It’s official. Alen ‘The Savage’ Babic gets his long-anticipated world title shot in the Bridgerweight division. A weight class that was created by the WBC in July 2020 and has seen one contested world title fight, between Oscar Rivas and Ryan Rozicki in October 2021, which flew under the radar.
But Babic fighting for the crown puts a beaming spotlight on the Bridgerweight division and could split boxing into two opposite corners.
Babic Challenges For The Bridgerweight Title
Boxing pragmatists could question the existence of the Bridgerweight division and use Babic as a case and point for why a new weight class would have been better served in between light-heavyweight and cruiserweight, not cruiserweight and heavyweight.
Boxing thrill seekers may be pulled in by the prospect of the bulldozing, defensively-open Babic trading leather with the knockout artist, Lukasz Rozanski over 12 world championship rounds.
The first camp is likely to point to the fact that there is a 15-pound gap between light-heavy and cruiserweight. They may claim that if there was ever a case for a new weight class being created in boxing it should sit there, and not as an easier route to a title for small heavyweights.
They may argue that he has only fought 39 rounds of boxing in his career to date and that the caliber of opposition is more becoming of a domestic title than full world honors. Therefore, Babic being the number one contender and getting to fight for the vacant title, in that camp, would further illustrate the point that the division shouldn’t exist.
Alternatively, the second camp could clash with that view by highlighting that he brings high drama in and out of the ring. From making emotional post-fight marriage proposals to inflicting and receiving first-round knockdowns, Babic never fails to deliver entertainment for fight fans.
They may argue that if boxing dismisses the credibility of Babic, it overlooks the fact that he brings in a lot of punters. And with influencer boxing’s popularity on the rise, the thrill seekers buy into Babic as a USP in pro boxing and wouldn’t want pragmatists to rain on the parade by questioning the legitimacy of a potential world title win for the Croat.
I must confess the lack of small heavyweights deciding to throw themselves behind the division does make me question the wisdom in the WBC initiating it and raises doubts over its longevity.
However, influencer boxing dictates that the traditional sphere of the sport moves with the times. So, if Babic pulls off the win and becomes a Bridgerweight world titlist, I think we should put the niggling sense of pragmatic confusion to one side, and join in the celebrations with the thrill seekers.
By Harry Duffy