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The Unnecessity of Being Undisputed (Third and Last Part)


PhilBoxing.com



Naoya Inoue (C) finishes off Paul Butler.
The ascendance of the alphabet soup organization now better known as the four major boxing sanctioning bodies, WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO has given rise to the concepts of unified and undisputed world champions.

But really, what is the use of winning two, three or all world championships in one division when from the very start, these world titles are not of the same prestige or worth in the eyes of the boxing stakeholders, especially the boxing fans?

There's a truth to the saying that the whole is larger than the sum of its parts.

Winning all four major world championships may make a fighter undisputed. But NOT THE world champion like when there was only the NBA/WBA or at most, the WBA and WBC.

The simple explanation is that when the powers that be sliced the apple that is boxing, they did not sliced it equally into four.

Hence in the earlier days, to somehow achieve parity with others, the IBF for instance adopted a few of the world champions of WBC like Larry Holmes and Aaron Pryor as their own. But generally in other divisions they held tournaments to establish champions no matter how poor or inferior they may be comparatively with few exceptions.

The WBO was even more pathetic, content on having obscure world titlists until they had the fortunes of stumbling into then newbies Oscar de la Hoya, Prince Naseem Hamed and the Klitschko brothers but who later all fought for the more legitimate titles of other organizations to gain global recognition.

Thus, by and large, the alphabet soup, only diluted the quality of boxing, boxers and boxing champions to these days. What's the need and use of becoming the undisputed king of a diluted field of so called world class fighters?

By way of comparison, such never happened in amateur boxing, because while there are world amateur boxing championship tournaments and champions, they are not accepted as the REAL DEAL as the Olympic championship and Olympic gold medal winners.

I am not saying though that fighting for the undisputed championship is entirely unnecessary as in the case of Usyk-Fury where Fury held the prestigious WBC crown, the Crawford-Spence in which both champions were unbeaten.

A case in point: the Inoue vs. Butler fight was unnecessary. The real WBO champion, Johnriel Casimero, was stripped by the WBO following the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) disallowing him to appear at the weigh-in of his supposed defense against Butler. Then, the WBO crown was virtually given to Butler by assigning Jonas Sultan to fight him for the vacant title.

After beating Nonito Donaire in their second unification, Inoue had already sealed his supremacy of the 118 lbs class. He could have gone straight to 122 lbs. But his handlers wanted a unification with Butler which proved to be more of an execution.

Inoue became undisputed world bantamweight champion but who did he beat that was worthy other than Donaire?

There is no gainsaying the need for Inoue to become undisputed at junior featherweight by beating Stephen Fulton and Marlon Tapales for all the belts.

But after that, what?

Josh Taylor chased after and became undisputed world junior welterweight champion but later found himself left with just one of his four titles as some alphabet soup withdrew their recognition. He even lost the remaining one to Teofimo Lopez.

Even Crawford is left with three after the IBF stripped him of its title.

What then is the use and need to win all four major belts only to see one or some stripped for some inane reasons?

Just gets to show that not all undisputed champions are created equal.

Therefore, we can conclude the unnecessity of becoming undisputed.

As Manny Pacquiao and Bob Arum before themselves correctly concluded in their heydays.

The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at teddyreynoso@yahoo.com and by phone 09215309477.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.


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