Thursday, January 3, 2008

Looking to FIFA as a Role Model

What, you might ask, does FIFA have to do with boxing? Well, it would be the inspiration for an International Boxing Commission (IBC) to supervise all aspects of the sport. Many people talk about boxing and how it needs a National Boxing Commission to standardize the many governing bodies and the many state athletic commissions’ rules. The problem is, boxing is practiced all over the world. What good would it do to have a national commission where international fighters were left out? That’s where FIFA comes in.

If an IBC were to be implemented, boxers would have to join their local chapter (there could be one per country) and pay dues (to be fair, these should be a percentage of your winnings).

Here are some of the benefits of an IBC:

  1. Medical and Pension Benefits: as it stands right now, boxers must pay for their own medical expenses and there is no pension fund. Dues would be used to pay for the welfare and retirement of professional fighters all over the world.
  2. Fair World Rankings: the IBC would rank fighters based on merit, activity level, strength of opponents (i.e. their ranks), etc. There would be one list, rather than the slew of lists now available from all the alphabet organizations. Speaking of alphabet organizations, there would also be…
  3. One Champion per Division: there is no need for multiple belts that do nothing but confuse the public. Boxing needs one true, recognized champion per division. Also, there should be a requirement to defend a championship a minimum of twice a year (no exceptions, even for injuries), against the highest available challenger. Any additional fights would be optional defenses. Any fighter who loses his belt due to inactivity (for whatever reason) would be allowed to fight for his championship upon return.
  4. Better Matchmaking: some of the best fights out there aren’t being made because promoters don’t get along, fighters not wanting to fight another promoter’s fighter, or fighters that just don’t like each other. In the IBC, you fight the person you are matched up against or you lose your ranking.
  5. Fair money distribution: all earnings would be fairly distributed by percentage. Every party involved in the process would receive a percentage, based on their jobs. As an example, the distribution table could go something like this (for each party involved):
    • Boxer: 55%
    • Promoter: 25%
    • Boxer’s staff (trainer, manager, etc): 15%
    • IBC: 5%

Obviously, this is a very high-level view of the benefits of an IBC. I’m sure there are many other benefits, as well as some cons, especially for the promoters. In the end, I think this would be in the best interest of the fighters. Commissions work in other sports, why not boxing?

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