BARRY McGUIGAN is calling for boxing to clear up its act with regards to spurious world titles and making the best fights.
There are currently more fighters who claim to hold a ‘world’ title than ever before, with organisations like the WBA creating several ‘interim’ and ‘regular’ champions in numerous weight divisions.
McGuigan, a former WBA (legitimate) world featherweight champion, now mentors one of the finest fighters in the world – Carl Frampton – and wants promoters to focus more on making big fights.
“There are so many world title fights, but we need a combination of styles that will make a great fight and make people say ‘wow’,” he told Boxing News.
“We need to have more agreement between promoters, we need them to have more flexibility and for them to say ‘look, this is a great fight, for the sake of the sport let it go on Sky, or ITV, or whatever.’ Stop being dogmatic and start thinking about the sport. Obviously the money has to add up but that is ultimately something we need to get over, maybe it’s something we can never get past.”
The promotional company McGuigan established with his sons Jake and Blane, Cyclone Promotions, has so far practiced what Barry is preaching, having maneuvered Frampton into two blockbuster fights this year against Scott Quigg and Leo Santa Cruz, both of which he won.
Top super-lightweight prospect Josh Taylor, promoted by Cyclone, will vie for the Commonwealth title in just his seventh pro fight next week against Dave Ryan in a terrific domestic clash.
McGuigan admits he doesn’t know the ins and outs of promotions, but feels the proliferation of titles needs to end – and that is a good place to start.
“I understand the business now probably better than when I was just doing one part of it. I don’t get involved in the promotional side of it all, I genuinely have nothing to do with it,” he claimed.
“The boys [his sons Blane and Jake] go out and try to negotiate a fair deal for everybody. I don’t understand the promotion of it but I know the bigger picture and we have to do something.
“We have to get rid of the titles that are insignificant, all the governing bodies need to sit down and say ‘look, there’s four of us, we don’t need anymore.’ We genuinely don’t need anymore. These ‘interim’ champions and ‘regular’ champions, it’s all got to stop. We’ve got to get the best fighting the best, or at least the second best fighting the second best.”
The WBA insist they are working toward having just one world champion in each weight class, though so far have not had much success.