Sidekick Boxing

Who Arranges Boxing Matches?

We’re now in an era of boxing where many fight fans are regularly disappointed after watching what is ultra-hyped and considered ‘the very best boxing matches’. 

Yet, they are mismatched, have poor judging results, suspect stoppages, and, quite frankly, are not the fights we want to see. Many of us may remember the days of fighters like Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis and say, “This was when boxing was at its best as the best would fight the best”. 

Now we are in a generation where boxers only fight twice a year, and with opponents, no one wants to see them fight. Fighters are purposely ducking opponents who they see could be a risky fight and choosing an easier option. 

Who arranges Boxing Matches?

In short, a bit of everyone. You should expect the boxing promoters to organise each of the boxing matches, but boxing is different from other sports as it doesn’t have a governing body that controls who fights who. 

If you take Football and how it is structured, the F.A organise the leagues up to the Premiership division, and each team must play each other twice on both home and away pitches.

In boxing, many suggest it is a corrupt sport as it generally comes down to money that dictates the boxing matches. 

Below is a list of who arranges the boxing matches:

Boxing Promoters

The boxing promoters are the ones that ultimately have the responsibility of matchmaking. They generally communicate well with a fighter’s coach or manager to organise fair yet exciting bouts. You can almost guarantee fireworks by putting two knockout artists in the same ring. 

However, it’s sad to say that popularity can be more important for a fighter than the skill itself. This is because promoters want a return on the investment of their show and like to favour fighters who can sell more tickets. If you can imagine a fighter sells 100 tickets to their friends and family for £40 each, they have earned the promoter £4000 minus commission. 

And this is generally the case from the bottom to the top of the sport. Do you think Eddie Hearn would have worked with Joshua for all this time if he sold zero PPV? 

To keep the fights recognised legally within the sport, a promoter must use an official sanctioning body to sanction the promoter’s event. The sanctioning provides approved referees and judges to ensure the event runs safely to the rules and guidelines. 

The only issue is as there are plenty of sanctioning bodies, promoters have a wide choice of who to use. This can sometimes cause a bit of backlash for the promoter if they use a poor body and their title fights credibility.

Sanctioning Bodies

Boxing has many Championship title belts, meaning more title holders, each with different rankings. You can see the official boxing rankings and how they fare. This causes an unsolid structure to the sport, making it a bit random when boxing matches are decided. 

The World Boxing Council (WBC), International Boxing Federation (IBF), and World Boxing Organization are the other three major bodies that sanction professional boxing matches. The World Boxing Association (WBA), formerly known as the National Boxing Association (NBA), is the oldest of these bodies (WBO).

Each sanctioning body may request the champion to fight a specific mandatory challenger. If you take the current heavyweight champions Fury and Uysk, they both agree to fight each other, but there are internal complications with the sanctioning bodies. 

Fury’s promoter Frank Warren has stated that if they fight and there is a rematch clause, not all the gold will be at stake in the second time round. This is because the WBA has already ordered Daniel Dubois to fight Usyk, while the IBF have done the same for Filip Hrgovic. 

He said: “The four belts are on the line, and the winner gets them. If there is a rematch, I don’t think the four belts will be on the line for it cause I don’t think the governing bodies will allow it. I think they’ll say, ‘right, you’ve got to get on with your mandatories now.” 

With the various sanctioning bodies, it can also give each champion to use it to their advantage and blame it on the sanctioning body for their next choice of opponent. A champion may look to fight a lower-ranked opponent as it will be easier and be in a position to demand the lion’s share of the purse as they’re the A-side. 

We saw a similar thing when Anthony Joshua held three championship belts, and Deontay Wilder was the WBC champion; negotiations between them constantly fell through. Both fighters claimed to want to fight, but each wanted it in their own country, and both thought they were the higher profile fighter. This caused a stalemate, and nothing ever materialised. 

To learn more about the different sanctioning bodies, read our article ‘The different boxing belts explained’ here. 

Heavyweight Rankings


The fighters generally have the final say on who they will fight; after all, they step into the ring. We are now in a generation where fighters are so scared of having a loss on their record that they are becoming picky and choosy. 

Even Tyson Fury fought Derek Chisora when he could have fought for the undisputed against Uysk. A champion boxer can hold their belts without necessarily fighting anyone for up to 2 years. That’s a long time to hold on to the throne. Also, some of the fighters with a high social profile regularly post who they want to fight but don’t necessarily do enough to make it happen.

Andrew Tate and the Paul brothers are forever suggesting a fight, but it’s doubtful it will ever happen. It just becomes a media stunt. Connor Benn made out he was dedicated to fighting Chris Eubanks jr, yet failed a drug test the week following the fight. Fighters pulling out of fights close to the fight has become a problem as it seriously impacts the promoter’s show.

Coaches and Managers

A fighters coach may organise many or most of their fights at the amateur or lower level in the pro ranks. This is great for the fighter as they can trust their coach to vet and know the ability of their opponents, yet still want them good enough to be challenging. 

As a fighter progresses, they may get signed by a manager that can widen the opportunities and get the best deals for purses and endorsements. 

Wondering how to arrange a legal boxing match? Check out the video below:

Final Thoughts 

As you can see, it can take a lot of people to agree to a fight for it to go ahead. And with boxers only fighting several times a year, it can make it very unfortunate for fighters trying to get a well-earned title shot. Ideally, in a perfect world, it should have one organisation with one ranking that controls it. 

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