The trouble with boxing

By Tom Donelson, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: September 13, 2010

IOWA CITY (BASN) — Why boxing is in trouble?

Here is a thought, the WBA featherweight super champion is Chris John and the WBA featherweight Yuriorkis Gamboa is the Champion.

Just last week, Gamboa defeated Orlando Salido, the IBF champion, which means he has united the WBA and IBF which begs the question, what is Chris John status and what does a Super Champ do, gives after dinner speeches?

And adding to the confusion, Andre Ward is the Super Champion of the WBA Super Middleweights while Dimitri Sartison is the champion. Ward is busy now trying to become the best Super Middleweight in the world in the Showtime tournament.

So what is Sartison status?

Boxing is in trouble for the simple reason that who knows who is the champion. If the WBA can’t decide who is their champion of their divisions; what about the general public?

Hell, I will bet there isn’t a boxing writer or pundit who could name every champion of every alphabet organizations. I know I can’t without a scorecard in front of me.

As long as boxing insist on having multiple champions, it will be sport resembling professional wrestling who issues championship belts whenever it fits the plot of the moment.

The WBA obviously feels that every one should be champion at least 15 minutes and every fighter can have his 15 minutes of fame. It won’t be long before we will have Super Champion, regular champion and champion for the week.

Speaking of Yuriorkis Gamboa. Max Kellerman viewed him as a potential Many Pacquaio but I seeing another Roy Jones. At his peak, Roy Jones depended upon great athletic skills to defeat one opponent after another.

He broke all the rules of boxing but when he got older, those old boxing rules came back to haunt Jones. Just look at the films of Jones fighting Hopkins in 1994 and last year. Jones lack the technical skills of Hopkins but had superior hand speed.

In 1994, he simply was too much of an athlete for Hopkins but in the rematch some sixteen years later, Hopkins skills overcame what was left of Jones. Gamboa is much like Jones as he simply depends upon his skills which worked against Salido but eventually it will catch up with him.

Another reason for boxing in trouble? The best heavyweight and the real heavyweight champion of the world, Vladimir Klitschko simply dismantled Samuel Peter, completing a Klitschko’s brother threepeat against the Nigerian fighter. (Wladimir beat Peter in 2005 and then his brother Vitali beat up Peter as well.)

This fight was essentially invisible to American boxing fans. Yeah, it was on TV but you had to look hard to find it. What was once the prize position in sport, the heavyweight division is now the invisible champion.

Need I say more?

Meanwhile, one of boxing’s biggest name — Floyd Mayweather — is in trouble with the law and ex-girlfriend. Weren’t we talking about the biggest prize fight between him and Manny Pacquaio just a month ago and wondering why it wasn’t coming off?

And you are wondering why boxing is in trouble.