Two of the greatest boxers of all time have a difference of opinions on the championship picture in the sweet science.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. recently blasted boxing officials, and partly himself, saying that the sport has way too many champions and that the convoluted title picture they’ve created and cultivated has further caused confusion for fans, who ultimately can’t determine which fighters are the sport’s crème de la crème.

Mike Tyson, the winner of the WBC’s recently created “Frontline Battle Belt” on November 28th after fighting to a draw against Roy Jones Jr., thinks having multiple champions in every division isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“Boxing never has too many belts because every time it’s a championship fight, it’s more money for the fighter,” Tyson told

“There’s never enough belts you know? To say there’s one champion and there are 10 guys, how long will it take for the champion to fight the 10 guys? Plus they gotta go through each other … It’s good to have [multiple] champions because then everybody can get paid … Everybody makes money. That’s what this business is about. Money.”

Tyson was the youngest heavyweight champion of all time when he captured the WBC crown in 1986. By the following year, he’d also bagged the IBF and WBA titles en route to making hundreds of millions of dollars.

The motto of “the more the merrier” rings true for Tyson regarding belts, but not for Mayweather.

The fighter of the decade went on a long-winded diatribe during the media week of Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz fight in October about the matter, saying:

“I wanna say this right now about the sport of boxing, and I want everybody at home to hear me when I say this — a belt, I’m tired and [when] I’m at home – and this goes for any company. I don’t care if it’s Top Rank, if it’s Golden Boy [Promotions], if it’s Mayweather Promotions, if it’s PBC — there are too many champions in the sport of boxing right now,” said Mayweather Jr. “Too many champions. It’s not a such thing as a super champion, not at all. And I’m not taking nothing away from no fighter. It’s too many belts.

“And the reason why it’s too [many belts], let me tell people what’s going on in the sport of boxing, why there’s so many different titles and so many different belts. People don’t know you have to pay, for every belt that you win, there’s a sanctioning fee. So now, if a fighter wins an interim belt, he has to pay a sanctioning fee. If a fighter has just the regular belt, he has to pay a sanctioning fee. Then, if a fighter is a super champion, then he has to pay a sanctioning fee. This is not good for the sport of boxing. Now, when a fighter fights, every fighter is a champion now. Belts now is like a fighter winning an amateur trophy. Everybody is a champion. Everybody have a belt.

“I don’t wanna knock no fighter, but I’m tired of seeing fighters after the fight, everybody got a championship belt now. Now boxing, all these belts is like trophies. The WBC, the WBA, the IBF and the WBO, y’all have to clean this sh-t up. Y’all have to clean this up. This is bad for boxing. Ain’t a such thing as no super champion. You guys are just taking extra money from all these fighters, getting extra money from sanctioning fees. And this goes for my company as well. We gotta clean this sport of boxing up. This sh-t, this don’t look good. When you look on TV now, everybody’s a champion. You see all these fighters posing with a belt.”

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at] or on