Too Many Champions In Boxing? UFC says: ” No Paper Champs Here! ”
In the world of combat sports where boxing has untill recently dominated for not just years but centuries or more, the amount of paper champions have been legendary. Granted some of these paper champions maybe great talent and potential. Most would probably agree that there is far too many ” champions ” in boxing. There is probably a guy right now with a belt that is just a few echelons above a glorified “Tough Man” fighter ….. remember Butterbean?
Why, does the boxing sanctioning bodies produce belts at the rate the USA prints money at the moment? It’s simple, money, money, and more money. It is remarkably easier and more lucrative to promote championship fights, regardless of actual talent level or drawing power. So much in fact that the sanctioning bodies, will create an interim title just because they feel the need to (Also seeing percentages of revenues for endorsing said title fight). Take for instance an explosive action packed fight recently between a Legend Eric Morales vs the always exciting brawler Marcos Maidana. This fight had by the WBA been deemed an Interim title match, even though Marcos Maidana had been beat in a very exciting match by current WBA lightweight world title holder Amir Khan in his most recent outing.
There are 6 sanctioning bodies with 17 weight classes holding a belt in each body. Making for an insane 102+ ” World Titles ” Manny Pacquiao currently holds 6 of them. Is there really a need for someone to be a current 6 title belt holder? With this many belts around, and more being made as the sanctioning bodies see fit. I don’t see how anytime now, any one of us couldn’t run into one of these paper champions at a local dive bar getting wasted with their ” World Title ” thrown over shoulder. Could anyone outside of a die hard fan name more than 2 – 3 title holder, or in a lot of cases even name any current boxers apart from Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather?
This brings me to the UFC. Scroll up to the picture above that has been placed in the top of this article, and by a quick glance most even common fans of Mixed Martial Arts will have no problem recognizing at least three of these champions are From left to right: Cain Velasquez, Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, Frankie Edgar, and Dominick Cruz
Most of which will be defending their crowns in coming months in what on paper appear to be insanely good match ups, and will make for an exciting night on any card they are in. You won’t find anyone calling these guys or any other future UFC title holders, paper champs anytime soon.
When MMA puts on a great event ( mainly UFC, or recently Zuffa purchased Strikeforce ) The world takes notice, the internet message boards light up, and exciting fights happen. Unlike boxing where the champions duck one another like they owe each other money. Dana White, and matchmaker Joe Silva put the best in the cage with the best at all times. Also unlike boxing having only 2 – 3 fights per a card, which could make for a terrible show if two guys get outclassed and one gets knocked out in the opening rounds. The UFC has the ability to put together 10+ fight cards on any given event, with the opportunity for any one of them to make the night a great success. Even former champions, and current top contenders of UFC are famous and marketable in they’re own right, unlike many of boxings ” superstars ” of today.
I am a huge fan of boxing, and only want to see the best in the world fight the best in the world. Unfortunatly what we get are overhyped ” championship ” matches and stat padders fighting tomato cans. Also no exposure unless you own a pay channel (HBO & Showtime) or get a pay per view event which with all stated above the value is just not there anymore. Boxing has neglected it’s newest generation of fans by not allowing it’s product to so much as cross their path.
I hope before it gets any worse the sanctioning bodies and higher powers of boxing stop this paper championship madness. Before we end up seeing “World Titles” waved around in our local taverns while going to get a drink with a few buddies. Lets hope its not already too late.