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Boxing continues to slowly die but it can be saved

AIBA+World+Boxing+Championships+Doha+2015+%0AFrom+Flickr%0Ahttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.flickr.com%2Fphotos%2Faibaboxing%2F20460802865+%0A
AIBA World Boxing Championships Doha 2015 From Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/aibaboxing/20460802865

Millions at home have their eyes glued to their television to watch Gervonta “Tank” Davis fight Hector Garcia at Capital One Arena.  Both of these spectacular fighters are at the pinnacle of the sport as they are both undefeated world champions. After “Tank” Davis landed a flush right hand in the ninth round Garcia claimed he could not see effectively ending the fight.  Everyone in the crowd and at home knew who was next for Gervonta Davis.  Ryan Garcia

The fight was a perfect match for each other. West Coast vs East Coast. Tall fighter vs a short one. A pretty boy vs a tank.  The fight was one everyone and their grandma wanted to see.  

But….. 

Broadcasting companies DAZN and Showtime are currently in a stalemate over broadcasting rights.  Effectively jeopardizing the possibility of a fight between the two. This a tale boxing fans like myself have heard time and time again and a reason why Mixed Martial Arts is overtaking boxing in popularity. 

There are way too many belts in boxing. Boxing has diverted from its glory days. The Golden Ages when fighters like Sugar Ray Robinson and Rocky Marciano fought all contenders are long gone. Boxing is now ruled by four sanctioning bodies. The WBA, WBO, IBF, and WBC each have their own championship belts and subdivisions and due to the vast amount of belts (64 to be exact), the best of the best do not have to fight each other. A belt such as the franchise belt has also been put in place so that champions don’t have to be their mandatory opponents.  Leaving us fans high and dry. Imagine if there were 4 different Lombardi trophies. The “Big Game” would most certainly lose its value. In the Ultimate Fighters Championship, the belt means something because all of the fighters are aiming for that one championship belt which leads to more interesting fights. 

Due to the fact that there are so many champions, the fans can not really connect with any of them. None of the fighters seem polarizing or iconic anymore.  The Alis, the Leonards, and the Tysons are all replaced with hollow-feeling fighters who do not fight the best. Most of today’s fighters just try to follow the Mayweather path.

Talk Trash

Win 

Remain Undefeated 

Repeat.

None of these fighters are Floyd so this just results in the fighters and promoters ducking and dodging other high-ranked contenders just to keep that win streak alive.  

So how do we bring boxing back to its glory days?

First, bring back the Heavyweight division.  The most important division in boxing is a shell of its former self. The last undisputed heavyweight champion in the world was Lennox Lewis in 1999 and there have not been any dominant champions since. 

It would be almost impossible for the four boxing sanctions to cut the belts in half due to their not wanting to lose leverage. So to combat this,  practices must be put in place so that the best fighters are required to fight the best fighters or else they would be stripped of their title. 

Let’s use Gervonta “Tank” Davis to employ this idea. Let’s say Davis beats Ryan Garcia and then beats undisputed champion Devin Hany to become the undisputed champion of the world.  Davis would single handily bring the golden age of boxing back and would improve its popularity. 

But due to the selfishness of the promoters and networks boxing would continue to lose its fans and will play second fiddle to Mixed Martial Arts.

 

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