Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Boxing’s life-blood – the big fights

By JE Grant

Professional boxing is a maze of sanctioning bodies, promoters, and government overseers in an international, year-round sport. While frequently (though figuratively) spat upon by critics who extol the supposed virtues of the more mainstream team sports, boxing endures for one primary reason: the big fight. In years past, the big fight included title fights and key bouts between top contenders vying for the chance at the one true champ in each weight class. Today there exist no less than nine “world” sanctioning bodies (take a deep breath before trying to recite this list): WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO, WBU, IBA, IBC, IBO and NBA. That does not include the vaunted Ring Magazine belt. I’m sure that by the time you finish this article there will be a new organization that springs into existence…Read the entire article at Boxing's Lifeblood - The Big Fights at The Sweet


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. As a fan who's relatively new to the sport, I really appreciate an article like this that shed some light on the often confusing way in which professional boxing works.

I agree with everything you say, but especially with the point about making fights on the major US networks. I know a lot of serious sports fans who not only wouldn't recognize Antonio Tarver, but would have a hard time picking Arturo Gatti out of a lineup. And that's because the biggest and best fights are made inaccessible to the casual fan by $50 pay-per-view price tags. When you can't even see highlights of the fights on ESPN news, it's almost as though they never happened.

I have heard lots of people moan about how badly the sport needs an exciting heavyweight champion, but I don't think the problem with boxing is a lack of exciting fighters. Just take a look at the featherweight division, which has produced the best fights I've ever seen. Most people just never see them. You have to believe that if the Morales/Berrera trilogy had been broadcast on CBS instead of PPV, boxing would be a much bigger sport today.

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