Trainer, commentator and fight analyst Teddy Atlas has slammed boxing’s four sanctioning bodies for overpopulating the sport with belts and, as a result, lessening the value of becoming a world champion.
Today it has been confirmed that Gervonta Davis has been upgraded from WBA (Regular) Champion to the sole WBA Lightweight World Champion, with the WBA (Super) Title being scrapped in the 135lb division.
Despite what can only be seen as a positive move from the WBA, the announcement prompted a rant from Atlas on his YouTube Channel, where he called for a commission to oversee the sport, as is done in the UFC, to prevent boxing becoming even more saturated with relatively meaningless belts.
“The people out there in-the-know, in the business, the real fans, they call it [WBA Regular] an e-mail title, I mean it is absurd.”
“It is one of the reasons why I am trying to get a national commission, besides everything else that they would deal with, including a pension for the fighters and getting honest refs, honest judges, getting rid of all of the corruption. Besides that, it would get rid of this alphabet nonsense, these rating organisations that really have too much power, all they do it collect sanctioning fees, favour certain fighters and do business with certain managers.”
“They diminish the credibility of the sport, they diminish the importance of belts, they don’t mean anything! All that matters is that the public knows who the best fighter is, that is all I care about, these belts are out of control, there is a belt for everything!”
Fans will be hoping that this move is only the latest step in the WBA’s move to abolish their current Regular and Super title structure, in favour of a more traditional shape, where they have one champion per division.
As for Davis, they will be hoping that ‘Tank’ keeps ahold of the belt and faces his fellow high-profile lightweight rivals during 2024.