Well what do you know?
It’s election season again.
But even as myriad candidates with myriad causes appear in myriad debates, infomercials and rallies – often spending more time blasting foes than touting themselves – it’s still somehow difficult at the end of the day to recognize what anyone really stands for.
Voters know who someone ISN’T.
But they don’t know who someone IS.
In politics, they call that clever campaigning. But in boxing, it’s just a waste of time.
Make no mistake – just like in the political world – dozens of boxing outlets exist where a fan can hear laments on what’s wrong with the sport, bemoan why the sanctioning mechanism is archaic and pontificate how it’s all destined for imminent extinction.
But amid all the dirges, what none of the sky-is-falling crowd seems to get around to are solutions.
That’s where the International Boxing Organization – IBO, for short – is different.
Rather than peering out of an ivory tower to simply brand the masses as unworthy, we prefer to be out amongst the people, making genuine connections and – gasp! – suggesting how things can be better.
No fingers pointed. No guns drawn. Not a single fist cocked.
It’s a little thing we like to call revolution… IBO style.
And it’s why we feel completely comfortable branding ourselves the “champions of integrity.”
We’re not perfect by any stretch. In fact, we welcome all good ideas.
But it’s got to start somewhere, and we believe we’ve made some right steps.
Others are on board, too.
“I think through the years the IBO has gotten stronger and they've become established, and for writers and journalists to make lists of champions and not mention the IBO is just ridiculous,” said Wladimir Klitschko, the IBO heavyweight champion and consensus best fighter in the division.
“It's not specialists or journalists that are holding the belts, it's the fighters. And the more guys that are considered the best in their weight divisions as IBO champions, the more the IBO will become recognized.”
Toward that end, here’s a list of things we promise.
Our platform, if you will.
No superfluous titles: Here at the IBO, we strive to maintain the formal definition of the word “champion” – a person who has defeated all opponents in a competition or series of competitions, so as to hold first place: the heavyweight boxing champion. With that as a goal, we vow none of the watered-down varieties of the word – silver, gold, bronze, diamond, super, regular, in recess, interim, etc. – that have cropped up in other places. In other words, rest assured, if you’re the IBO world champion, you’re the one and only IBO world champion.
No title-fight gerrymandering: No connection to the region or redrawing regional boundary lines to accommodate one party or another is the stuff of smoky back rooms on the way to election night. In boxing, there’s simply no place for it. So we pledge that any and all fighters deemed worthy of a place in an IBO regional title fight will have a traceable and legitimate connection to the region in question. The rules are clear and they’re in place for a reason. So long as that’s the case, the rules will be followed.
No ratings by convenience: We’ve all seen it. A fighter is lowly ranked or just outside the boundary line for championship consideration. Suddenly, a promotional or managerial agreement is signed, and, without throwing a single punch, the fighter’s status is magically elevated to a place where a shot can be signed and a check can be cashed. And while it may be status quo and par for the course for others, it’s got no place in the IBO.
Supervisory supervision: Rest assured, each and every official appointed to work on an IBO title fight will be of the highest skill and integrity, from the referee and judges to the IBO Supervisor. Experience and qualifications are mandatory. An absence of conflict is a must. The best and brightest from the appropriate pools will be chosen, with a fair and above-board event remaining the perpetual objective. That’s why the IBO have a very limited number of licensed officials.
So there you go.
Not an exhaustive list by any stretch. It’ll be added to as time goes by. Just as with any successful entity, the IBO is a living, breathing organization – not a static, non-reactive monolith. We’ll keep what works, discard what doesn’t and never stop being the transparent alternative.
We believe it’s the correct approach.
And we compliment any other sanctioning group with the same goals.
Welcome to the new world order.