Feature | Highlight 3 | Issue | Long read | Premium | Feb 07 2020

The current era of multiple ‘world titles’ is making a mockery of boxing history – this is how we stop it

Springs Toledo, a co-founder of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, makes his case for an end to multiple championships and nonsensical legacies
end the WTF era
Leo Wilson/Premier Boxing Champions

“DAVE MARSH was winner, loser, and regainer of a synthetic Ohio lightweight championship, with belt to match, within the first year of his switch from amateur to professional endeavors.”

So said the Akron Beacon Journal in 1950. Does it ring a bell? Replace “Dave Marsh” with “Vasyl Lomachenko” and “Ohio lightweight championship” with a couple of wackadoodle WBO featherweight championships and you’ll wonder just how old Bob Arum is.

Ohio was also where Sandy Saddler picked up a belt between feather and light. A promoter made it happen; he sold fans a bill of goods that proclaimed Saddler’s second bout against Orlando Zulueta a championship match for “the junior lightweight title,” which had been defunct for about 20 years. Saddler was rated No. 1 at featherweight by The Ring. Zulueta was unrated, unheralded, and unknown. But he’d just defeated Dave Marsh in Cleveland, so arrangements were made.