Boxing may soon gain a new weight class according to Mikhail Denisov, the vice-president of the World Boxing Council, who spoke with RT on the issue.
There's no improvement without change, and professional boxing is no different. It might be a new weight class, at this point, that helps the sport grow.
“There are some fighters who are somewhere in between the cruiserweight and heavyweight classes. So the WBC, WBO and IBF are negotiating over establishing a new weight category, and it could help that kind of fighter bring out their full potential,” said Mikhail Denisov.
The WBC vice-president also explained why the WBC title is regarded the most prestigious in boxing.
“The WBC has brought together around 170 national federations. Its president, Jose Suleiman, really revolutionized professional boxing – 12 rounds instead of 15, pensions for retired fighters, medical insurance, and so on. All the innovations, which were adopted in the sport, are associated with the name of Suleiman, and so is our organization,” said Denisov.
Russia has only had three WBC champions so far. With plenty of talent in the country, the successors to Yury Arbachakov, Kostya Tszyu and Oleg Maskaev are yet to come, and according to Denisov the problem is about experience, as it takes both an excellent fighter and excellent promotion to lead him to the top.
“Professional boxing is a big game. And all the players have already established their names in the business and been there for a long time. Russian boxing needs to develop to really make it, to reach the high-stakes game,” Denisov says.
“We have a great deal of gifted up-and-comers, but we need to learn how to promote them on home soil. First, build up their names and careers here in Russia, which takes a big team of professionals, infrastructure and excellent management. And then, boost them abroad,” he adds.
Despite different mixed martial arts fighting for the right to exist in the combat sports business, and gaining popularity both in Europe and overseas, Denisov is sure that people's passion for boxing will never end.
“Boxing has always had a huge audience and fan base, and it always will. It's a classy sport and a great spectacle watchable by kids, women and, of course, men,” he says.
“I don't think it's under threat of getting less popular or even extinction. It will never happen,” he assures.