IBO president Ed Levine is approaching his 20th year with the organization, having had many of the top stars in boxing representing the belt. The IBO reputation has been unmatched when it comes to its ranking system and handling of its champions. Stars such as Lennox Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko, Gennady Golvokin and Manny Pacquiao have held the belt during Ed’s time as president and going forward into the future the IBO has heavyweight superstar Anthony Joshua holding a title.
In part 2 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Ed Levine, I discuss with him some of the highly talked about upcoming fights for the sport. Ed shares his thoughts on former IBO heavyweight champion Tyson Fury’s upcoming match with Deontay Wilder. Levine also talks about a potential Mayweather vs. Pacquiao rematch and what fans can expect from that fight. Additionally, Ed speaks on the future of the IBO heading into next year. Here is what Ed Levine had to say.
Jenna J: Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder is set to take place in December. I am wondering what your thoughts are on that fight?
Ed Levine: I think it’s intriguing. It’s an intriguing fight because no one will know what Tyson Fury brings back to the table. No one is really quite sure what Tyson Fury really was when he fought Klitschko. There’s still some doubt as to how good he is because of the way that Klitschko fought that fight.
It’s an intriguing fight and though Wilder is a great young champion, there are questions with him as well. This will be a great fight for heavyweight boxing for sure. Any place that Tyson Fury goes, interest goes with him because no one knows what he’s going to do next.
Jenna J: Ed, there have been some talks about Mayweather and Pacquiao having a rematch early next year. Do you think that rematch has any meaning to the sport at this point?
Ed Levine: I don’t believe it has any significance in terms of who is the best and who is the best welterweight. It is certainly the kind of fight that will do very well financially. Bottom line is that boxing is a business and as a business, fans will watch the fight and it will be certainly two fighters who are past their prime, however two fighters that everyone in boxing knows. There was some question about Pacquiao having an injury going into the fight.
In the scheme of current champions, they are certainly not in their prime and they certainly are not as good in the very strong division that they’re in right now. It’s a financial windfall for both boxers and fans will watch it, they’ll see it.
Jenna J: Who do you think wins the rematch?
Ed Levine: Oh that’s a good question. You can’t judge Mayweather by his last “fight”. Most of us knew that Mayweather would have an easy time with it, which he did. You can’t take much information from that fight, and years have gone by since Mayweather has had a real tough challenge. Pacquiao is also clearly not the same Pacquiao that we remember.
It’s a question of who has more left. I believe that Mayweather will be the favorite but there’s a lot of question marks, what do they each have left? It will be a fan favorite to go see and watch, but a purist will say “We’re watching two fighters that should be retired.”
Jenna J: Can you talk about the IBO and what plans it has going forward in the future?
Ed Levine: We’re very optimistic. Boxing is on a tremendous upturn, the whole boxing business is in the midst of a huge change. There are new platforms, streaming, alliances. There are more people watching boxing than there has been for a long time. The old way that we’ve seen over the past decade of two or three major broadcasters is changing. You now have DAZN, ESPN and other alliances.
The fans will have all these different opportunities to see boxing around the world at their finger tips any time on either their laptop or on their television. The world is changing and boxing is changing with it. It’s exciting because there are all of these new opportunities for boxers around the world to be seen around the world and it’s more opportunities for the IBO to demonstrate that we are a respected sanctioning body. One of the things that the IBO has always done is to be respected and that’s the way we will continue.