We live in an era where the best are under no obligation to fight one another. An amalgam of alphabet “world” titles infiltrate each and every one of boxing’s sixteen weight divisions, corrupting the very meaning of a “world” title and diluting the worth of champion status. Here at ProBoxing-Fans.com we abide by the rules of no sanctioning body and have our own divisional champions. Still, just in case of confusion here are four helpful signs that a fighter being touted as a “world champion” is anything but.
[Pictured: Wladmir Klitschko touts alphabet hardware, but is also the legitimate heavyweight world champion].
1 – The fans don’t watch you
Even the most casual of boxing fans will probably be interested in you if you have some sort of belt. It is a poor indictment of how little that belt means if those fans don’t bother watching you. Boxing has a clear niche of supporters, and the chance to see top level action either on television or live is an opportunity not to be missed. Thus, if you’re not drawing people to the gate in spite of your owning a “world” title, it’s more than likely you just aren’t the main man at your weight.
2 – Your rivals don’t know you
Is there anything more embarrassing than watching an alphabet world titleholder call out the legitimate number one fighter in their weight class, only to be met with puzzled looks and/or completely ignored? This is proof positive that the modern alphabet belt means little in the grand scheme of things. In previous boxing eras, the titleholder would be scrutinized closely by his rivals as they scanned for the chance of a shot at the world championship. If you own an alphabet world belt and your words fall on deaf ears, you aren’t the legitimate number one in your weight class.
3 – Your promoter keeps you under wraps
Winning a title should only lead to an increase in confidence, not only in yourself, but also those around you. A fighter’s promoter should have the belief to back their man to the hilt, especially when said fighter owns “champion” status. Should the promoter strive to keep a fighter under wraps, sheltering them from their fellow beltholders, there is a degree of suspicion as to why that would be. The most likely reason? The promoter knows that their fighter is not a true champion.
4 – You’re ranked anything but first
Fans and pundits should be able to come to a conclusion as to who the best fighter is in a given weight class and, if in doubt, there is a lineal title heritage that can be followed. Following the lineal title and whose hands it has passed through during the course of boxing history will lead you to find out who the true number one is today. This means that, in spite of all the confusion and the multiple alphabet world titles available it is still possible to uncover who the official number one fighter in the world is in any given weight division. If a website or organization with neutrality and no linkage to those alphabet belt bodies ranks you as anything other than first, you aren’t the genuine champion.