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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Floyd Mayweather - Man of Revolution?

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Mayweather vs Mosley
by Peter Czymbor

When Floyd Mayweather (40-0, 25 KO's) meets Shane Mosley this Saturday in Las Vegas (46-5, 39 KO's), he won't be vying for the WBA welterweight title despite Mosley being that organizations defending champion.

"Belts don't do nothing but collect dust", Mayweather has repeatedly said in the build up to Saturday's fight. Floyd should know, he's won at least ten different belts during his illustrious 13 year career.

The man who calls himself "Money" apparently doesn't want to pony up the cash to pay a "sanctioning fee" to the WBA for the right to fight for their welterweight title. Can you blame him?

Sanctioning bodies generally take 3% of a fighters purse in title fights as a sanctioning fee. Sometimes when the fight is financially massive ala the way all recent Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fights have been, a deal is arranged between the fighters handlers and the sanctioning body for the fee to be less than 3% but still lucrative. It's more of a way for members of the alphabet soup (WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO) to make money than anything else, despite the fact that all four claim to be nonprofit firms.

Forgetting how stupid it is for a moment for four different organizations to be handing out belts to four separate "champions of the world" in a single weight division, how stupid is it that a guy can beat a world champion in a 12 round fight in his respective weight division and not be considered a world champion?

If Mayweather beats Mosley Saturday night, the consensus wisdom is that the WBA will vacate their title and allow two other fighters to compete for their belt...whatever it'll be worth by then.

But don't think that semi sane logic will prevail in a world of extreme illogic every time. The sanctioning bodies can be a nutty bunch. Case and point: the IBF welterweight title in 2006.

At that time, Carlos Baldomir stunningly upset then defending IBF / WBA / WBC unified welterweight champion Zab Judah. However, following his victory only the WBC recognized his title win. The reason? Baldomir only paid the WBC sanctioning fee as he did not have enough money within his purse to leave a fair amount for himself had he paid fee's to all the organizations. At that point, the WBA upgraded "regular" welterweight champion Luis Collazzo to be its full champion (The WBA has yet another insane practice of often awarding two different "world title" belts to two different "world champions" in a single division). The IBF however, allowed Judah to keep his belt despite losing a title fight.

Mayweather should remember this well. He's the one who eventually defeated Judah for that trinket. At the time, he defended the IBF title as being legitimate. Now it seems he's singing a different tune.

This will be the second consecutive fight Mayweather has opted not to pay a sanctioning fee to an organization wanting to out a belt on the line. Against Juan Manuel Marquez, he declined the WBC's offer to fight for the newly created WBC Diamond Championship, a loosely defined belt that thankfully people haven't really recognized much.

So now that Mayweather, amongst the best two fighters in the sport pound for pound according to everyone's list, has decided to disregard fighting for championships that you have to pay to compete for, will other fighters follow suit?

If so, perhaps Mayweather along with being brash, arrogant and skilled can be deemed a man of revolution for sticking to his convictions. Like it or not.

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