How to "save" boxing?
I'm not sure where else to ask this, but I've been wondering this for a while now and would like your opinions on this. I've noticed a lot of dumbass casual MMA fans (as riverthead so eloquently puts it) really like fighters like Chris Leban who like to stand and throw. My idea is that boxing should remove the boxing gloves and use the smaller gloves that the UFC currently uses. I'd make the fights in boxing around 6 rounds at the very most. I really think this would make their fights a lot more exciting and probably a lot safer for the fighters themselves.
My question is do you think this approach would work?
As far as combat sports go, I think MMA has already taken the lead is not looking back.
Just my 2 cents though.
I think we will start seeing GREAT boxers start training MMA earlier and enter MMA orgs.
To save boxing you need the one thing that there is 0 hope of in boxing; a promoter/org that is willing to spend money to develop young talent without any hope of a return on investment for several years or more. Boxing needs a Bonnar/Griffin type moment and it needs to be free on TV for people to watch. Watching two up and comers fight is a hell of a lot more interesting when you actually know something about the two fighters. There are no young boxers that I am aware of that have people talking. There is just the same few names that get tossed around and repeated.
Also, boxing cards need quality undercards. When I used to watch the big name PPVs for boxing, it was always a social event/hang around/do other things until the main event came on. No one really got hyped other than the top fight and rarely was the relevance of any undercard match known.
Lastly, less time with the announcers talking! I'm tired of seeing that old dinosaur talking about boxing. Show some fights, show some KOs, show something! Especially with a large group of people watching, no one can hear him. Show prelim fights or something. Show the next guy fighting winning his last few fights. Something visual for those at the bar watching.
Doesn't solve any of the big problems with boxing.
Too many shitty organisations with too many shitty belts. Without the face of a real champion, the average sport fan has no one to connect with. Essentially, it makes for a lack of superstars. Naming all the various champions in each division even for an avid boxing fan is difficult.
No prime time or free boxing as an entry level for new fans to the sport. ie Ultimate Fighter or Ultimate Fight Night cards.
Big fights aren't happening any more or when they do not regularly enough.
Smaller gloves solves none of these problems and would probably just cause more health issues with the standing 10 count allowing people to recover and fight on from things that would end a fight in MMA.
Best hope for boxing is their amateur and Olympic events.
I started watching boxing around the early 90s, loved it at the time, but now with K-1 and MMA, it's tough for me to watch it.
I have really been enjoying K-1 recently over the past couple years.
Relevant fights is what boxing needs, that and an up and coming unorthodox fighter. Especially in countries other than just the States. Say for example, a Prince Naseem style fighter comes out of Lebanese or Italy or something....knocking people out in unorthodox fashion, that would be huge. There are Lebanese and Italian communities around the world and it would cause a buzz for his fights and get a lot of people and new fans interested.
The fact is boxing commissions still rule MMA, so they aren't going anywhere. In the commissions mind, boxing still comes before MMA.
I hope that K-1 starts taking off more in the states and replaces boxing all together, but as long as their are intercity areas across the states where golden gloves champs come from rising through the amateur rankings, boxing will be here for a while.
A dominating American Heavyweight boxer would save boxing tomorrow if he came along. You need someone like Tyson to just come in and start knocking people out flat while looking unstoppable. Or a guy like Ali who could talk the talk and walk the walk then go win in style.
Boxing lives and dies with the heavyweight division. Remember it was only 10-15 years ago boxing was still a pretty big deal when you had the Lewis-Holyfield-Tyson fights going on. Now those three are gone and boxing doesn't matter anymore. If you had a good young guy come up and just beating the snot out of people, suddenly boxing would be front and center on ESPN and on the front page of newspapers again.
I can't fathom an answer which doesn't involved the use of some sort of time machine.
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