Boxing Rankings Have Become Hard To Stomach

Boxing Rankings Have Become Hard To Stomach

August 1, 2022

Boxing Rankings Have Become Hard To Stomach
By: Bill Calogero

There used to be a time when a top-ten ranking really meant something. Back in the days when we had only one world and only one World Champion, to be rated at number ten in any of the eight original weight classes was great for the fighter and the fan. It meant something! If you were a Heavyweight and you were ranked at number ten, you got respect. People knew your name. It was an achievement to be a top ten fighter. Being a top-ten fighter meant you could get a shot at being a Champion. A Champion that was the only person in a weight class who WAS a Champion. There were only eight World Champions at a time. AND, there were way more fighters competing for that title! Stop and think about that. Eight weight classes. Eight World Champions.

Times have changed. Today we have eighteen weight classes. We have FOUR major sanctioning bodies and we have a fraction of the fighters. It gets worse. Of the four major sanctioning bodies, most have at least two champions in each weight class. Whether they call it a Super Champion, or a regular Champion, or Gold, Silver, upcoming, champion in recess, or whatever Champion, they have multiple champions in eighteen weight classes.

As far as I know, we still only have one world, but I guess even that could be debated depending on what side you are on politically, but now we have potentially at least thirty-six World Champions and that’s assuming we are only counting two per weight class. THIRTY SIX World Champions. LESS fighters competing. Come on, what does that mean? YOU KNOW what it means. You know you do. It means that the caliber of the Champions is at an all-time low. Don’t get me wrong here. There are some great fighters and of course Champions out there today, but thirty-six?

No wait…there’s more! When there were eight weight classes and eight World Champions it was cut and dry who the number five ranked contender was in a specific weight class. Today, with the four-headed sanctioning body monster we have today, there are potentially FORTY different top ten fighters in each division. Do the math. Four sanctioning bodies’ times ten top-ten fighters equals forty. Can that get worse? YES because there are sixteen weight classes, so we can potentially have six hundred and forty ranked fighters!!!

OF COURSE some of the sanctioning bodies have the same fighters ranked but the ranking number are all over the place. Is there value in being ranked today? The answer unfortunately is yes. The reason is because if you have a ranking, no matter how many other fighters that are in your weight class with the same ranking, promoters and networks will use that. Why? Because they have bamboozled the boxing fan into believing that the fighter is a quality fighter if they are ranked even though there could be thirty or more other fighters in the same weight class with the same ranking with one of the sanctioning bodies. It’s the same with the champions. Promoters and the Networks feel they can sell a fight if there’s a World Title on the line. It doesn’t matter who has it, or how good the fighter is as long as there’s a title involved, the boxing fan will watch it. Personally, in my opinion this is the biggest problem with boxing today. It goes hand in hand with the 0.

There are plenty of good fighters out there that have a loss or two, but because if it, they may never get the shot. Promoters don’t want to risk that so what they do is feed their fighters a steady diet of winnable fights to preserve the 0. This may help them with the networks and sanctioning bodies but I will tell you this; it doesn’t help the fighter. Why you ask? Because today it’s easier to win a title than it is to hold onto it. If a fighter fought progressively harder opposition they would have the opportunity to improve. We don’t get to see that today until after they lose their title. Then it becomes the marketing of the comeback. It’s the business of boxing, like it or not. As long as fans are willing to buy a ticket, or an event, this is how it will be.

This past Saturday night we saw Danny Garcia fight a beautiful fight against Jose Benavidez Jr. after a nineteen month layoff to win his first fight ever in the Jr. Middleweight division. I’m a fan of Danny’s and I thought he looked sharp and was happy for him. During my post fight show I mentioned that I felt that he should fight another Jr. Middleweight right away but he should not focus on a top-ten fighter. EVEN with all the top ten fighters out there, in my opinion he should fight another legit Jr., Middleweight before he steps in the ring with a real top-five opponent. He still needs to adjust to the weight class.

HOWEVER, being out of the ring for nineteen months, coming off a loss in the welterweight division, he was STILL ranked at number five in the Jr. Middleweight division by the WBC. If this doesn’t back up what I am saying here, nothing will.

I took the four major-sanctioning bodies rankings for the Heavyweight division. Like I said earlier, they were all over the place. Even ESPN’s rankings for the Heavyweights were a little off in my opinion as were BoxRec’s, who bases their ranking (supposedly) on the guy who beat the guy and who that guy beat system that they somehow feed into a computer and spit out their top fifty.

I looked at all of them. Then I looked at the fighters, who they fought, who THEY fought, when they fought them and when they fought last. I will be going over the results as well as my overall thoughts of the Heavyweight division and my top ten during my next show, which is schedule to be broadcast live on Wednesday at 5:30 pm EST on and on
My thoughts on the Heavyweight division will be available for replay anytime after that at the same locations as well as our podcast.

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