|06-16-2005, 08:03 AM||#1|
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PETITION for CHANGES in BOXING
APPARENTLY, BELTS MAKE THE CHAMPION
By Oleg Bershadsky
For those of us who continue to strive and hope for a new, more fair and honest world of boxing, the road to change has been disappointing to say the least. One of the major obstacles appears to be the strength of the so-called governing bodies/boxing organizations. It seems that they answer only to themselves, never held accountable for any wrongdoings no matter how egregious. So what makes these organizations so powerful? Not to oversimplify the answer, but one of their strengths is that they hold the championship belts. IBF, WBO, and WBC among other known organizations have the capacity to make someone a “champion,” which consequently allows them to rank the top contenders for their respective belts. Most importantly, they have the ability to decide whom the mandatory challengers will be, regardless of whether they are deserving or not, of that great opportunity.
Therefore, what these organizations have done is alter the meaning of champion to serve their own needs and ambitions. To them, a champion is not necessarily someone who is the best and who has beaten the best. To these organizations, a champion is someone who holds a “championship” belt and little more. Unfortunately, that belt continues to be a much thought after commodity in boxing and until it seizes to hold such importance these organizations will maintain a bulk of their power, continuing to do as they please.
To most boxers a belt means recognition and a chance for some big paydays after a long struggle through the ranks. In a perfect world each deserving boxer would get a chance to fight for the belt or even more importantly would get a chance to make a name for himself by fighting the best; unfortunately these days in boxing being a good fighter is not enough to get a shot at the prize. In some cases, being a good boxer can actually limit your opportunities. Boxers like Winky Wright and Lenox Lewis had to wait a very long time before finally getting an opportunity to shine, while other less skilled and less deserving boxers received numerous such opportunities
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