We love the silly belts here at weirdboxing as they give us so much to look at and laugh at. The newest of these silly belts is the WBO "Fighter of the Decade" title which we will see for the first (but hopefully not the last) time tonight as Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez do battle over it.
As we all know this will be the fourth meeting between Marquez and Pacquiao after the 3 previous contests all went to razor thin decisions (2 in favour of Pacquiao and 1 a draw). It's fair to say that after 36 rounds not much separates "The Pacman" and "Dinamita", in fact many will tell you it's just the 4 knockdowns (all by Pacquiao) that has put Pacquiao 2-0-1 against Marquez.
So what do we "like" about the WBO "Fighter of the Decade" title? Well for a start we are less than 30% into the decade! Yes it's not even 2013 yet but that doesn't stop the WBO from declaring a fighter of the decade. It's unfair to call them out on that though because lets be honest they've never had a fighter of the decade title for the the 90's or the 00's so they are simply making up for lost time!
Hopefully all the organisations follow suit then in the coming years we could have a "WBC Emeritus Fighter of the Decade title" a "WBA Super Fighter of the Decade title" and we could even have Fighter of the Decade Unification bouts and interim Fighter of the Decade titles!
Just imagine in 2022 having a 49 year old Juan Manuel Marquez coming out of retirement to face the next WBO Fighter of the Decade title holder to win the fighter of the 20 year title! I know I can't wait!
Hopefully Francisco "Paco" Varcarcel is reading this and realises I'm on to a good idea! We need more titles in this sport. If the WBO want to offer an "Overweight writing world title" I'm happy to go up for it against "Fat" Dan Rafael, I'd quite like to call myself a "boxing world champion"!
Everyone in boxing knows that the WBA have a bizarre policy of handing out title like candy. They, as we all know, love to have a regular champion at every weight as well as an interim champion at many weights, along side a Super Champion in a number of divisions and even the odd champion in Recess. I also seem to remember a few years ago they also had a "Unified Champion" in Yuriorkis Gamboa (who had unified his WBA title with the IBF's title)). In theory that means that the WBA could have 5 titles in any weight.
A little bit of research shows that the WBA currently has 2 or more champions in 10 divisions:
Heavyweight-Super Champion Wladimir Klitschko, Regular Champion Alexander Povetkin
Super Middleweight-Super Champion Andre Ward, Regular Champion Brian Magee and interim champion Stanyslav Kashtanov
Middleweight-Regular Champion Gennady Golovkin, Interim Champion Martin Murray
Light Middleweight-Super Champion Floyd Mayweather, Regular Champion Austin Trout
Welterweight-Regular Champion Paul Malignaggi, Interim Champion Diego Gabriel Chaves
Light Welterweight-Super Champion Danny Garcia, Regular Champion Khabib Allakhverdiev
Super Bantamweight-Regular Champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, Interim Chmapion Scott Quigg
Bantamweight-Super Champion Anselmo Moreno, Regular Champion Koki Kameda
Flyweight-Super Champion Brian Viloria, Interim Champion Juan Carlos Reveco
Light Flyweight-Regular Champion Roman Gonzalez, Interim Champion Alberto Rossel
Of course as you can see Featherweight is one of the few divisions with just 1 WBA champion (Super Champion Chris John). This coming weekend all that changes as the WBA have both their vacant Regular and their "vacant" interim titles up for grabs as the sanctioning fees start to roll in once again!
In Jamaica the exciting Nicholas Walters (21-0, 17) faces Daulis Prescott (26-1, 19) for the full version of the title. This bout, see's the WBA's #1 ranked fighter facing the #5 ranked fighter in what promises to be a thoroughly engaging bout. The very same night around 4000 miles away we see talented Dominican Javier Fortuna (20-0-0-1, 15) facing unbeaten Irishman Patrick Hyland (27-0, 12) for the vacant interim WBA Featherweight title. This bout sees the WBA's #2 and #6 ranked fighters facing off for the interim title.
Whilst both of these are interesting bouts (as would be fights involving the WBA's #3 and #4 contenders Gary Russell Jr and Claudio Marrero) I just can't understand why we are having them on the same night. Why not have them as an eliminator and try to force 3 great fights out of this instead of just 2? Oh sorry I forgot the key words here, "sanctioning fees".