Boxing in general is a “Mugs Game” as quoted by the legendary Chris Eubank. Since time began, politics has dictated the game and influenced so called results, fights that take place and people who get the opportunities.
But how can this be combated in today’s recession crazed world and money driven society!?
Who knows, I’m not a genius but it is a question that should be on the lips, minds and hearts of true fight fans, casual fans and fighters alike, I know it’s on mine.
My mentor/trainer and one of the few people who have been influential in my boxing life is MBE Brendan Ingle. The trainer of the world famous Champion Prince Naseem Hamed, World champion and sky analyst Johnny Nelson and the best middle weight never to win a world title Herol Bomber Graham has talked about this from the very first day I walked into the gym (1996), but NOW more than ever it is becoming increasingly evident.
Yes it may be clearer as I am reaching a later stage in my life, and I am more mature and aware but I do not think that is the only reason.
The reasons that spring to mind start at the grass roots level.
1.) Only ticket sellers are looked after and given the opportunities.
This first point is something that is very clear if you watch promoters’ from the amateur shows all the way up the ELITE promoters such as Golden Boy, Match room, Top Rank and etc.
Why is it that a person with WAY MORE potential but can not sell more than two tickets is left behind??? Something to think about, as the seed has begun….
I mean if football was like this only the RICH/CONNECTED would succeed as influential parents could just wiggle some strings and use their contacts and power to elevate their child to a position of power (no doubt this does occur to a degree).
I personally have seen less talented fighters favoured on even small amateur shows because they can sell maybe a table of ten and the other talented individual who maybe comes from a less fortunate background (poor area of society) or who is less popular and can not sell more than 2 tickets or none on some occasions, so he gets left for a show when a slot is needed to be filled.
I know you will say its life, deal with it but it’s damn totally wrong and unethical.
So if this happens on the grass roots level, IMAGINE the BIG hall shows!
So my point being, a lot of good guys are not even in the mix, because of a situation out of their control from the get go.
2.) Too Many belts are destroying the legitimacy of champions.
Right now in boxing there are a total of 72 belts!
Can you name all the champions!? Neither can I and that is my point.
Of the four sanctioning bodies WBO, WBC, WBA, IBF, we also have other belts, Ring, WBF and many others.
Some will say that this is so other people can fight for a championship and it creates interest in the sport. I say this is the opposite. Yes more people get title shots, but with all the belts, you start to realise and develop ones thinking into the likes of “He is just a paper champion” or “He has not fought such and such, so he is not a real champion”.
So what is the point of all these belts! Politics hat is what. In football there is just the FA, in boxing there is countless federations and organisation and associations and all that nonsense and no-one knows the EXACT rules and regulations of each one and which one applies to each bout etc. Or even more important which rankings and champion is the more valid, who knows?
Talk about Sweet Science, you need a Science degree or degree of some kind to understand it all, because I have been following boxing for a long time and even NOW I still do not understand it.
3.) Promoter & TV rivalry destroys the best match ups
Right now in America its not only the boxers who are going head to head, but the TV stations HBO vs. SHOWTIME,
In England its Channel 5 vs. Sky TV vs. Boxnation.
With all this rivalry surely this is disrupting the fights that are able TO and NOT get made.
In relation to promoters its Golden Boy vs. Top Rank, and in England Matchroom Vs ALL other English Promoters.
With all this going on, the TRUE losers are US the fighters and fight fans. Like I said, politics ruins the game and this is the TRUE fight we need to battle because in the end the only ones who suffers is BOXING.
As a result of the above the fights we would like to see and should happen, either can not or by the time they do it’s TOO LATE! Public interest has gone. Fighting is all about timing and to develop and grow the sport, promoters and TV stations need to pull their long fingers out of their arse and come together to fix the sport we all know and love.
I have had my rant for today and my mind is clear.
No doubt I will have missed off many more things that should have been said and no doubt will spring back to mind once this article is published.
But if you have any comments, please share in the comments box or get at me on twitter.
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Peace and Blessings for now