Title Belts? Who Cares!

By Robert Brown: Boxing insiders and the general public have come up with a multitude of reasons why boxing is in decline all around the world. Some people say it is because of the lack of mainstream network TV coverage, other people say it is because the sports promotion is not being catered enough towards the general public, and others say sports like MMA which are over a shorter distance require less of an attention span and therefore have more impact and more of an adrenalin rush than boxing.

These reasons are indeed all valid, however I believe that if boxing gets two great fighters together in a major marquee event boxing still has the ability to outperform the competition. One of the biggest reasons in my opinion as to why boxing is falling behind is the number of utterly worthless title belts, that exist as a result of the growth of new alphabet organizations. These days you have interim belts; youth title belts, continental American belts, diamond belts, etc etc.

The point Iím trying to make is with the incredible increase of meaningless title belts out there, it is hard enough for boxing insiders and fans to distinguish who are the real champions are and what the real top 10 ratings are.

For the sport to recover and gain some much needed credibility in the mainstream a number of these meaningless title belts must be scrapped immediately. One of the worst offenders of this new trend in boxing is one of the sports oldest and most established sanctioning bodies the WBA, which now has two champions in all most every weight class with their regular championship belt and there super championship belt which in my opinion makes the WBA a complete joke and a laughing stock in the boxing industry.

Stunts like this have greatly diminished the value of the championship belt and the value of the sport both in the eyes of the boxing and general public. Each organization needs one major champion with one major belt in each division, to restore some much needed credibility back into the sanctioning bodies. The charge must be lead by the WBA who must scrap these ridiculous super champion belts to restore some faith back into their organization which has been severely tarnished since the implementation of these belts.

Up until recently the only one of these minor belts I thought had any value was the interim belt, which supposedly made sure that whoever held this belt was next in line for a title shot. However it seems that this belt is not being used in the way that it was designed, because you have fighters like Anthony Mundine for example who are able to fight over matched opponents and continue to undeservedly hang on to a belt, which in my opinion he shouldn't, this was not the original intention of these interim belts.

So unless there is a limit put on how many times you can defend or contest for an interim belt or the person who has won the interim belt is immediately in line or forced to contest for that title which is the way the belt was suppose to operate, if these stipulations are not followed then the interim belt may also be considered worthless and may as well be scrapped.

In modern times a champion is not determined by the amount of title belts they have, a champion is determined by the record or fighters that they have fought and when they fought them. Championship belts have virtually no relevance in determining whether a fighter is a champion, for the sport to return to its brighter days of the 70ís and 80ís some prestige and honor must be returned to the championship belt and we can start by scrapping a multitude of these meaningless title belts that hold no weight and no standing in the boxing world except possibly at the sanctioning bodies they belong to.

Article posted on 01.09.2011

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