Why is boxing suffering?

floyd_mayweather.jpg

While working as a photojournalist for several boxing agencies, I conducted many interviews with fighters, referees, managers and promoters. Although disgusted by the stories of corruption and exploitation, the criminal business element of boxing has always been in existence. So why is the sport suffering now?

I believe the fighters are responsible for the decline in interest in the sport.

Years ago when boxing was one of the more popular sports in America, fighters fought several times a year and in some instances fighting weeks apart. Since the fighters fought with regularity, they were well known amongst sports fans and the general public.

It was even possible to reach celebrity status without having a title. These days a championship belt does not guarantee celebrity status.

I guess America just likes there fighters stupid and tough. In the end, the fighters have nothing to show for their efforts except medical conditions that leave them bedridden, meaningless awards and debt.

The current generation of fighters is well aware of the exploitation and dangers that exists in boxing. As a result, their attitude is FUCK YOU, PAY ME!

Talent alone won’t draw interest back into boxing. It will take regularity, charm and charisma. Fighters like Floyd Mayweather Jr. could have been the revival that boxing needed. His reluctance to fight regularly and high caliber opposition has hurt boxing and his opportunity to be a celebrity outside of boxing.

The merger of Damon Dash and Lou Dibella will have little impact on the sport. The two joined forces last year in an effort to merge Hip-Hop with boxing. Fight fans don’t care who the promoter is. They just want to see good fights.

Golden Boy Promotions has a good strategy, by targeting the Latin community, where boxing is still a celebrated sport. It will be interesting to see if Golden Boy can spark the same interest amongst the general public in America.

There has to be a way to draw interest in the sport and protect the interest of the fighters. The only way I can see this happening is if fights are made available on public television and if the fighters start retiring at an early age. There is no reason for fighters to keep fighting past the age of 35. Boxing is extremely dangerous and the fighters safety has to be considered as well.

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15 Responses to “Why is boxing suffering?”

  1. Joseph Chiasson Says:

    Boxing is ok if you are very good like Lennox Lewis, the Boxer better be in good shape to box if he want to be not hit, Larry holmes was the best, Mike Tyson was the Best etc etc If you cannot knock a person in 12 round do not box at All go in Karate instead Joseph Chiasson reply

  2. nigelclarke Says:

    Okay?….

  3. Blakksheap Says:

    Boxing is fading because of current “future fighting” sports. Take MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) for instance. The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) has taken the fighting sports to a whole new level. The fighters are tough, exciting to watch, and just all around respectful and down to earth people. No trash talking or big egos to interfere with the purity of the sport. After watching just one UFC event, boxing has become redundant and, dare I say it, boring. MMA has been sanctioned in the U.S. and is selling out venues in Las Vegas and California. This is what the fighting sports should be like.

  4. Nigel Clarke Says:

    Blak,

    I’m not familiar with MMA, but I can’t see it hurting boxing. There are egos in every sport. On a whole, I can say that boxing is boring either.

  5. Blakksheap Says:

    Nigel,

    Saturday, February 4th, live on PPV will be UFC 57. Featuring a rubberband light heavyweight championship bout. $34.95 through your cable or satellite provider. 3 hours, yes I said it, 3 hours of the most entertaining and pure fighting you’ve ever seen. Tune in, you won’t be disappointed.

  6. Nigel Clarke Says:

    Blak,

    I plan on checking it out. I’m very interested.

  7. Blakksheap Says:

    Nigel,

    When you do, after the event do me a favor and post your thoughts on the sport. I’m not a spokesman or salesperson trying to steal any fans from boxing, as I have been a big boxing fan since I was a young boy. But I also have been a huge fan of MMA since ’93 and the sport has just gotten huge since then. I would love to hear from another fight fan about their thoughts of MMA. Thanks.

    P.S.
    Here is the link to the UFC’s main website as well as some other MMA related sites: http://www.ufc.tv, http://www.mma.tv, & http://www.sherdog.com

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  14. Bob Halloran Says:

    Thought your readers might be interested in this story/book about Micky Ward.

    http://www.thebostonchannel.com/sports/14423778/detail.html

  15. miltonluban Says:

    Hello, I have a blog called http://boxing-news-schedule-results.com/ would you liek to do a link exchange? If so please contact me thanks Milton Luban

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