Why are there so many belts in boxing?

Undisputed Heavyweight Boxing Rankings belts Boxing World Champions

In recent years, boxing journalists, fans, and experts have expressed their frustrations with the sport.

It isn’t over the fights or crossover mixed martial arts fighters cashing in on big paydays with professional boxers that has them feeling frustrated.

The problem is the number of belts being sanctioned by boxing organisations around the globe. Boxing has 17 different weight divisions for men. Due to the five major boxing organisations in the world today, there are five major title belts per weight class.

Yet, research conducted by TotalSportek has found around 6,000 belts in circulation around the world thanks to small-time fight organisations. Boxing fans can get the latest fight odds at MyBookie and never miss a major fight.

Boxing Organisations

There are five major boxing organisations today. Of course, there are minor boxing groups that pop up and close down overnight, but there are four that are recognised as the elite. The World Boxing Association is the oldest and was started in 1962. It has had plenty of controversy surrounding it as in the 1980s bribes and payoffs were uncovered that led to fighters getting preferential treatment. Fight fans can get the Casino.com bonus code for all their boxing betting needs.

A year later, the World Boxing Council began. For twenty years, the two organisations were the top of professional boxing, but in 1983, the International Boxing Federation was founded. Five years on, the World Boxing Organization and International Boxing Organization were formed.

Each fight group ranks fighters and promotes bouts in its own way. In addition, the organisations have contracts with specific television networks, promoters, and buildings. Due to this, using the words “world title fight” in the promotion of a bout has led everyone to realise more money can be made. More interest surrounds fights with the term “world title fight” in the promotion, therefore, each organisation wants its own belt for each weight division.

Which Belt is Most Prestigious?

Boxing is currently in an unregulated era akin to the Wild West. Each organisation has its own set of rules and rankings, and they are very political. Due to this, many fans are unhappy as there is no undisputed champion in each weight class. While the WBC is seen as the most prestigious belt to win by many, others recognise The Ring Magazine title as the elite.

The Ring began awarding its belt in 1922. Due to the lineal title history and the non-partisan rankings, The Ring has been labelled as the most legitimate boxing belt of them all. Due to its history and the professional ranking system it uses, The Ring belt is often seen as the best of the best.

Unfortunately, in 2007, Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Entertainment bought the magazine. Over the last 10 years, many members of the staff have left the company and The Ring’s ranking system has been called into question.

Will We Ever Have a completely Undisputed Champion?

It is doubtful boxing will ever have an undisputed champion. There is just too much political manoeuvring in the sport. In 2013, even Floyd Mayweather stated there are “too many belts” in boxing.

In 2012, the Transnational Boxing Rankings was formed by a group of boxing historians and journalists. The group was sick and tired of the corruption and politics in the world’s boxing groups. The TFR provides an authoritative voice on the sport and gives weekly non-partisan top-10 rankings for each weight class. The organisation hopes to bring clarity to the sport of kings and end the confusion boxing has experienced for decades.

Visit the WBN Champions page here