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Magazine’s Mandate Has a Hollow “Ring”

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  • thechamp0909
    replied
    Ring magazine

    I understand the reason why Oscar de la Hoya and his promoting associates are trying to do this of establishing a new recognize boxing title, that is supposed to be recognized world wide is because they do not have good personal relations with the people that at this moment rules the sanctioning bodies of profesional boxing which the author of this article calls "alphabets".

    The situation is similar as when Don King tried to take control of boxing during the 1980's when he use to give recognition only to the WBC and not so much recognition to the WBA which was the original professional boxing sanctioning body which broke apart.

    Golden Boy,LLC which is the principal owner of Ring magazine are supported in their move by ESPN, HBO and at least for what this article says, boxing scene is their next supporter. I disagree with this idea because the promoters should make their bussiness but they should not care about boxing as a simple bussiness in which you need to have a monopoly. They should think that boxing is a combat sport that needs respect and that is world wide recognize sport.This boxing complain about which championship is better is what has let many countries to concentrate on amateur boxing and to just recognized boxing as a US show and not a sport.

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  • OnePunch
    replied
    Originally posted by mangler View Post
    Good read. Obviously no system can be perfect. But still, I'll take the ****in Ring belt/champion over any of the alphabet ****. Lets hope wee don't get a Ring champ who abuses the privilege of non strippage and never defends his belt against the most deservin challengers.
    you mean like Kelly Pavlik??

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  • Dave Rado
    replied
    Originally posted by fitzbitz View Post
    The thing the IBO ratings have going for them is that they are computerized, so there will never be even a whiff of impropriety or influence.
    Computerised doesn't necessarily mean good, though. Cliff Rold's algorithm-based rankings for the greatest fighters at each weight of all time came in for a lot of criticism because people didn't like the algorithm. I agree that it makes it free of impropriety, but it has disadvantages too.

    Originally posted by fitzbitz View Post
    As for their champions, yes, they're suspect in a lot of cases... but they're also the only body that recognizes Pacquiao at 140 and Dawson at 175. Not to mention Klitschko at heavy.
    To me, it doesn't matter how many good champions they have: as long as they have several totally ridiculous ones, such as Mundine at Middleweight, they will have no credibility for me. The Ring doesn't have any totally ridiculous champions, and as far as I know they never have had.

    Originally posted by fitzbitz View Post
    And, as for mandatories, they do "require" them according to the rules on their Web site - "During each successive TWELVE (12) month period after winning the Title, the Champion at the I.B.O.’s sole and absolute discretion may be required to defend his Title in a mandatory defense against the leading available contender as designated by the I.B.O. Notice shall be given to all promoters licensed by the I.B.O." - but I'm not sure they're of the status right now that they could threaten to strip Klitschko or another of their marquee champions by enforcing them.

    Maybe someday, but not now.
    Well unless they start to do so, I don't see them as any more credible than The Ring in that respect, and I think they're a lot less credible than The Ring in terms of gaining general public recognition of who the real champions are at each weight. And I think they have zero chance of ever putting the other alphabets out of business, and I don't think we need more alphabets, I think we need fewer of them.

    Originally posted by fitzbitz View Post
    Lastly, the De La Hoya "10-time" thing just bugs me. I understand they're separate en******, but they are still part of the same company.
    If he disagrees with their absolutist stance regarding the alphabet belts (and I disagree with them on that too), then I don't see why he should necessarily toe their line just because his company owns them. In fact, I think it's healthy that they should disagree publicly, whenever they genuinely do disagree.

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  • fitzbitz
    replied
    The thing the IBO ratings have going for them is that they are computerized, so there will never be even a whiff of impropriety or influence. Some claim the Ring ratings are influenced by Golden Boy. I don't make that claim, but it's been out there. As for their champions, yes, they're suspect in a lot of cases... but they're also the only body that recognizes Pacquiao at 140 and Dawson at 175. Not to mention Klitschko at heavy. So there are some good things going for them as well. I don't claim they're the perfect sanctioning body as things stand right now and that Grady Brewer, if he wins in August, is the best 154-pounder in the world, but, to me, their "system" is as good a one that exists today.

    And, as for mandatories, they do "require" them according to the rules on their Web site - "During each successive TWELVE (12) month period after winning the Title, the Champion at the I.B.O.’s sole and absolute discretion may be required to defend his Title in a mandatory defense against the leading available contender as designated by the I.B.O. Notice shall be given to all promoters licensed by the I.B.O." - but I'm not sure they're of the status right now that they could threaten to strip Klitschko or another of their marquee champions by enforcing them.

    Maybe someday, but not now.

    Lastly, the De La Hoya "10-time" thing just bugs me. I understand they're separate en******, but they are still part of the same company. And, if we're supposed to take the Ring seriously as a championship legitimizer, then the boss of the company ought to be in line as well. Sure, in the grand scheme, maybe it means nothing. But it's hard for me to take a desire for credible status seriously when the guy signing the paychecks is still being lauded as something he's clearly not. If the magazine he owns wouldn't have recognized him as a "champion" in any of his six weight divisions, then maybe his communications department ought to tone it down a little.

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  • Dave Rado
    replied
    Originally posted by fitzbitz View Post
    The issue I still have with Oscar's "10-title" claim is that it's still included in press releases put out by Golden Boy, while at the same time the magazine they own is trying to redefine championship legitimacy. Just seems a little out of sync, that's all. But through no fault of the journalists.
    They are out of synch, but that only emphasises the fact that The Ring is independent of Golden Boy, which is as it should be.

    I don't know of any boxer who doesn't think the alphabet belts aren't worth winning. Even those who have ditched their belts waited until they were very big names before they did so - they used the alphabet belts to make themselves into big names first.

    But in order for boxing to have an agreed world champion at a given weight - which boxing needs, or the term "world champion" is completely meaningless - you can't look to the alphabets, because there would have to be only one alphabet body for that to be possible, and it would have to be perfect, both in terms of having non-corrupt rankings, and in terms of not stripping people for bull**** reasons. So the alphabets are vital to the sport, but in terms of who is the true world champion at a given weight, The Ring's champions are far more meaningful in that context, and the more that is promoted as such the better for boxing, IMO.

    Originally posted by fitzbitz View Post
    Bottom line, I just think what they're doing is means to no end. Great, we have another entity claiming to recognize the most deserving fighters as champions. OK, terrific. That said, it's not something that you or I or 10 well-informed fans couldn't do, too.
    But no one would take any notice if we did. We need one world champion at each weight, not millions.

    To me, there are several belt holders at each weight, and as belt holders they all have legitimacy; but by definition there can only be one world champion. The Ring champion is the closest we have to that, IMO. I agree it's flawed, and must always be an adjunct to the alphabets and will never replace them, but it's still the most meaningful belt by far, and the closest thing we have in an imperfect world to a world champion.

    Originally posted by fitzbitz View Post
    Take the IBO's computer rankings - something I've railed about in the past - and make them the gold standard.
    The IBO's rankings are generally good (although I'm not sure that they're any better than The Ring's), but their champions are not, several of them are ridiculous - and the IBO also has no mandatories, so they have the same problem as The Ring in terms of enforcing defences. And IMO the last thing we need is yet another alphabet group, we need fewer alphabets, not more, and we need the remaining ones to be reformed. In the meantime, as I say, I think The Ring's champions and ratings serves a very important function, not as an alternative to the alphabets, but as an adjunct.
    Last edited by Dave Rado; 06-30-2009, 02:02 PM.

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  • fitzbitz
    replied
    The issue I still have with Oscar's "10-title" claim is that it's still included in press releases put out by Golden Boy, while at the same time the magazine they own is trying to redefine championship legitimacy. Just seems a little out of sync, that's all. But through no fault of the journalists.

    Bottom line, I just think what they're doing is means to no end. Great, we have another entity claiming to recognize the most deserving fighters as champions. OK, terrific. That said, it's not something that you or I or 10 well-informed fans couldn't do, too. The point is, without the mechanism to create and enforce rules, it means nothing. It's just another title belt.

    Maybe it's the one everyone's paying attention to now. Again, terrific. But if the scenarios I cited begin popping up and chasms start developing in the various divisions between the "champions" and the guys that everyone thinks they ought to be defending against, where's the entity that's going to make those fights happen? Is it Ring? In my opinion, no. And that's why, again in my opinion, we're eventually going to get right back to where we started from in terms of legitimate champions.

    You have a system in place now. Are there too many bodies? Yes. Are most of the ratings they put out laughable? Yes. But those are things that can be addressed. Take the IBO's computer rankings - something I've railed about in the past - and make them the gold standard. And then go from there with a regulatory outfit, be it the IBO or whatever other is created. Regardless of what way you go, you need the structure. To me, Ring provides the nice "in a perfect world" idea, but has no teeth to back it up.

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  • Dave Rado
    replied
    Originally posted by Walt Liquor View Post
    Is there a ring policy on inactivity?
    They do tend to ask their champions if they intend to defend their titles, and so far their champions have always been honest about that. For instance, when Hatton fought Collazo for the WBA Welterweight title, The Ring asked him whether he intended to return to defend his Ring Jnr Welterweight belt, and he said he did, and was therefore allowed to keep his Ring belt. Whereas when Calzaghe fought Hopkins, although he initially kept both his Ring Super Middleweight and Light Heavyweight belts, he was asked by the Ring soon afterwards whether he would be returning to defend his Super Middleweight belt, and said no, and he gave up that belt at that point.

    It's true that it isn't perfect, and that's why alphabets with their mandatories will always be needed, but as you say it works fairly well in practice.

    And they do regularly demote non-champions in their ratings on the basis of inactivity.
    Last edited by Dave Rado; 06-30-2009, 12:54 PM.

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  • Walt Liquor
    replied
    Originally posted by Dave Rado View Post
    I agree with all of the above, but IMO you've made your point in a more balanced way in the above paragraph than you did in the original piece.

    I agree that The Ring's ratings and championship policy is no more than a stop gap, but it's a bloody good stop gap; and in terms of being able to say who the "real" champions are at each weight, or who the real #1 contenders are, when the championships are vacant, The Ring's ratings are easily the best game in town, despite their flaws.

    I agree that a regulatory authority with a mandatory system is needed, and the alphabets are a necessary evil - I just wish someone could think of what could be done, practically speaking, to force them to be less evil, and to reduce their number (the sheer number of them is a big part of the problem). Until that happens, though, I think The Ring's ratings and champions have a very important function, and I wish that more mainstream journalists could be educated about their importance. In short, I think absolutists on either side are misguided:

    On the one hand, many boxing journalists completely ignore The Ring's champions (including most journalists in the UK), and that's wrong. For example, many journalists claimed the Pacquiao was only fighting Hatton for his IBO title, ignoring the fact that Hatton was the lineal world champion at that time; and also claimed that Froch was Britain's only world champion at that time, despite the fact that The Ring and most other independent ratings rated Froch outside the top 5 at his weight prior to the Taylor fight, and even now don't rate him #1, whereas Hatton was a real world champion.

    On the other hand, many fans and a few journalists, including those who work for The Ring, pretend that The Ring's championship policy can eventually replace the alphabets, and I agree with you that that is also completely wrong.
    Is there a ring policy on inactivity?

    Additionally, Lyle, I think the article comes across as a mean-spirited attack on the credibility of The Ring. Equating the ring rankings to Oscar's claim of 10 titles is striking a blow to the credibility of the ring. Oscar, 31 was a fighter trying to sell tickets. That's what you do when you are the PPV king and that's how he got there. The Ring's entire ranking system is built on its credibility, which Collins defends publicly in open forums. Which is something you conveniently left out of the article. Frankly, I think the entire article, including the headline, comes across as trying to discredit the Ring/golden Boy alliance- which is merely an ownership issue as there is no evidence of any favoritism toward any Golden Boy fighters (something else you didn't mention).

    I think the point that you brought up about the only three ways to lose your title is what you should have started with. Instead you buried it under all of the fluff and claims by The Ring and Oscar. There is a problem in that you cannot lose the championship through inactivity (unless due to injury and your ability and intent to return is clear), and that there is no guideline for defenses. I don't see how they can force mandatories, because that's one of the roots of the alphabet problem, but luckily, Ring champions tend to behave like champions and don't usually follow the easy way out that you mentioned they could in your article.

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  • Dave Rado
    replied
    Originally posted by BattlingNelson View Post
    Ring Magazine does not provide the linear boxing champions. They provide Ring magazine champions.
    With the exception of the Roy Jones anomaly, and of all of the Light Heavyweight anomalies that have resulted from that one, they do try to base their champions on who the lineal champion is, though.

    When a championship becomes vacant, who is going to decide whether a given fight will create a new lineal champion or not? There is no body with the cast iron authority to do so. The Ring may be a flawed arbiter but IMO, it is the best arbiter in town. If you have no arbiter at all, then you effectively dispense with lineal champions completely, because once a championship becomes vacant, it would have to remain vacant forever, by definition. I for one don't want that to happen.

    Most but not all serious boxing analysts accept the criteria used by The Ring, when a lineal championship is vacant: that a new champion can be created either when the top two fighters at that weight square off, or in exceptional circumstances, when the #1 and #3 fighters square off. Most, but not all, accepted The Ring's justification for considering the Wlad-Chagaev fight to meet the "exceptional circumstances" criteria. And most, but not all, accepted Wlad and Chagaev's ratings at #1 and #3.

    The thing is, if you don't regard Wlad as the new lineal champion, on the grounds that you don't think The Ring has the right to make that decision, then how can a new lineal Heavyweight champion ever be created?

    No system is perfect, but I think it's fair to say that, with the exception of the Light Heavyweight mess, The Ring's champions deserve respect precisely because they are at least based on principles of linearity - but not as an alternative to the alphabet organisations and their mandatories, but rather as an adjunct to them.

    Wlad says that his Ring belt means far more to him than any of the alphabet titles, and IMO, that's how it should be. I just wish more boxers felt the same way as he does - if they did, we'd have a lot more #1 vs. #2 match-ups than we do, to fill vacant Ring titles.
    Last edited by Dave Rado; 06-30-2009, 12:08 PM.

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  • BattlingNelson
    replied
    Nice to have some critisism of boxings bible. Still it's nothing that we've never heard before. Ring Magazine has never by itself claimed to be the saviour of boxing rankings and the legit coronater of world champions. That distinction is only given to them by the fans and let's face it: Although not perfect Ring Magazine presents a better and non-biased system than any of the alphabet boys brings to the table.

    Boxingscene's own Cliff Rold has also spoken out against Ring Magazine and how the crown their champions especially in regards to linearity.

    Ring Magazine does not provide the linear boxing champions. They provide Ring magazine champions.

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