Unify the Mandatories?
Martin Theobald
23
June
2015

How often as boxing fans do we hear a fight scheduled as an 'Eliminator' or 'Final Eliminator'?  How many times do the winners then go on to fight the champion in their next fight?  


I'm sure that someone with more time could delve the history books and find the answer to this, but the common sense in me states that 50% is probably a reasonable estimate of the last 12 months.  With so many titles floating about (Super, Regular, Interim etc) amongst the 4 main governing bodies ( IBF, WBO, WBA, WBC) that means you could have 12 different mandatories for a single weight division!  Then take in to account that a champion is allowed a voluntary as in between a mandatory, and you start to realise the the queue to get to any champion could go around the block.



So what is the answer to it?  One thing that has always baffled me is why contenders (e.g. non-champions) don't look to unify mandatory positions.  Ok, governing bodies don't like each other and don't always recognise each other - but if you are already a mandatory in one body, then why not go for another?  If you back your skill set enough to consider that you can beat any other fighter, why risk waiting your turn so long when you could try to solidify your place as the next in line? 


The heavyweight scene has been short of challengers to Kiltschko for some time - now we also have Wilder as a champion.  So looking at the mandatory challengers:

IBF:  Vyachselav Glazkov

WBA:  Vacant challenger, next in line is Tyson Fury

WBC:  Povetkin

WBO:  Tyson Fury


Fury has been looking for the Klitschko fight for years now.  He has been told of the WBO rankings since November 2014 when he stopped Dereck Chisora.  Since then, he has defeated Christian Hammer.  What would have stopped him from going after the IBF mandatory position, which was fought between Steve Cunningham (a former Fury victim) and Glazkov (an out of his depth heavyweight).  If he had been able to crow bar his way in there, he would have been at the top of the contender tree for 3 of the 4 rankings - meaning his chances of getting Klitschko, and the legitimacy to his claims, would have been huge.  Granted the fight looks like it will now go ahead, but I see there could have been a value in being #1 amongst three governing bodies.  


Other weight divisions I am sure would benefit of cleaning up underneath the champions.  With the titles so sporadic, let's get the challengers lined up nicely.

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