The antics over the years of a certain Floyd Mayweather Jr. have called once and for all for a sanctioning body over boxing.
Floyd Jr. has ducked fighters who might give him trouble, retired and then unretired, and finally imposed his own testing guidelines on Manny Pacquiao. He’s flouted the rules and sanctioning bodies and arrogantly proclaimed that without him, ‘the sport of boxing would die’.
He's even gone as record calling the HBO Boxing Commentators 'racist'. I'm sure that's a new one for Emanuel Steward and George Foreman.
Clearly, Floyd Jr. is a fighter who has no respect for the rules of boxing, boxing authorities, or his opponents.
He cares little for the spirit of competition or the history of the sport.
His latest shenanigans have turned, what could have been the mega-fight of the decade, into a laughingstock of accusations, petty quarrels, and left everyone with a very sour taste in their mouths.
At a time when boxing must collectively determine some kind of counter-action against the juggernaut that is the MMA, the last thing that boxing needs is a so-called-champion like Mayweather Jr. creating controversy when there should be none.
Just sign up for the fight and start promoting it.
End of story.
Get people talking about boxing for a change.
Get them excited.
I’ve already written that I consider Floyd Mayweather Jr. the dumbest man in boxing. He turned a golden opportunity to become the next spokesman of the sport (in the vein of Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya) and made himself into a slightly more marketable version of Fernando Vargas.
But now he’s hurting the sport and a lot of people who make their livelihood off of boxing.
A lot of innocent people are having food taken out of their mouths due to the ego of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Make no mistake, this fight didn't happen for one reason and one reason only - Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The calls for a governing body in boxing have gone on for decades. At last count, there were five, yes five, sanctioning bodies (WBC, IBC, FightNews, WBO, and the WBA). Each has their own ranking system and champion at each weight class. It’s not only dizzying, but it’s amazingly confusing for the average fight fan to track the various champions and weight classes.
Worse, fights are not determined by a governing body, but by the whim of promoters.
No clearer case of this abuse has been Mayweather Jr.
Over the years, he has continually ducked everyone and anyone that might give him some trouble. Antonio Margarito, Paul Williams, Miguel Cotto, Sugar Shane Mosely, and now Manny Pacquiao come to mind.
His advocates say he’s being smart by choosing fighters tailor-made for his style.
Generally, these fall into two categories.
The first being smaller fighters (Hatton or Marquez) and the latter being once-great fighters well beyond their prime (De La Hoya or Gatti).
In other words, he only wants to fight guys he's certain he can dominate.
What if the New York Yankees could choose to play only the teams they thought they could beat?
Or the Los Angeles Lakers could choose their own schedule?
Isn’t the point of sports to pit the best against the best? Isn’t that why we tune in?
Boxing is the only sport where there’s not a governing body determining the fights and rules.
The time has come to create a governing body over boxing that would once and for all stop the shenanigans of con-men like Mayweather Jr.
There’s a way to do this.
Any fighter who has a chance to make a decent payday must eventually go through either HBO or Showtime. There’s no other way around it. They, in essence, control the sport.
They need to start making the rules.
They need to agree on one sanctioning body who will determine not only the ranking system, but who and when fighters will fight.
A pay system would be set-up to compensate fighters based upon the television audience, PPV buys, and gate receipts.
No more independent promoters who seemingly rob fighters blind at every opportunity.
HBO and Showtime would takeover all promotional responsibilities.
They’d run the likes of Bob Arum and Golden Boy out of the game.
They would determine the rules and drug tests. They would determine the judges and locations of fights.
They would determine the judges, ring size, and weigh-in schedule.
No more ducking capable fighters.
No more scheduling one fight a year.
No more demanding ridiculous drug test outside of the norm.
No more fights not being scheduled because this promoter doesn’t like that promoter.
HBO and Showtime could easily run the boxing game. If a fighter refuses to fight when and where they’re dictated, they simply won’t appear on either network – ever. They’ll be run out of the sport.
Adhere to their rules and their schedules or risk fighting at the Tillamook Casino in Washington for a thousand bucks in poker chips.
Fighters would be expected to fight every three to four months against the most capable challenger. Bouts could be set up in major fight cities (New York, Portland, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Los Angeles) to promote the sport. It would do away with the ‘home town’ advantage many promoters seek for their fighters.
The only rankings that would matter would be their rankings.
The only belts recognized by the networks would be the one sanctioning body they decide upon (or create on their own).
I’d even like to see a system where you have HBO fighters and Showtime fighters. Fighters who are mostly exclusive to either network. At the end of the year, have a round robin type of tournament to determine the world champion pitting both network fighters against each other.
It’s a good plan and it could work. It would be outstanding for boxing (which clearly needs to organize itself in the wave of the MMA phenomenon).
I’d love to hear anyone’s thoughts on how boxing can be cleaned up and brought under one sanctioning and governing body. I think the time has come.