Andre Ward blasts meaningless belts, ‘they’re not real gold or diamonds’

Andre Ward criticized sanctioning belts and said boxing needs to take a stand over the amount of money they take from fighters.

The former pound-for-pound king spoke to presenter Kate Abdo on ‘The Good Fight’ to state that something needs to happen about the four organizations.

The WBC, WBA, IBF, and WBO all take a cut of the champion’s pay. Ward believes this should not be the case.

“I don’t like them. Maybe I’m ignorant of the finer details. But I need somebody to help me understand what the sanctioning bodies do.

“How do they justify a percentage of your gross pay? Three percent, to be exact. Plus, multiple belts don’t stay at three percent, and it goes up to three percent per belt.

“Some will say, ‘They supervise the fight. They send their officials.’ They have commissions for that. For example, they’ll have a WBO official sitting ringside with a WBO patch if there is a WBO belt.

“No disrespect, but we don’t need that. That’s going to cost me three percent.

“I don’t need that official presiding over it. We have a whole commission for that. That’s their job.”

ANDRE WARD – NOT REAL BELTS

In continuing, Ward outlined that all four recognized straps don’t mean anything in the sport. He says they aren’t precious metals, which is disheartening.

“I just think there needs to be an overhaul,” Ward added. “The structure as a whole, I disagree with it. I wouldn’t say I like it.

“I think there need to be fewer belts. It’s interesting how you’re young. You just want to get that strap. ‘I just want to be known as a champion. I want to have it physically.’

“But that belt’s not real. Those aren’t real diamonds. It’s not real gold. Sometimes they’ll do a big press conference where they present you with the belt in an official way.

“A lot of times, though, you’ll just get a box at your front door. The belt is wrapped in bubble wrap. It’s just dropped off.”

COLLECTING DUST

He concluded: “I got all the belts in my office, just collecting dust right now. I have them on display for television. But they’re just gathering dust in reality.

“I start to do the math… I get sick. Maybe I’m missing something.

“If they can show me what they bring to the table and justify that, I will come back on this same show and say, ‘I apologize. I didn’t know this.’

“I’ve been around boxing a long time and have yet to fully understand what they do to justify it.”

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