Floyd Mayweather took pride in showing off all his world championships over the years, but the pound-for-pound king longed for less.
“Money” always hoped the boxing-sanctioning bodies would unite and unify some of the belts for the sport’s good.
It never happened. Now there are more straps than ever as new boxing fans struggle to read which ones are which.
When he ruled the world as the number one in boxing and held titles in two weight divisions simultaneously, Mayweather aired his grievances.
Floyd Mayweather on title belts
“It’s a lot easier now to fight [as] boxing is tainted. It’s watered down,” lamented Mayweather. “I feel like there are too many belts. It’s too many champions.
“As I said before, it’s so crazy how I beat Miguel Cotto for the WBA junior-middleweight title, right? How did Austin Trout beat Cotto for the WBA championship, and how is Canelo the WBA champ?
“Like I said before, these are things I don’t understand what’s going on with the sport. We should have one belt, and that’s it.
“I think the sport is real, real tainted now. It’s not like it was before, where you got guys that had to work their way from the bottom to the top.
“When I was fighting, I wanted to fight Oscar De La Hoya way back when, but I couldn’t get the fight. I couldn’t get the fight until I was on my own. That’s until I got my own company.
“I wanted to fight Miguel Cotto when he was undefeated [but] I couldn’t get that fight [either].”
Too many champions
Six years later, Mayweather reiterated his call for one champion. He said: “There are too many champions in the sport of boxing right now.
“Too many champions. It’s no such thing as a super champion, not at all. And I’m not taking anything away from no fighter. It’s too many belts.
“And the reason why it’s too [many], let me tell people what’s going on in the sport of boxing, why there are so many different titles and so many different belts.
“People don’t know you have to pay. For every belt you win, there’s a sanctioning fee. If a fighter has just the regular belt, he has to pay a sanctioning fee.
“If a fighter is a super champion, he has to pay a sanctioning fee. This is not good for the sport of boxing.
“Every fighter is a champion now. Belts now is like a fighter winning an amateur trophy.
“We gotta clean this sport of boxing up. This doesn’t look good.”
Nine years after WBA President Gilberto Mendoza promised WBN there would be one champion per division. There are still half of their own weight classes with more than one champion.
Unless something is done soon, the situation will only worsen.