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Home Boxing MANDATORY REMATCHES
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MANDATORY REMATCHES

chris_straitFirst we were forced to watch Chad Dawson dominate Antonio Tarver a second time.  Now, we are going to be subjected to watching David Haye box circles around Nicolai Valuev a second time.  My pick for that fight remains the same, with Haye winning, but getting screwed out of a decision.  This is the modus operandi of promoter Wilfried Sauerland, and apparently it didn't quite work the last time.  Therefore Valuev's promotional outlet will no doubt bring the fight back to Germany, buy more friendly judges, and pull yet another lousy decision in their fighter's favor.  It's not as if Haye will even be allowed to take an exciting fight in the interim, with a mandatory against John Ruiz clogging up the works in that department.  Wasn't the WBA's interims, regular, super-champion nonsense supposed to free us up from these useless matchups?
 
And that is precisely my point.  The belts mean nothing now, so why are fighters taking these useless rematches or mandatories to defend them?  Especially Dawson, who has given up two belts already?  Couldn't he have done this one fight earlier, and spared us a re-run of Dawson vs. Tarver 1?  Plus, if there were any humility left in the sport, Tarver and Valuev would have retired, or at least moved on to try one last real challenge, instead of subjecting fight fans to another match-up of clearly mismatched combatants.
 
The mandatory rematch was created for a purpose, I am aware.  This clause forces a challenger who was not top-ranked to give the champion a chance to regain his title in the occasion of a close fight, exciting fight, or lucky-punch win.  Hasim Rahman was thankfully forced to do this for Lennox Lewis.  Don King knew his new acquisition had no chance of winning a rematch with Lewis, and tried his hardest to cash in before the inevitable.  However, in the recent cases with Tarver and Valuev, they were not undisputed champions.  They were merely belt-holders, taking on a fighter who would very likely relinquish the belt rather than fight a useless rematch. 
 
Sadly, Dawson did not do this, as there were no other names lining up to fight him.  Haye will likely not do this either, because having that trinket may be the only way the Klitschko brothers will ever do business with him again.  Therefore this trend will only end when the fighters fully diminsh the importance of the sanctioning body belts.  They are trophies to be collected, as it is with the amateurs, and not a demarkation of a true championship.  Their value should end there.
 
Chris Strait
www.convictedartist.com

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