MX23RW : Thursday, October 17 18:38:23| >> :600:20676872:20676872:

Hagler calls for one world champion per weight division

Hagler calls for one world champion per weight division
© Reuters
The American was the undisputed titleholder in the middleweight category from 1980 to 1987.

Former middleweight king Marvin Hagler lamented the proliferation of world titles in the modern era as he called for one champion per division.

Hagler was the undisputed top dog of the 160lbs category from 1980 until 1987 when he retired after a controversial points defeat to Sugar Ray Leonard having made 12 successful defences of his crown.

The landscape is now splintered because of the four major sanctioning bodies – WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO – which means there can often be more than fighter boasting of supremacy in their weight class.

The WBC is one of the four major sanctioning bodies in boxing (Steve Parsons/PA)
The WBC is one of the four major sanctioning bodies in boxing (Steve Parsons/PA)

It is a scenario currently playing out among the heavyweights with WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua, holder of the remaining belts, and his British rival Tyson Fury, the so-called lineal champion.

Speaking on a more general basis, though, Hagler referenced himself and former great middleweights in and around his era who had only one goal: to be number one.

"I hope that before I pass that they restore this game and bring it back to only one champion in the world," the 64-year-old American told Press Association Sport.

"They have these three or four belts, I was only looking for one. Years ago, guys like Carlos Monzon, Bennie Briscoe, Emile Griffith, all of us were fighting for one belt.

Marvin Hagler, right, captured the world middleweight title by defeating Alan Minter in 1980 (PA)
Marvin Hagler, right, captured the world middleweight title by defeating Alan Minter in 1980 (PA)

"Now you've got the WBA, the WBC, the IBF (and the WBO) – they say it's like the alphabet boys.

"If (a fighter) loses a fight or loses a belt, they can always go to another organisation and try for that belt.

"It should be exciting if they bring back one champion (per division)."

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez is widely recognised as the current man to beat in Hagler's old division as he holds the WBC and WBA titles while the Mexican could claim the IBF strap if he overcomes Daniel Jacobs on May 4.

Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, pictured, has impressed Hagler (Liam McBurney/PA)
Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, pictured, has impressed Hagler (Liam McBurney/PA)

Hagler, speaking in his role as a Laureus Ambassador, believes his successor is blossoming into an excellent fighter.

He added: "Canelo, I've seen him fight about three or four times. He seems to be getting better all the time."

– The Laureus World Sports Awards celebrate the most remarkable men and women from the world of sport along with their achievements from the previous calendar year. The Awards also showcase the work of Laureus Sport for Good, a charity which uses the power of sport to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage.

ga('create', 'UA-72310761-1', 'auto', {'name': 'pacontentapi'});
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'referrer', location.origin);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension1', 'By David Charlesworth, Press Association Sport');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension2', 'a4d28679-a118-4a94-af49-2809d633775b');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension3', 'paservice:sport,paservice:sport:uk,paservice:sport:world');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension6', 'story');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension7', 'composite');
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension8', null);
ga('pacontentapi.set', 'dimension9', 'sport:boxing,sport:other');
ga('pacontentapi.send', 'pageview', { 'location': location.href, 'page': (location.pathname + location.search + location.hash), 'title': 'Hagler calls for one world champion per weight division'});

body check tags ::

Click here for more stories about Marvin Hagler

Share this article now:
Instagram - Follow Sports Mole
Jacques Villeneuve pictured in August 2011
Read Next:
Leclerc can create 'mess' at Ferrari - Villeneuve
>

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!