Perhaps the hardest thing about competing in a weight class sport, is simply making the weight. Many boxers (along with wrestlers and mixed martial artists) have natural weights much higher than the class they compete in. It’s not unheard of for fighters to cut double digit pounds less than a week before stepping into the ring for their fight. Over time, this type of activity can cause huge problems in the body, including organ failure. To remedy this problem, the World Boxing Council is making a drastic, but necessary change to weigh-ins for bouts starting in January.
The WBC already has a system in place to help mitigate unhealthy weight loss, requiring boxers fighting under their rankings to meet certain weight thresholds 30-days and 7-days out. The prerequisite weights are an effort to prevent last minute weight cuts, requiring fighters to weigh within a certain percentage of the target weight ahead of time. However, the one loose end that fighters are able to use (or abuse depending on who you are talking to) is the fact that fighters weigh in the day before a fight, giving them 24 hours to rehydrate. The typical result of this common practice, are boxers fighting far outside of their respective weight classes on fight night. A couple recent cases worth noting; Danny Jacobs weighed in at the 160 pound limit for his bout against Gennady Golovkin, in the ring on fight night he weighed (reportedly) 180 pounds. Jarrett Hurd weighed in against Erislandy Lara below the 154 pound limit at the weigh-in, on fight night he weighed above 12 pounds. Under the new WBC guidelines, they would have had to weigh at or below 176 pounds and 169 pounds respectively.
The WBC isn’t the first organization to initiate a rule regarding same day weights. The International Boxing Federation (IBF) also has a same day weigh-in rule, requiring fighters weigh within 10 pounds of the class the morning of the fight. This rule is actually stricter than the WBC regulations in all weight classes, so it’s curious that the WBC didn’t just adopt the same rule, but any progress for the safety of the fighters is better than none.
Do you think the regulations on weigh-ins should be more strict? Let me know in the comments below, or via Twitter @TheGreatToddman.