By Dexter Reyes
I’m a boxing fan in my 20’s, but boxing is losing ground in America and UFC or Mixed Martial Arts is taking over as the premiere combat sport in a big way. The UFC is marketed as being cool and hip while boxing is marketed as your grandpa’s sport, the MMA bandwagon is strong and the trend has everyone and their mother signing up to train in it.
I find it hard to find anyone my age to talk boxing with. The only time I can actually converse with people around my age in their 20’s and 30’s about boxing is on the internet on boxing message boards and websites, in real life, I run into more people who know about MMA and the UFC than boxing.
I enjoy both MMA and Boxing but as of the moment, boxing is losing it’s excitement to me. The UFC puts on consistent action filled cards and the fighters fight with no fear and go out swinging. Boxing doesn’t have that anymore, they don’t have that many exciting fighters like they used to, the only megastars left are Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.. Without any fresh new faces in America boxing will slowly succumb to the UFC. Manny Pacquiao is the most exciting fighter in the world that MMA fans and Boxing fans both like to watch, but without more Pacquiao’s who are willing to throw down and put on a show how will boxing attract a fresh new audience when most of the young boxers today do more holding and running than actual fighting.
The UFC 126 pay-per-view headlined by Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort was awesome from top to bottom and it had more action than the HBO fight of Timothy Bradley vs. Devon Alexander, a fight that hardcore boxing fans labeled the most anticipated boxing match of the year, the fight was boring and a dud, the only damage done was from a clash of heads.
When people spend $50 to 60 on a pay-per-view they want to get entertaining fights so they leave feeling satisfied and Dana White and the UFC know this and that is why they make matches that will almost guarantee excitement. With boxing you can order a pay-per-view and after it’s over you might wind up feeling conned because the main event was boring like Bernard Hopkins vs. Roy Jones Jr. II or Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr..
It seems boxers are not cut from the same cloth as MMA fighters, American boxers are scared to throw punches and get hit, while MMA fighters slug it out like hungry young lions. Maybe being spoiled with million dollar paydays made the boxers soft? UFC fighters get paid peanuts compared to star boxers, but that is what makes them fight harder to earn their paycheck, and if they lose or put on a boring fight Dana White can cut them from the UFC.
Boxing might be healthy in other countries, like in England they have Amir Khan who is my personal favorite fighter, but in America, it’s pretty much non-existent, the only boxers that Americans know are Manny Pacquiao arguably the most exciting fighter in either MMA or Boxing and Floyd Mayweather Jr. an undefeated fighter that most Americans hate and just order his fights to see him lose.
Right now boxing is on a lifeline and gasping for air and once Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. retire the future of the sport is looking dim. It will take a miracle for boxing to become relevant in the United States again.
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