Sanctioning bodies turning boxing into a joke but trade mag standing up to them

Boxing is more about the ABCs than the one, two, threes these days.

But Boxing News, the publication of record for the sport, is taking a stand against the sanctioning bodies who are making the sport a laughing stock.

Fair play to them and it is badly needed someone said something.

Currently there are six people at heavyweight who have a version of a world title.

At super-featherweight there are nine. Nine in one division.

To their credit, not all nine will claim to be world champion but more than four do.

There is the WBA, IBF, WBO and WBC when it comes to world titles in each weight class of the sport.

That's more than enough as it is but then each body likes to bring out different versions so we have interim, gold, super, regular, diamond, and even franchise champions.

Keeping up? No, us neither.

Scotland's Josh Taylor is currently the only undisputed champion across all divisions in boxing.

That means he is the only one who has the four proper world titles at light-welterweight and is without doubt the king at 10st.

Teofimo Lopez has a claim to that at lightweight but we would need an eight-page supplement to explain why some say he doesn't.

Over in the US this weekend, Jermell Charlo takes on Brian Castano to unify all four belts in the light-middleweight division in a fascinating contest.

But these undisputed fights are too few and far between. They don't happen regularly enough.

And when they do, the sanctioning bodies make more belts to confuse matters further.

Take Gervonta Davis who recently fought for the WBA light-welterweight title.

But I thought Taylor was undisputed light-welterweight champion I hear you say? Well, yes he is but the Scot holds the 'super' version of the title.

You could set up a university degree on the subject. Some might say it would be a degree in bulls***.

Davis is one of the biggest growing stars in the sport so didn't need some nonsense bauble attached to his fight. Yet his promoters still pushed for it.

Not sure why, it just costs money. Of course, these sanctioning bodies want cheques for their belts to be on the line.

Boxing News, a 112-year-old trade magazine, is standing up to those sanctioning bodies by now refusing to call belt holders 'world champions' unless they beat the best in the division and now have an independent ranking system in place.

Let's see if it will make the greedy bodies take any notice of what damage they're doing to the sport and change their ways.

For now, we will continue to refer to those who win the proper version of each sanctioning body's title a world champion.

It's too confusing not to for our audience but boxing must rid itself of all these titles to ensure casual supporters of the sport can get a grasp on who is actually the best.

Nobody is trying to downplay achievements, but instead highlight them further when they push to be the best.

Nor do we want to bin the belts. Not the four major ones, at least.

Of course, the dream scenario is just one world champion per division but that ship may have sailed.

The best we can hope for is that the sanctioning bodies at least put their fringe titles in the bin.

Hopefully Boxing News' stance can help put pressure on them but other stakeholders in boxing also need to if they are to change.

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