After the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight, I read about five thousand comments throughout the internet proclaiming that boxing is dead. These kinds of statements make me sad. I have never mentioned my love of boxing on this site. Back when I was a kid, I would watch Mike Tyson fights with my Uncle Shawn. As time went on, I started to enjoy watching the other weight classes as well.
Over the years though, heavyweight boxing has went downhill and without popular heavyweights, the sport has troubles. You see, I feel like when there is a great heavyweight champion, people want to watch the fights and then they see the under card fights with the lighter weight classes and they get an appreciation for a different style. Back in the olden days, everyone knew the heavyweight champion. How can we get back to those days? Well do not fear, I think I have the solution.
1. Get Rid of the Russians
Wladimir Klitschko and his brother, while they are great boxers, have been pretty bad for the sport. And yes, I know they are Ukranian. Understandably, they will not fight each other, which would probably be interesting. Look, he seems like a good guy and all, but he is just not all that interesting.
Right now there are four major sanctioning bodies, like the WBC, WBA, WBO, and IBF. That is entirely too many. There needs to be one and therefore one ranking system. If you are the heavyweight champion of the world, that should just mean you and not a few other people too.
3. Fight System
There needs to be a method to the madness. If you are the champion then the only person you should be able to fight is the number one contender. Obviously there needs to be some thought put into a system that would work, but just off the top of my head here is something that could work:
Say for example you are the seventh ranked boxer. You can fight the sixth ranked guy, if you beat him, then you move up. Unfortunately there is a slight problem, which if you think about it you will probably quickly realize. Wouldn’t number six be fighting five instead? I guess you would have to go top-down. The champion fights number one, if the champion defends his title, then number one would have to fight number two. If number one wins, then he is allowed a second chance to fight the champion, if he loses, then number two becomes the new number one and he would be eligible to fight the champion. The new number two could only fight number three, if he wins then he stays at number two and now he would eligible to fight the loser of the champion fight against either the old number one or a new number one. Make sense?
4. A Villain
We need a bad guy in boxing. Someone who is the champion and no one likes. I do not mean someone like Floyd Mayweather, who people hate because he likes domestic assault. I mean someone who is polarizing. A fighter who is the champion and he loves to brag about it. Loves to point out how great he is and how no one can beat him. Cocky and arrogant, maybe young people like him and the older generation despise him.
5. A Hero is Born
And this where we save heavyweight boxing and then by extension all of boxing. You need a young boxer, someone to rise up the ranks and just destroy all of his opponents. He needs to be a good guy, someone people really love. Everyone will want him to defeat the champion (because he is such a villain). It would be even better if the rising star has a great story, something like how he rose from the mean streets of Baltimore and poverty in order to become the heavyweight champion. You know, how he uses his money to fix the old neighborhood and bought his parents a new house, etc. Those stories are always great.
This is how we save boxing. We just need to get started, who is with me?