Boxing championship questions...

What is the agreed upon responsibility of a boxing champion as far as defending his title goes?

I ask this question because I just watched the end of the heavyweight fight of recent days, where Holyfield lost to Ruiz. Ruiz was asked if he would be “willing” to fight Holyfield again, and Ruiz replied: “Well, he made me wait, so I’m going to make him wait awhile.”

Well, when you are the heavyweight champion, how often MUST you fight in order to continue being the champ? What if you don’t want to fight for a year? Two? How much control do you have? And why did they ask him “if” he’d be “willing” to fight Holyfield again. Does he actually have a choice, if he wishes to remain champ?

ALSO…they referred at one point to Holyfield as “4 time champ” - did they mean that Holyfield became the champ and then successfully defended the title in 3 more fights, or that he had won the title from another champion 4 separate times? And are both scenarios considered “equal”- whether you lose and get it back, or simply keep it, all title fights in which you are the winner makes you a champ * again * ?

Thank you. I don’t even know why I am asking, I think that boxing is perfectly insane, and there is no more purely and strangely male activity on earth than to say “Hey! let’s hit each other and see who can stay upright!”

But I’m still curious.


I think most rules regarding boxing championships are made up as they go along.

However, I do know that a “4 time champion” means that someone held a championship 4 distinct times. The boxer had to defeat the old champ four different times.

It used to be quite unusual to reclaim a championship. For most of the 20th Century, the only heavyweight who lost the championship and then regained it was Floyd Patterson (I think). Then Ali did it. Then I stopped caring.

You have several sanctioning bodies that all have rules as to fight frequency, as well as mandatory fights.

That said boxing and rules are not a match made in heaven.

Evander may be the 4-time champ but as an example he won that last belt by losing a fight to Lenox Lewis.
There is some “rule” that returned Evanders belt to him after the loss.

Even the known rules change in boxing like shifting sand.
I have seen dozens of fights that have a pre fight rule of “no standing 8 counts” 9 times out of 10 the ref will give a fighter a standing 8 count.

I have watched a fighter obliterate his opponent and at the dismay of the fans and commentators the judges give the fight to the swollen piece of just gotten ass kicked fighter.

I don’t think boxing has ANY ironclad rules.
Boxing is as crooked as a ferret, but man I love the sweet science.

P.S. If we (the U.S. in general but not me) don’t like a British champ how do ou think we are going to enjoy the Klitchko sp brothers?