By: Matthew N. Becher
On October 3rd, Adrien Broner (30-2 22KO) will take on Khabib Allakhverdiev (19-1 9KO) in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio for the vacant WBA Jr. Welterweight Title. A win would give Broner a title in a very impressive 4th division and at the young age of 26 years. Setting him back up as one of the top boxers in the sport and marketed as the future face of boxing, something that he has touted himself as being for the past few years.
The biggest question here is not if Broner the next Floyd Mayweather Jr. , but how is he getting a title shot in his next fight, better yet, how are either men.
Broner is 3-2 in his last five fights. His last being a loss to Shawn Porter in June of this year. How can a fighter lose his last fight and then automatically be in contention for a vacant title? Khabib also lost his last fight, to Jesse Vargas and is now also set up to fight for a World Title. Is this just some kind of money grab, are these really the two best Jr. Welterweights in the World, vying for the number one spot. Absolutely not.
There are a number of 140 pounders that are better than both of these fighters. For example, Matthysse, Peterson, Crawford, Herrera, Provodnikov, Postol, Vargas and Benavidez are all ranked higher than both guys on numerous rankings, and even the WBA, the belt that they will be fighting for has Broner and Khabib ranked at #2 and #5 respectively. When was that the way people get to fight for a world championship?
Rankings are an arbitrary thing, and cannot all be the same, but usually do match up in some way. When two men have lost, they shouldn’t be rewarded with opportunities this great. How is the #1 contender Benavidez being skipped over when he is the WBA’s #1 ranked Jr. Welterweight? Is it because he is not represented by someone that can pay extra money for the title. Are these belts up for sale or are the best fighters really getting a chance to fight for them?
These are not personal shots at the fighters. They should definitely take the opportunity that is given to them at achieving their dreams of winning world championships. But this is one of the reasons why the older generation of boxing fan have avoided the sport. How many champs do we really need in each division, and what does it really matter when the best guys aren’t even fighting to become #1.