I recent had a chance to interview the president of the International Boxing Organization, Ed Levine. Ed is a partner of the IBO and has served as president since 1999. During the interview I discuss with Ed his thoughts on the belt organization and the some of the champions that hold the belt. Levine also talks about the IBO rules and the computerized rankings. Additionally, Ed shares his views on Gennady Golovkin vs. Kell Brook and Klitschko-Fury rematch. Here is what Ed Levine had to say.
Robert Brown: The IBO currently has Gennady Golovkin, Erislandy Lara & Tyson Fury holding belts. How do you feel about the champions representing the IBO and the depth across the Organization?
Ed Levine: We feel that we have great world champions that are clearly deserving of their status.
Robert Brown: Could you name some other fighters that represent the IBO that fans might not be aware of?
Ed Levine: In addition to those you have already named, Golovkin, Lara and Fury, our world champions include Marco Huck who is the most famous boxer in Germany not named Klitschko.
We also have some young stars who are not well known, Eduard Troyanovsky from Russia who is an undefeated superstar, Xolisani Ndongeni from South Africa also an undefeated champion, Raushee Warren (US former Olympian) and Moises “Chucky” Flores from Mexico, also undefeated.
Robert Brown: The WBC and the IBF announced that pro fighters fighting in the Olympics will be removed from their rankings for up to 2 years. What is the IBO’s stance on it’s champions or ranked fighters potentially fighting in the Olympics?
Ed Levine: Our rankings are computerized and provided by Boxrec, therefore they will not be removed from the rankings however, we would not permit our world champions to participate in the Olympics nor would we sanction a fighter to challenge for our title who has fought in the Olympics as a professional.
Robert Brown: Other belt organizations are currently cutting down the number of belts and champions they have. What are your thoughts on that?
Ed Levine: There are 17 weight divisions and the IBO has 17 world title holders. We have never had more than one champion per weight division nor will we.
Robert Brown: What were the main principles in founding the IBO and do you feel the objectives have or are in the process of being achieved?
Ed Levine: Transparency, honesty and integrity coupled with unbiased computerized ratings. We believe we are and remain a leader in these categories.
Robert Brown: What is the process the IBO goes through to determine whether a mandatory qualifies for a title shot, can you give examples where a proposed challenger did not meet the requirements?
Ed Levine: We have a system of tiered mandatories. For example an IBO Intercontinental champion who defends his title 3 times including one defense against a highly rated opponent can be declared mandatory. Also, the IBO has discretion to impose a mandatory where it believes that the champion is not fighting highly ranked opponents and a mandatory is necessary for the benefit of the division.
Robert Brown: On what grounds might the IBO choose to strip a belt other than a doping violation?
Ed Levine: We will vacate a title if a champion is inactive, or if a champion fights an unauthorized opponent, or if a champion engages in an activity detrimental to the sport ie: a criminal violation.
Robert Brown: What are your thoughts on your champion Gennady Golovkin taking on Kell Brook next? Do you have a prediction?
Ed Levine: There are many historical examples of great welterweight champions stepping up to meet great middleweight champions. It doesn’t get any better than this, two undefeated superstars, both champions and a great fight.
Robert Brown: Wladimir Klitschko was one of your longest reigning champions. What where your thoughts on him finally getting defeated and what are your views on the rematch with Tyson Fury?
Ed Levine: I believe that the rematch will be more closely contested. Wladimir Klitschko will bring his best this time and Tyson Fury is also very confident that he will win the rematch as well.
Robert Brown: What are the main objectives for the IBO and what do you hope achieve for the future?
Ed Levine: To continue to give opportunities to the best fighters in the world and to establish new relationships with promoters who view the opportunity of doing business with the IBO as a benefit for their fighters and their promotional companies on a professional level with no hidden agendas.