David Kelly: All that glitters is not gold in the world of boxing
The late 1990s for boxing were great in so many ways — Nigel Benn v Chris Eubank, the rise and rise of Roy Jones, Felix Trinidad and Oscar De La Hoya to name a few.
But allied to that was the proliferation of titles that left the ordinary boxing fan bewildered. As if the WBA, WBC and IBF — still the big three — was not enough we then had the creation of the WBO, IBO, WBF, IBA, IBC and the WBU. Only the WBO has really survived as a true force in boxing.
All those baubles were used to sell fights to television but to call them world titles was often an insult to the intelligence of the public.
Credit to Sky Television. A couple of years back they took a hard line and told British promoters that only genuine World titles along with the traditional British, Commonwealth and European titles would be allowed to headline their events.
Martin Rogan deserves credit for working to get himself back into the ring after almost a year out but in terms of the World scene the WBU belt is lightly regarded with the main heavyweight belts held by Wladimir (IBF/WBO) and Vitali Klitschko (WBC) and newly crowned WBA champion Alexander Povetkin.
It’s also worth pointing out that the WBA title has been diluted with Wladimir Klitschko, who defeated David Haye, elevated to a ‘WBA Super champion’ which allowed Povetkin to win the WBA title.
So, there are still some strange decisions being made by the big boys but largely the true champions are clear for all to see — and they have the world class records to prove it.