Boxing has seen some intriguing match-ups recently, but none has generated as much discussion as the bout between Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou. Errol Spence had some insightful perspectives. Spence, speaking to Fight Hype:
“I mean, it’s the individual thing, definitely going to be enticing for their respective fan bases,” Spence said, reflecting on the fight announcement. He compared this to the fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor, widely regarded as a money play.
Spence said, “I feel like that’s more of a money play than anything. Kudos to them for getting the fight done.” The implication here seems clear – such fights might not necessarily uplift the sport, but they definitely fatten the participants’ wallets. But who’s to argue with a business model that works?
The Role of Sanctioning Bodies
However, Spence wasn’t entirely focused on the Fury-Ngannou fight alone. He had a lot to say about the role of sanctioning bodies in boxing.
“The people who make a lot of the rules sanction it, the WBC, they’re fighting each other, so… hey,” he mused. The underlying question here is whether these bodies are really promoting the sport’s best interests or merely enabling high-profile, high-revenue fights.
As the conversation deepened, the question of boxing’s organization and structure came up. Currently, the sport has multiple sanctioning bodies, leading to some perplexity and perhaps a dilution of the sport’s standards.
The topic of one national, federally regulated sanctioned body instead of having maybe four sanctioned bodies was discussed. Spence’s response?
“It’s not about it being three or four sanction bodies, it’s more about all these junior titles, secondary belts, interim belts, and people paying fees on it too. It’s too many belts in boxing, watering down the people’s understanding of the sport.”
The Inflation of Boxing Titles
In essence, Spence argued that the overabundance of titles was diluting the prestige of being a champion. It also made the sport confusing for fans, detracting from the appreciation of the hard work and skill that goes into boxing.
“If everybody gets a title for merely picking the right promoter, then where’s the prestige? Where’s the recognition for those who work hard, fight the best competition, and earn their titles?” Spence expressed concern.
It’s a valid question. When does the drive for profits and publicity start to undermine the integrity of the sport?