IT is a truth universally acknowledged that a sanctioning body in need of fees must work with promoters and promoters of a certain status will want to stage title fights. It happens. It is a fact of life in boxing and if it doesn’t lead to someone getting seriously screwed then it keeps the wheels oiled.
However, it seems to me that there needs to be some line that should not be crossed. A promoter should not ask a sanctioning body to do something that will seriously tarnish the sanctioning body’s standing and the sanctioning body should not bend so far that they are seen to be willing to prostitute themselves for a sanctioning fee.
A typical case of the line being blurred past any reasonable point was the suggestion that Manuel Charr’s fight with Christopher Lovejoy this weekend (May 15) would be for a version of the WBA heavyweight title. That now seems to have faded but don’t rule it out completely. Through Don King’s influence Lovejoy keeps popping in and out of the WBA ratings, which in itself is disgraceful. Lovejoy has a 19-0 (19) record and on the basis of that record some fans might feel that his rating is not unacceptable. But it really is.
When you examine the records of the fighters Lovejoy has beaten a horror story unfolds. Four of Lovejoy’s victims had never previously had a fight and four had never won a fight.
The cumulative record of his opponents is 51-192-19. Twenty-six of those wins came from two of his opponents so the other 17 had only 25 wins between them. None of Lovejoy’s opponents are anywhere near world class – quite the opposite in fact – and I defy the WBA to justify his rating as a consequence of any of his victories.
Charr, the WBA’s ‘heavyweight champion in recess’, is alongside Anthony Joshua (super), Trevor Bryan (world), Robert Helenius (gold) as other belt-holders. If that’s not enough, on June 5 Daniel Dubois fights Bogdan Dinu for the WBA interim bauble.
The fight between Dinu and Dubois is another example (and there are many) of the WBA going way over the line. Quite why Dinu is rated at ninth surely has to be explained. He was ranked at ninth before losing to Jarrell Miller (November 2018) and Kubrat Pulev (March 2019). Since then he has beaten two unrated and unspectacular boxers in Osborn Machimana (December 2019) and Frank Bluemle (October 2020).
In November last year Dinu returned to the ratings at a lofty ninth. Yet, in the latest WBA ratings (April 2021) he has now inexplicably climbed to second without having another fight. Then consider Dubois. Though he was highly-regarded he was not rated by the WBA until March this year, when he came in at 11, four months after being knocked out by Joe Joyce.
Sorry guys the line was drawn in the sand and the WBA have just kicked sand in your collective faces … again.