Eddie Hearn is working on a blueprint to drastically reduce the number of world titles in boxing and is copying the model of the UFC.
The Matchroom Boxing chief wants to take action after Floyd Mayweather’s outburst at the sanctioning bodies for diluting the meaning of being a world champion.
Mayweather used every available platform he had to urge boxing to ‘clean this s*** up’ to protest the likes of the WBC commissioning a ‘franchise’ champion, for instance.
The sport of mixed martial arts is continuing to grow at a rapid pace on a global scale and UFC president Dana White runs the company with an iron fist.
There are just eight weight categories for men, with a single belt for each category unless a champion cannot defend. In which case, an interim title will be created and will duly face off with the recognised champion upon their return to crown an undisputed king of the division.
Not only does it mean the best fight the best, but there is no disputing who is a legitimate world champion – and Hearn wants to create a similar situation in boxing.
“We do [have too many belts]. That’s a given. It’s not good for boxing at all,” Hearn told Sky Sports.
“You look at the UFC model, which we’re all very envious of, which is one promotional company, if you like, and one belt.
“That’s where I want to get to in boxing. It’s going to take a lot of work, but we’re putting a blueprint together for that and it’s something we’re going to be pushing hard for in 2021 as we continue to expand.”
Hearn, who promotes Anthony Joshua, is hoping to organise an undisputed heavyweight title fight between his man and Tyson Fury, the WBC heavyweight champion.
However, despite a meeting between the two men being nearly four years in the making now, fans are still waiting to see the fight and it may even be that not every belt is on the line.
Oleksandr Usyk, who fights Derek Chisora this Saturday night, is the WBO mandatory to Joshua and may have to fight for the vacant title just so AJ and Fury can finally meet.
But the 41-year-old shares the frustrations of the fans and wants to change things for good.
Hearn added: “What we do have to understand is that belts do matter. These governing bodies are steeped in history, so we can’t forget that.
“The [WBC] Franchise situation, for me, was a terrible move for the WBC, and I love [WBC president] Mauricio Sulaiman. He’s a friend of mine, but I just have to be honest.
“The problem with [the Franchise title] is that [Franchise champions] are the untouchables. We can’t have that many barriers to greatness.
“You have to give these young fighters and lions the opportunity to try and achieve greatness by chasing guys down. Mandatories are a pain for big champions. We need competitive mandatories.
“I wish sometimes Anthony Joshua didn’t have to have a mandatory.”