFTY-TWO champions per

There was a time when you held two titles in two weight classes, and it was special. Now, for example, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has won five and goes up and wins titles but doesn’t defend them and comes back to super middleweight. Oscar “Golden Boy” De La Hoya was the champion in six different divisions. “Sugar” Ray Leonard held five divisional championships.

Canelo Alvarez boxing photo and news image

Henry “Homicide Hank” Armstrong held three divisional titles at one time when there was only one champion in each division.

Others holding multi-divisional titles were Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao had titles in six weight classes. Roy Jones, Jr. held titles in four weight classes, Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran and Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker holding four.

Holding three were Bob “Ruby” Fitzsimmons, Tony Canzoneri, Barney Ross, Wilfredo Benitez, Alexis “The Thin Man” Arguello, Wilfredo “Bazooka” Gomez, Jeff Fenech, Julio “J.C.” Cesar Chavez, and Mike “The Bodysnatcher” McCallum.

Fitzsimmons, Canzoneri, Ross, and Armstrong were undisputed champions of three divisions.

Do you get the picture there are too many champions, contenders, and organizations?

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