If in doubt, put “Tyson” in the press release

EcholsPerhaps it is indicative of the surge of popularity of UFC among young sports fans, the resultant ageing demographic of boxing’s followers and the fact Mike Tyson is the last global superstar boxing produced, but the fallen champion remains the most compelling hook most lazy publicists appear able to muster to promote their fighters. Last week it was Sultan Ibragimov, who hoped the former champion could provide advice as part of his corner team, this week Victor Oganov is trying to repeat the trick.

Oganov, who possesses a glamorous 26-0 (26) record against the great and good of Russia, Ukraine and Australia, has signed with Dennis Hobson/Fight Academy and will appear on Ricky Hatton’s under-card later this month. Boxrec.com suggest he will be contesting the IBO Super-Middleweight crown against the always reliable TBA, while FightNews.com today report veteran puncher Antwun Echols has got the fixture. Either way, the 30 year old is an interesting addition to the FA stable and more telling is the increasing resonance of IBO belts over the more established IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO bodies on their shows; Hatton defends the IBO belt versus Castillo having forsaken the others he accumulated in the preceding two years.

Though a junior organisation, the IBO belt is legitimised by a more transparent rankings system free from human intervention and influence. Completey algebraic the rankings are determined by a computer system, and I don’t believe any of the leading promoters has yet managed to wine and dine a PC.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Oliver says:

    The IBO needs to establish a top 10 rather than a top 35, as this is their only – and quite major) failing, although I appreciate its current reputation means the majority of bigger name fighters would rather pursue the Big Four. However, if the IBO sticks to its guns – especially in light of farcical developments such as the IBF stripping Hatton within days of him winning the belt – then these boxers may begin to effect a power shift away from the current hegemony.

  2. David Payne says:

    Pragmatism. If they insisted on their champion fighting for a top ten contender would they be able to offer the latitude that presently attacts fighters to their belt?

  3. Oliver says:

    As long as such a latitude involves having 35 contenders instead of the traditional 10, the IBO will continue to be perceived as a second degree title.

    I don’t think genuine, proud champions have a problem fighting Top 10-ranked challengers and it is the problem of undeserving mandatories which hinder such fighters.

    If a boxer isn’t prepared to face Top 10 opposition, then he doesn’t deserve to wear a “major” belt. And until the IBO establishes a Top 10, they don’t deserve to be a major belt.

    But if they did, and maintained their integrity, I say they could become the best organisation.

  4. David Payne says:

    Ah yes but just how genuinely top ten are most of the other bodies top ten’s?

    I think once they’ve acquired more elite champions they may adopt a more restrictive practice, but until that point, keeping it to 35 is servicable and realistic.

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