Championship & Divisional Rankings: Rules, Regulations & Notes
ProBoxing-Fans.com has always kept top 10 divisional rankings for every weight class, and a top 20 pound for pound list. Now, we have also installed our own divisional champions, in an effort to move as far away from the madness of the sanctioning bodies as possible. [You can read the explanation of that decision here].
On this page, what you’ll find are the specific policies and rules which we will be utilizing to declare our divisional champions.
A few very important notes to get started:
- We aim to be as clear, open and direct as possible. So always feel free to send us a message if you have any questions or comments.
- Our rankings and champions are determined using a combination of man-who-beat-the-man logic, total resume and body of work, quality of recent performances and the comparison of those performances to those of other fighters within the division, and the application of common sense.
- Our mission is to do everything in our power to provide an accurate reflection of the sport, and the best fighters in each and every division. That mission will always come first, and we’ll do our best to leave any biases and other BS at the door.
- We reserve the right to change our rules, consult with others, and generally do everything in our power to achieve that mission.
ProBoxing-Fans.com Championship & Ratings Policies
1. Championship Lineage
There needed to be a lineage in order to create the first class of ProBoxing-Fans.com Champions, which is why we did not start from scratch. In evaluating each division of the sport, many already held clear-cut top dogs who fought their way to championship status above their peers.
In such cases, those fighters were installed as our inaugural champions, and their lineage began. In other divisions, where the contenders had not sorted themselves out, the championship remains vacant until they do so, as defined by the rest of our rules.
2. Championship Successions
A new fighter is immediately declared a division’s champion when he defeats the reigning champion in a fight at that weight class. The classic rule of you have to beat the guy, to be the guy, applies to championship lineage and successions.
This assumes that a) the winner makes weight, b) does not fail any performance-enhancing drug tests, and c) that there are no other extenuating circumstances or controversies.
3. Championship Vacancies
A championship is made vacant when:
- The champion does not defend his title against a top 10 contender within 18 months or does not face a top 10 contender in his division in three successive fights.
- The champion permanently moves to another weight class.
- The champion does not make weight for a championship fight or fails a pre- or post-fight drug test for a performance enhancing drug.
- The champion retires.
4. Declaring a Championship Fight
A fight between two fighters can be raised to championship status when:
- The championship is vacant.
- The #1 and #2 ranked fighter face each other, OR
- Two top contenders, whose combined ranking is no more than six, face one another, i.e., #2 versus #4 (combined ranking = 6) or #1 versus #5 (also 6) both would qualify, but #4 versus #5 (combined ranking = 9) or #3 versus #4 (7) does not.
Declaring a fight as defined above as a championship match (besides a #1 vs. #2 match) also requires evaluating the rest of the division’s activity. For example:
- Let’s imagine a #2 vs. #4 fight, which is on its own a qualifying match. However, #1 is fighting #6 in a deep division. It may be hard to declare the winner of 2-4 a champion in this instance — the division is still in the midst of sorting itself out, as the top fighters are taking on other highly ranked, top fighters. Further, will the winners be fighting each other next, or was one dominant while another struggled?
- If #1 faces #5, a technically qualifying fight, but it’s a match in which he’s a massive favorite due to his own status, and/or a division’s lack of depth, is that really a championship fight? What if he clearly avoided #2 and #3 to schedule the fight?
We should know when something should be regarded as the championship of the division.That means that ultimately, we must use our common sense to determine when a fight is actually a championship…
Additional Notes, Details & Specifications
Rigidity vs. Common Sense
Sometimes common sense is the best rule of all. We’re not going to rigidly stick by “rules” which don’t apply to specific situations. For instance, if a fighter blatantly loses a fight he should have won, should he still be champion of his division? What if there’s a controversial finish or disqualification? What if somebody doesn’t make weight or fails a drug test? What if somebody has been declining while taking on lesser challengers, and avoiding a high-rising fighter coming up in his division? What if a champion was injured, delays a fight, and then can’t make his defense until several months past our typical deadline for a vacancy?
Point being, these are all case by case scenarios, and we’re going to approach each of them individually as necessary. Sometimes, the strictest of rules don’t do anything except prevent you from making the correct judgement call.
Fighters in Multiple Divisions
A fighter may be declared champion in more than one division. The requirements to maintain that dual status are to face at least one top 10 contender in each respective division within no more than 18 months.
Using the Word “Champion”
From now on, when we talk about a fighter or a fight, you may read that one guy or another is a titleholder. This means he has a sanctioning body title, a belt. He is not our champion. You are only called a “champion” if you are regarded as our divisional champion.
In most cases, we will even refrain from referring to Fighter X as the ABC titleholder in his division. In other cases, when knowing this lends clarity to the discussion, we’ll make a note of it.