Useless Trinkets
By Julian Kasdin (October 27, 2005)  
Photo ©
This Saturday, on HBO Latino, eight fighters from Mexico and Thailand will compete for boxing’s newest waste of money, the ‘Boxing World Cup’ created by our friends at the WBO. This, unlike the Ring Title, is an unwelcome entrant to boxing’s title game, and a clear waster of a lot of money. Comprised of 15,000 stones and fifteen pounds of 18 karat gold, I am sure this money could have been better spent somewhere else, like a pension fund for retired boxers.

As far as I am concerned all the titles, major or otherwise, excluding the Ring, are useless. They are controlled by promoters, usually the one with the big hair in this part of the world, and are beyond parochial. If you don’t believe me about them being parochial, tell me why title fights are very rarely fought outside the Western hemisphere, and very rarely do fighters on the other side of the Atlantic or Pacific get shots. Thai and Japanese fighters, despite their deep talent in lighter weight classes, are underrepresented when compared to their Mexican compatriots. This is also true of European fighters, who are just as good as American fighters in the upper weight classes, they too are underrepresented. Do not let the Klitschkos, Hatton, Kessler or Erdei fool you, these men represent a fraction of the much larger boxing industry in Europe.

Though the trend of being centered on the Americas is beginning to change – after all there is more money to be made overseas – this is far from the greatest transgression on the part of ‘sanctioning’ bodies. It is my firm belief that the total disrespect these organizations have for fighters, their fees, constituting three percent of the purse for each title, and the games played by promoters that results in titles being stripped for no reason from fighters that earned them is by far the greatest ill associated with the perpetual cesspools that are the sanctioning bodies.

That brings us back to this weekend, and the ‘Boxing World Cup’. Boxing, even though it has nationalist overtones, is not a competition between countries; it is a competition between individuals. This new trinket, which is by far the sport’s most expensive, is an incredible waste of money if I have ever seen one. As I said earlier, the money spent on this could easily have gone to the fighters, the people that deserve it the most, and the people these bodies continue to cheat. The fights this weekend on HBO Latino are solid enough, and I encourage anyone with access to said network to watch them, but HBO and Golden Boy should be ashamed of themselves if they promote this as a fight for the ‘Boxing World Cup’. I hope fans and writers alike ignore this very expensive piece of trash, just as they are beginning to ignore the plethora of trinkets that litter our sport.
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