The fact that THE RING has championship vacancies in 11 of the 17 weight divisions is stark evidence that the Nos. 1- and 2-rated fighters rarely face one another in the modern boxing era.
The goal of THE RING has always been to determine the true champion in every division. Clearly, the long-standing policy has not been effective at meeting this objective.
The editors at THE RING had two choices – do nothing, which would perpetuate the status quo, or take action.
After many long discussions, we decided to update our Championship Policy in an effort to encourage top fighters to face one another and create more championship fights while maintaining the high standards long associated with THE RING.
“We didn’t want to sit back and continue to say, in effect, ‘Oh, well. We can’t force these guys to fight each other so there’s nothing we can do,’” said Michael Rosenthal, Editor of THE RING Magazine.
“We believe we’ve come up with a new policy that will pump more life into the sport and hopefully motivate the best to fight the best, which is what fans deserve.”
Here’s a look at the updated policy:
NEW CHAMPIONSHIP POLICY
Championship vacancies can be filled in the following two ways:
1. THE RING’s Nos. 1 and 2 contenders fight one another.
2. If the Nos. 1 and 2 contenders choose not to fight one another and either of them fights No. 3, No. 4 or No. 5, the winner may be awarded THE RING belt.
THE RING also wants to encourage its champions to face worthy opponents. With that in mind, here are the six situations in which a champion may lose his belt:
1. The Champion loses a fight in the weight class in which he is champion.
2. The Champion moves to another weight class.
3. The Champion does not schedule a fight in any weight class for 18 months.
4. The Champion does not schedule a fight at his championship weight for 18 months (even if he fights at another weight).
5. The Champion does not schedule a fight with a Top-5 contender from any weight class for two years.
6. The Champion retires.