The cruiserweight division has been largely ignored since Evander Holyfield and Dwight Muhammad Qawi went to war for 15 rounds in 1986. For over 30 years the cruiserweight division has been largely overlooked, sure it entertained us for a season on the reality TV show The Contender but the cruiserweight division is usually looked at as the red headed step child. The division doesn’t have the glitz and glamor of the heavyweight division nor does it carry the superstar names and talents that the light heavyweight division has showcased over the past few decades. Roy Jones Jr, Bernard Hopkins, Antonio Tarver, Andre Ward, Sergey Kovalev are some of the best a names in boxing.
In March, Comosa AG announced plans for two tournaments. In which 16 fighters would divvy up a whopping $50 million, and the winner taking home the Muhammad Ali Trophy. Comosa AG enlisted promoters, Richard Schaefer and Kalle Sauerland, to promote the cards and decided that the first two tournaments would take place in the cruiserweight and super middleweight divisions. The super middleweight division had a groundbreaking super six tournament which was a groundbreaking idea at the time. The single elimination style is exactly what the Cruiserweight division and boxing needs.
Eight fighters in a bracket similar to how a playoff bracket would look in other sports. This is simple but brilliant. Give fans a bracket let them fill it out and let the debates begin. It’s a great idea!!! It gets people involved. Fights are scheduled relatively close together to keep the fans interested and keep them interested (something the super six failed miserably at). Tournament style competition is innately more interesting. In a tournament style, there is always a reason for the matchup and the matchup is life and death by definition. This is why the NCAA college basketball tournament garners so much attention. 64 teams all put into a bracket with a chance and a clear path to victory. People will fill out their brackets and sit in front of their TV and see if they are right. And why the NCAA Football College Bowl games do so bad in comparison. Much like many fights made in boxing, there’s no logical reason or interest in these matchups. If so and so college team beats another random team in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, what have they won? Nothing really? This is like winning the IBO strap, it’s irrelevant! Boxing is getting this right big time. It’s taking one of its least viewed division and giving it the spotlight.
Here is how the tournament stacks up now
- Oleksander Usyk vs. Marco Huck
- Murat Gassiev vs. Krzystof Wlodarczyk (Gassiev, the IBF titlist had a mandatory against Wlodarczyk, so he did not have the option to choose his first round foe)
- Mairis Briedis vs. Mike Perez
- Yunier Dorticos vs. Dmitry Kudryashov
The tournament does have its risks. All it takes is a fighter getting a wicked cut or failing a PED test or breaking a rib or some other setback and the tournament can have a major scheduling mishap. However, we do have all four strap holders on board. At the end of the tournament, we will have an undisputed lineal Cruiserweight champion of the world!! Why is this so difficult why can’t 16 other divisions take notice? How much fun would it be if the 147 or 154lbs division could do this!