Boxing what to do next

By Tom Donelson, BASN boxing writer
Updated: August 6, 2012

Maybe Everybody should just get a championship belt...

Maybe Everybody should just get a championship belt...

IOWA CITY, IOWA (BASN)—Where does boxing go from here? I made the point that boxing needs a central authority but the chances of that happening is slim to none with slim on the train out of town. With the proliferation of sanctioning bodies, the only hope for boxing to have a central authority would be for all but one of the sanctioning bodies go out of business. I would not count on that happening and the suggestion by some that there should be a federal authority misses two points.

The first is that boxing is an international sport and not every national body outside of the United States would recognize the United States boxing commission as the central voice. The second is that the many of the same folks who populate the various state commissions would also run the federal commission. Does anyone believe that a federal commission would not be run by political hacks?

The number one goal for boxing is to set a single champ and that would go a long way to revitalize the sport. ESPN has attempted to use Ring magazine as their authority for who is the best but this is starting to dissipate. Kevin Iole, writing in a recent piece on the 25 most influential individuals in boxing, found that the vast majority of those listed were either associated with HBO, Showtime or ESPN or they were promoters.

Right now television executives and promoters don’t have real incentives to set up a system with a single champ. It is easier to promote championship bouts and the more championships available, the more championships fights available to promote and televised. Sanctioning bodies collect fees so more championships bout means more money for everyone.

...or just go to the sweet, sweet of science
and let the women run the show.

...or just go to the sweet, sweet of science and let the women run the show.

The first goal is to give everyone incentives to have one champion in each division. WBA may have given us a solution to at least move to a system of one champion. WBA has a champion, Alexander Povetkin and then they have super champion Wladimir Klitschko. Why not declare a Super Champion in each division while allowing each sanctioning bodies their own champions? And allow each sanctioning bodies a piece of the action of all Super Champions?

How would this work?

Let us take the Middleweight division.

While Sergio Martinez is the recognized Middleweight champion but he does not have an official sanctioning title.

Can anyone explain to boxing fans why the best Middleweight in the world is without a title? Let say in my world, Martinez would be Super Champion and his upcoming fight with Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr would produce a Super Champion.. Right now, it is only for the WBC title. If we had a Super Championship at risk, the first thing is that all of the sanctioning body would be given a stake in the fight; the goal being to encourage the various champions to fight each other.

In the meantime, each sanctioning body would still have their own champions and fighters would be able to claim a portion of particular weight division. Television executives can continue to market championship bouts and promoters can continue to cash in while each sanctioning bodies can continue to sanction bouts but with Super Champions; each division would have central figure that boxing fans can relate to.

The negative would be each of the sanctioning bodies may see their title diminished but they are diminished now with so many titles available. The difference is that boxing fans would be awarded with great fights.

This could lead to series of fights as part of tournament similar to the Super Six. The Super Six was a brilliant bit of promotion by Showtime as six of the best Super Middleweights fought each other with their respective titles on the line plus the goal of being the Super Six champ.

The result was Andre Ward winning and essentially being the Super Champ and now he has a big bout with the best light heavyweight in the world, Chad Dawson, for his version of the Super Middleweight championship.

The results was that Showtime had great fights over a nearly three year period while giving the fans what they wanted; great fights with the end game that the best of the best would be crowned the Super Middleweight champ. If boxing at least get recognized champions in each division that would be a start. We may not get the super boxing council but simply have sanctioning bodies willing to crown Super Champions that come from their ranks; that may be just possible.

Could a Super champion in each division be declared in each division possible? As long each sanctioning bodies, television executives and promoters have a financial incentives in changing the system, then the system can be changed.