The 44th Round

As a public service, it's my obligation to turn your attention to the following news flash, re-posted “as-is”:

Effective Immediately

For More Information, contact: Don “Moose” Lewis, President
International Boxing Union, Inc.
@ 404/ 365-0177
or fax 775/ 458-8685

Corporate Office Announces International Boxing Union To Be Sold !
(Atlanta, Georgia) (March 17, 2003)- Don “Moose” Lewis, President of the International Boxing Union, known as “the IBU”, is pleased to announce that effective immediately bids are being taken for the sale of complete ownership of the corporation.

The IBU, a Georgia “for profit” corporation, was formed in 1995 and incorporated in 1997. Since that time, it has conducted championship fights in the United States, the Bahamas, Finland, Germany, and other countries around the world. Past and current champions include Stephan Johnson, Adnan Serin, Rachid Matumla, Dirk Wallyn, Peter Manfredo Jr., and Ray Oliveira. Upcoming IBU World Championship fights include boxers such as Richie LaMontagne, Gary Balleto, and Scott Pemberton.

“The IBU is making a great impact on the championship boxing scene. With upcoming fights in world renown venues such as Hartwell Auditorium in Helsinki, Finland and Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut along with televised fights on ESPN2 and NESN (New England Sports Network), the timing could not be better for someone to take over and continue the growth of the IBU. The groundwork has been laid in the boxing scene and with the IBU being a sanctioning body recognized by the Association of Boxing Commissions, thousands of dollars and hours could be saved with the purchase of an established entity such as us.” states the President of the IBU. “Selling the IBU after all these years is a tough decision” continues Mr. Lewis “but with the opportunity to lead a new weekly syndicated boxing television show into the marketplace, a hard choice had
to be made. Rather than try to maintain partial ownership, I felt that for the IBU to become a player in boxing, a complete divesture was necessary. However, with the new television show, I will still be close to the sport.” Operations will continue as usual until a suitable bid is accepted. Offers can be sent by fax, email, or postal mail. Included in the sale is the domain website and all inventory of championship belts and merchandise.

For more information on the IBU, please contact the corporate office.

This proposal, I presume, is open to one and all. As for the price, it's probably like one of those cars you see in the Auto Trader; you know, “$2000 OBO (or best offer)”. Before you send a bid – by fax, email, or postal mail, as is prescribed, make sure you carefully weigh many factors, including the “goodwill” created by the organization over the years.

And consider that the “World Heavyweight Champion” is Adnan Serin, who:

* Was 8-1 as a pro when he fought for his “title”
* At that time had scored his pro wins over fighters with a combined record of 14-150
* Won a six-round decision in his most recent fight
* Is currently ranked 262nd in the world by our friends over at

With those credentials, potential suitors of the IBU could no doubt bring Lennox Lewis, Chris Byrd, Roy Jones and Corrie Sanders to their knees.

Like anyone contemplating the purchase of a piece of property, if you want to be an educated consumer you should understand that the IBU is a little bit of a “fixer-upper”. You'll have to make a couple of improvements here and there.

For example, you'll have to sit down and have a long talk with Razor Ruddock. According to the November 2002 ratings, the most recent the IBU has posted in public view, “Jemery” Williams is the #1 contender in the heavyweight world, while the top ten includes such luminaries as Ahmet Oner, Rob Calloway, Julius Francis, and Monte Barrett. If Williams isn't “available” to fight for the heavyweight crown, I'm guessing the call would go out to 41-year-old Ray Mercer, who despite his knockout loss at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko, did not disappoint enough to be dropped from the #2 position.

Where does Ruddock come in, you ask? Well, according to the comments at the bottom of the ratings (which I assume passes for “compliance” under the Ali Act), Monte Barrett's presence is explained in the following manner:

“Monte Barrett replaces 'Razor' Ruddock, who does not wish to be ranked at this time.”


We can't be having any of that now, can we?

On the positive side, you WILL be inheriting some very loyal IBU fans. Sample this message, posted on the IBU “Fans' Forum” after the Jones-Ruiz fight, from someone named “Roman Nikkodem”, who obviously has a very unique point of view:

“After watching Jones's performance tonight, I like Serin by mid-rounds KO. Jones may be slightly faster than Adnan, but Serin is quicker than Ruiz and has better footwork. He'll be able to box Jones more effectively in the center of the ring, and when he gets Jones caught on the ropes or in the corner, he's going to be able to keep him there and pile up the points. By about round 4 Jones is going to realize what kind of trouble he's in, and by round 6 or 7 this fight is going to be over — and we will have a new era in boxing.”

Another avid poster, who went by the name of “Julius Horvath”, made these points:

“Jones has just stepped up to the division, so I think it would be somewhat early for him by now to fight the undisputed king of heavyweights. I would suggest first some tune-up fights against other well-recognized fighters, like for example Dirk Wallijn or Jukka Jarvinen, and if he can beat them, then a unification match with Serin can come to reality. Still, I don't think Jones could cope with the champ's superior talent, speed and intelligence, so my pick is Serin by KO in 5-6 rounds.

A case can certainly be made that Roy should have to battle his way to the top. Jones vs. either Wallijn or Jarvinen would be a spectacular fight, and a stern test of Jones's mettle. If Roy can make it past both Rambo and the Sledgehammer, then there should be absolutely no doubt that he's qualified to take on the biggest of the big guns of the division.”

So you see, as an added bonus, you'll get insight on the boxing game you certainly can't find anywhere else.

Consider also that the IBU quite obviously complies with all of the age discrimination laws. It must, because fighters over the age of 40, or approaching it, are strategically placed in the upper levels of the rankings, in easy reach of championship opportunities. Let's see, besides Mercer, we've got Uriah Grant (age 41) as the #3 cruiserweight, 40-year-old Vinny Pazienza as the #4 super middleweight, with 39-year-old Tony Ayala Jr. right behind him, 42-year-old Manning Galloway in the #5 junior middleweight slot, Julio Cesar Chavez (soon to be 40) clinging to the #2 position at 140 pounds, and Jesus Salud (age 39) as #3 at junior featherweight.

Tony Tubbs, at age 44, was the #3 heavyweight in the “Intercontinental” ratings, based on, in the IBU's words, “A strong win against Michael Shanks.”

Shanks, who is from my area, was 1-7 as a professional when he fought Tubbs. He's currently 2-12.

Guty Espadas is the #6 featherweight, although it's not specified whether that's Guty Espadas Senior or Junior.

At any rate, this process undoubtedly comes with AARP approval.

Here's the downside, though – if you indeed inherit the IBU, you just might have to deal with the protests of Larry Holmes, Thomas Hearns, Donnie Lalonde, Tim Witherspoon, Gene Fullmer, Max Schmeling, et al, who could argue that they too should be able to qualify for rankings based on this criteria. So don't disregard at least some possible legal expense.

There are a couple of other things potential buyers may want to take into account:

In the Intercontinental cruiserweight rankings, Ghana's Joseph Awinongya is listed as both the #1 AND #4 contender. I haven't read the IBU rules in their entirety, but I imagine that if Mike Peak (#2) and Damon Reed (#3) were unavailable, Awinongya could conceivably fight HIMSELF for the title, which is listed as “vacant”. That's bound to be an attraction, not to mention a great publicity tool, in ANY corner of the civilized world. Imagine – the most significant shadow-boxing session in the history of the sport. That's box-office magic.

Oh, another thing – the junior featherweight and junior bantamweight rankings are EXACTLY the same. You may want to deal with that.

No biggie. Just put it on your “to-do” list.

Before you do that, though, digest this: according to the IBU website, “All rankings are based on the best available computerized data.” That is not a misprint. I just don't know how old their computer is. All I can tell you is that it's called the “Commodore 64”. Perhaps there's some patented ratings formula we've failed to recognize. That might make this deal REALLY special.

I hate to give you the hard sell, but there's a value-added part of this deal that deserves to be mentioned – something called the “Den of Carnage”, a gym run in conjunction with the IBU's “sister” association, the International Wrestling Union. Listen to the description:

“Come join the only professional wrestling training center that matters — The IWU/IBU Den Of Carnage. In the Den, our trainers will push you beyond your limitations in order to make a champion out of your pathetic carcass. Your weaknesses will became your strengths and your strengths will in turn, make you a winner. Do you want a career in boxing instead? No problem- our trainers will try to make you the next Holyfield or Lewis-provided you have the talent and internal fortitude.”

You see, with control of the gym and the ratings, you can provide both training AND job placement to any boxer under your auspices.

This is simply to attractive to pass up.

If you need more enlightenment to aid you in your buying decision, let me offer the following:

In the state of Georgia, where the IBU is incorporated, it costs $15 to renew your corporation on a yearly basis.

Since we are about one-quarter of the way through the calendar year, it might make sense to pro-rate the figure, I guess, to the point where the more accurate value to place on that corporate status is $11.25.

So if you're getting ready to enter the bidding for the IBU, at least you've got someplace to start.