The Solution to Stopping Boxing Weigh-in Shenanigans
The recent run of ridiculous boxing weigh-in shenanigans continued when undefeated Puerto Rican Jonathan Gonzalez came in a full nine pounds overweight for his HBO-televised clash against Sergiy Dzinziruk on September 1. The two eventually fought to a Draw, not that the outcome even matters in this instance, because the fight was a complete sham.
It makes a mockery of the sport and the supposed even competition which is the purpose of set weight classes to begin with. Further, when it’s a 23-year-old kid who has never accomplished anything of note in the ring, it’s just reeks of laziness, entitlement and a complete lack of respect.
Personally, I have absolutely zero interest in ever seeing Gonzalez fight again. I’m not sure what boxing fan would.
In July, I wrote about Adrien Broner’s weigh-in fiasco, and suggested harsher penalties for missing weight. I also outlined a plan to switch boxing back to same day weigh-ins in order to mitigate some of these tactics. However, clearly that isn’t going to be enough.
So here’s a new plan, and it will put a stop to the absurdity we’ve seen with boxers blatantly not even attempting to make weight over the past few years.
The new rule which I would propose is that any boxer who comes in overweight by more than 2 percent of the set limit is automatically ineligible to fight. No negotiations between the teams, no backroom deals for unspecified sums of money or anything else. The fight is off, period.
Gonzalez, supposedly competing in the Junior Middleweight division which has a 154 pound limit, would have had to have made at least 157 pounds in order for there to be a fight. He weighed 163 pounds, which is almost 6 percent overweight, and is simply off the charts.
Looking back to Broner’s last fight in July, he weighed in at 133.5 pounds for a Super Featherweight match which should have been contested at 130 pounds. That’s about 2.5 percent over, so he would also have had to shed some weight before the fight could have gone on.
Now, maybe the risk of missing that one fight still isn’t enough for some of these guys. Therefore, any fighter who causes the cancellation of a fight by being more than 2 percent overweight is suspended for one year, enforceable across the country.
If you really want to make sure you never see any of this ridiculousness ever again, then you would need to take it one step further. The promoters and co-promoters of any fighter who comes in that much overweight, causing the cancellation of a fight, loses their license to promote fights within that state’s jurisdiction for a year.
You think Top Rank or Golden Boy would ever allow any of their guys to make such a disrespectful, punk move ever again with their own licenses at stake? No chance.
The weigh-in shenanigans in boxing need to stop, but they never will unless serious action is taken. Mandatory fight cancellations, suspensions, and promoter sanctions would immediately end this ongoing charade.
This article was first published by Jake Emen on Yahoo Sports, September 4, 2012