Remember a time in boxing where the best fought the best? When it wasn’t so much about the money and fighters were not given gifts (wins that should be losses) or easy opponents so they could cushion their record to look like they were a wrecking ball demolishing everything in its path? If you are under the age of twenty, you might not remember but if you know your boxing history there once was a time.
While the best may still fight the best at times, there is a lot of business and politics behind it as in every fight. Fighters often cal out other fighters but should negotiations not go in their favor there is no fight. Fighters would rather be inactive than to settle for less.
One of the biggest nuisances in boxing for myself and any other boxing fans are catch weights. You see it out there over than ever. Instead of fighters moving up or down a division to fight who they want to fight they set a bar as the limit. If you have one fighter fighting at middleweight and another fighter at light heavyweight that want to face each other without giving too much away, setting a bar in the middle is not such a bad thing. If you have fighters just one weight division away, then it seems pretty ridiculous.
The most recent example of the ridiculousness of a catch weight is the possibility of Saul Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin fighting each other. Golovkin has fought at the middleweight limit. He has not strayed over the weight limit and asked for any exceptions. He is the champion, so he makes sure his weight is on point. Should Alvarez win his upcoming fight against Miguel Cotto (who also demands catch weights for his middleweight fights), he would be lined up to fight Golovkin. Should the fight happen, Alvarez has demanded a catchweight of 155 pounds. One could say, “but it is just a few pounds. What’s the big deal?”
The big deal here is that these two fighters are fighting for a world title. More importantly a middleweight title. The weight for it goes from anything over 154 to 160 pounds. If that is the limits of the sanctioning bodies then why not fight at the full weight? When was the last time there was a belt in the middle of the divisions? There are so many divisions today because of huge weight differences in the past and we do not need any more!
Truth be told, catch weights are both good and bad. It’s good if you have guys divisions apart wanting to fight each other but bad if it prevents fights from being made.