The IBO: Prominent Champions and Computerized Rankings

10.04.07 - (IBO Editorial) - The I.B.O. congratulates Wladimir Klitschko on his stunning victory over Ray Austin in defense of his I.B.O. Heavyweight Title. The continuing and growing pattern of the best boxers such as Ricky Hatton and Wladimir Klitschko fighting for I.B.O. Titles is partly the result of the I.B.O.'s belief that top-flight boxers, promoters and managers - the sport's truly frontline people - need not have a sanctioning body dictate to them just whom they will fight next. They have discovered the importance of staying independent, which the I.B.O. is unique in offering..

The I.B.O. believes that television networks which showcase boxing are in a better position than sanctioning bodies to match fighters in bouts that will attract the most public interest, and thus make for competitive fights. The I.B.O. also gives more latitude to its champions to determine their next opponent. We exercise veto authority over a fight only when it appears to be a mismatch, as determined by our computer rankings. This is in stark contrast to other sanctioning bodies, which often insist on playing matchmaker and decision-maker over a champion's future. This obviously has resulted in much controversy within the sport when a champion is forced to fight a "political mandatory," meaning a fight arranged for something far less than the best of reasons, or as former I.B.O. champion Lennox Lewis called it, "politricks". From its inception, the I.B.O.'s mandate has been to bring more honesty, ethics and credibility to boxing, and some common sense, too. It has been quite an undertaking to establish objective, comprehensive computerized rankings, but it clearly has been worth it, and will continue to set the I.B.O. apart from other sanctioning bodies.

In the coming months, I.B.O. Championships will be on the line in Atlantic City, Antonio Tarver vs. Elvir Muriqi for the vacant I.B.O. World Light Heavyweight title; Las Vegas, Ricky Hatton vs. Jose Luis Castillo for the I.B.O. World Light Welterweight title; South Africa, and Australia.

Some say the I.B.O. is too new a sanctioning body to have major recognition in boxing, but we say what does age have to do with finding a better way and doing business with credibility and integrity? We believe that boxing can change from within. Boxing is a business. Poorly run sanctioning bodies should pay the consequences, and for too long in boxing, they have not had to do so. Boxing needs change, positive change. Certainly, we do not need more sick sanctioning bodies; rather, we need a healthy one to supplant some of the sick ones clogging up the sport. We at the I.B.O. will let our independent premier champions and promoters with foresight, as well as, our computerized rankings, uniform rules, and contribution towards the betterment of the sport over the coming years speak for itself.

Article posted on 11.04.2007

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