Windhoek-Namibia’s triple world champion Julius ‘Blue Machine’ Indongo and his opponent Terence Crawford will each pay more than N$1,3-million in sanctioning fees from their undisclosed seven-figure purses to fight for world’s four major titles (WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF), it was reported yesterday.
The two fighters will meet on August 19 for their full unification world title fight at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska. The figures are so high because Crawford (31-0, 22 KOs) and Indongo (22-0, 11 KOs) each will submit 12 percent of their respective purses for the right to fight for those four championship belts.
Indongo was stripped of the IBO 140-pound championship on Monday to avoid paying more money in sanctioning fees. If that fifth title (IBO) would’ve been at stake a week from Saturday night, Crawford and Indongo would’ve paid even more in sanctioning fees.
The IBF, WBA, WBC, WBO and IBO typically take 3 percent apiece from the purses of a champion and challenger when those organisations sanction a title fight.
In cases of superstars, such as Floyd Mayweather Jr, Manny Pacquiao and Canelo Alvarez, the sanctioning bodies often negotiate lower fees for title fights, because those highly paid stars aren’t willing to pay 3 percent from their eight-figure purses.
Whoever wins the Crawford-Indongo fight will become the first boxer in any division in 12 years to hold the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO titles at the same time. The last boxer to own all four titles at the same time was Jermain Taylor, who won the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO middleweight titles from Bernard Hopkins in July 2005.
When Taylor and Hopkins fought again in December 2005, only the WBA, WBC and WBO middleweight titles were at stake in their immediate rematch. Mandatory defenses and champions’ unwillingness to pay four sanctioning fees have prevented such mega fights from happening in the 12 years since Taylor beat Hopkins at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.