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Now a Baltic Crown to go along with the other alphabet soup


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Comedy show coming soon to a town near you...


By Rich Mancuso


How does the sport of boxing make headlines? When there is a tragedy in or out of the ring there are bound to be headlines. Manny Pacquiao makes headlines as the ever popular congressman from the Philippines we all know because he is what boxing has to offer


So when the reputed WALL STREET JOURNAL” last week has a front page story, “Training For a Heavyweight Bout? Better Take a Geography Lesson” we should pay attention. The subject, Jonathan Haggler a 38-year old heavyweight from North Carolina took a fight this past Saturday evening.


This was a championship fight for the WBC Baltic Heavyweight title that Haggler lost to Mariusz Wach by knockout in the second round at Essex County College in Newark New Jersey. Wach, a 249-pound brawler from Poland, now has a title created that makes the boxing fan more confused.


Are we to take this latest alphabet soup title, if it is classified as such, serious? Have we ever recognized, or have knowledge as to who is the legitimate heavyweight champion in the sport of boxing? You take the unknown Haggler and put him in the ring with Wach, 24-0, who has compiled most of those wins by TKO in Poland and Europe.


And until the sport of boxing establishes a national governing body, this was a classic example of how the sport has become a laughing stock and can never be taken seriously. The Journal report mentioned there are about 69 world champs among the various alphabet soup sanctioning bodies. Yet, there can be more which adds to more confusion.


So you ask those not associated with boxing, and many who are: “Who is the heavyweight champion of the world?” The response is one of the Klitschko brothers from the Ukraine. The siblings have stated they will never oppose each other. And they seem to avoid the issue which makes one to believe the once and proud heavyweight division will never have a unified champion.


Promoters, as much as they want to see the sport return to respectability don’t care. The heavyweight division is a farce and guys like Haggler, considered a journeyman and an opponent, will jump on the opportunity even if you and I had the sanctioning fees and formed another alphabet soup title.


Haggler stated before his fight, “In boxing you can just come out of nowhere and get a shot.” Before getting the call to fight Wach, Haggler (24-4, 18KO’s) won his last four fights in North Carolina and Virginia all by knockout. No ranking and not known by the average boxing fan, though considered a good enough opponent for Wach to get his newly crowned claim to fame.


Did you know there is a WBC Asian Boxing Council Welterweight title? Those three letters WBC are self explanatory as to what is wrong with the sport. World Boxing Council seems to dominate the sport and form titles that are meaningless to the average boxing fan.


The WBC seems to do it their way and we go for their propaganda, just like we are to believe that their newly created “Diamond” championship belt is a serious one to be proud of. Except that Pacquiao has worn it and will have it in his possession when he opposes “Sugar” Shane Mosley in May for his legitimate welterweight title.


Haggler was not successful and his hometown of Winston Salem does not have a Baltic region heavyweight champion. He will continue to fight and if another opportunity for one of those alphabet soup titles comes along, who is to say that he will turn down the opportunity?


It’s boxing and the politics that go along with the sport. And until there is a national governing body, guys like Haggler will always have an opportunity at stardom and a bogus championship belt. smell//



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