From WBC to IBO, there are multiple sanctioning bodies for boxing, and for each there are their own champions in different weight classes, in addition to the unified and undisputed titleholders.
There is a prevalent notion in the boxing contingent that the sport has too many belts, and the biggest icon in the sport to put forward this opinion was none other than Floyd Mayweather himself.
“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,” the undefeated fifteen times world champion said back in October last year.
However, former WBA heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev possesses a counter thought and believes there is no reason to reduce the number of straps the sport currently has.
Titles are the showbusiness of boxing: Nikolai Valuev
In an exclusive interview with World Boxing News, the Russian boxer-turned-politician asserted that the idea of reducing straps will be the opposite of what is profitable, and multiple belts is just a representation of how the sport evolved over the years.
“No sanctioning body will move to reduce the number of belts,” Valuev said in the interview, “it is pointless to do this. “World boxing will lose money and event opportunities on this. The existing number of titles is a consequence of the natural course of history.”
The 47-year-old, who hails from Leningrad and retired from boxing with a 50-2-1 record, also cited MMA as an example to stand his point.
“For example, in mixed martial arts, there are also a large number of belts,” Valuev went on, “otherwise, the sport will become less spectacular and interesting. There will be less intrigue. Titles are the showbusiness of the sport.”
Interestingly, Valuev’s opinions draws similarity to his former fellow heavyweight and Mike Tyson’s own words back in December, where the legendary boxer also insisted on the same idea behind multiple belts- money.
“There’s never enough belts you know?” Tyson said at that time regarding Mayweather’s statement, “to say there’s one champion and there are 10 guys, how long will it take for the champion to fight the 10 guys? Plus they gotta go through each other … It’s good to have [multiple] champions because then everybody can get paid.”