‘Belts now are like a fighter winning an amateur trophy… everybody is a champion’: Floyd Mayweather goes on incredible rant about the worrying state of boxing and admits he and other promoters are partly to blame for there being too many champions
- Floyd Mayweather is frustrated at the lack of meaning attached to belts
- With so many sanctioning bodies, the worth attached to each title is reduced
- Retired American admits his promotional company share some of the blame
Floyd Mayweather has hit out at the abundance of belts in boxing and the state of the sport, admitting his promotional company share a portion of the blame.
The retired American voiced his frustration in a rant about how the impact of a title has been diluted with so many sanctioning bodies.
There are too many champions, declared Mayweather, who runs Mayweather Promotions, and he called for a huge clean up of the sport.
Floyd Mayweather went on a rant about the concerning state that boxing is in at the moment
The 43-year-old spoke to Showtime Boxing ahead of Gervonta Davis’ clash with Leo Santa Cruz, saying: ‘I don’t wanna knock no fighter, but I’m tired of seeing fighters after the fight, everybody has got a championship belt now.
‘Now boxing, all these belts are like trophies. The WBC, the WBA, the IBF and the WBO, y’all have to clean this s*** 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 s***, this don’t look good. When you look on TV now, everybody’s a champion. You see all these fighters posing with a belt.’
He went on: ‘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’s too many champions in the sport of boxing right now.
The retired American thinks the value of a belt has been undermined in the sport
With so many sanctioning bodies, fees paid by fighters such as Teofimo Lopez can rack up
‘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.’
Sanctioning bodies usually take three per cent of a purse from the champion and challenger and the financial interest is at the heart of the problem.
Promoters, sanctioning bodies and fighters are always likely to prefer belts being on the line to ramp up the spectacle of a fight, despite the long term damage it does to the image of the sport.
Mayweather was speaking ahead of Gervonta Davis’ (right) fight with Leo Santa Cruz
Mayweather went on to address this point: ‘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.’
If there are four titles on the line for a fight, that would mean around 12 per cent of a purse could go to the sanctioning body, a significant amount.
One stat that illustrates the problem of mass champions is that the WBA recognises three or more champions in 12 of 17 weight divisions in the sport.
He accepted partial responsibility for the problem lies with Mayweather Promotions
When Davis, who is represented by Mayweather, fights Santa Cruz, the WBA 135-pound title is on the line even though neither man is allowed to tip the scales for that weight limit next weekend.
Calling for change and exacting it are two very different propositions, even with Mayweather’s influence.
There is no overarching authority that can order each sanctioning body to agree to terms and provide clarity for spectators.
Boxing is also challenged by the rise of MMA where the primary promotion, the UFC, routinely pits the best against the best for one championship in one weight division.