Most of us agree that organizations like the WBC are a major problem in boxing. However, are more organizations like the WBF part of the solution or merely part of the problem? (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
I know that we all hate the alphabet organization, but there are a couple outside of the big four that are trying to do things a little differently. Just as a reminder, the big four would be the WBC, WBA, WBO, and IBF. Much like Scott, I would have the IBF as the best of a bad situation and the WBC as the worst by far. Some of the biggest problems with these organizations are how they compile the rankings and the ridiculous number of belts in each division (I'm looking at you WBC). While a new organization has little chance of catching on, it is at least interesting to look at their approach.
The World Boxing Federation is a relatively new organization that was formed in 1988 by Larry Carrier, the man who built Bristol Motor Speedway. In a recent interview with Lyle Fitzsimmons, the WBF's marketing director Gianluca DiCaro outlined some of the guiding principles of this organization.
Q: There are dozens of sanctioning bodies out there - aside from the ones considered "major." What is different about the WBF and why should people pay attention?
A: In all honesty, currently there isn't that much difference between any of the world sanctioning organizations, including the World Boxing Federation, as each has been created by people that believe that boxers deserve recognition for their efforts in the ring. I suppose the real difference between the World Boxing Federation and the majority of the others is that you will never see a WBF silver, platinum, diamond or super world champion. It is these misleading and unnecessary titles that cause the biggest problem. What makes an organization decide to have up to four world champions at the same weight other than additional sanctioning fees? I can't think of any.
When I was approached by the WBF, I was skeptical. That is until it was explained that their philosophy was clarity, within their whole organization and especially the titles. For instance, Michael Grant is the WBF heavyweight world champion - the only WBF heavyweight world champion - but if you were to ask people, especially here in the UK, who is the WBA world heavyweight champion, people will say Wladimir Klitschko, as he beat David Haye to lift the title in July last year.
But they are wrong. The WBA elevated the title to super for the Haye-Klitschko bout in order to release the regular title, which Alexander Povetkin beat Ruslan Chagaev to lift in August last year.
Having a rankings system based solely on the BoxRec rankings is my major qualm with this organization. While BoxRec rankings may be useful to determine a fighter's relative position (1-10 vs 30-40), they are not useful in differentiating between fighters in the top positions. I find rankings subjective, so it is fine if you don't use a complicated computer algorithm. As long as the process is logical and transparent, then I have no problem with any particular method.
What do you guys think of this organization? Part of the solution or part of the problem?