As a professional sport, boxing has been around for longer than anyone can remember; and just like any sport, it has been filled with its fair share of challenges which hold back its popularity. In the past, however, especially due to the unavailability of variety when it came to contact sports, boxing has always enjoyed a large and dedicated following of fans and fighters. But in today’s vibrant sports world where competitors and viewers have their pick, these challenges are painting bigger problems for this noble sport than they ever have.
Too many titles and not enough legends
With no less than four sanctioning bodies that have championships in every weight class, with many of them having second-tier championship belts, the boxing hall of heroes is starting to look a little cluttered. Add this to the extensive amount of time some champions hold their titles for, and you often end up with two boxers holding the same belt from a sanctioning body.
All that this really serves to do is to increase sanctioning fees, as well as taking no small measure of the glory away from being a champion. Two serious factors which have been hurting the sport for a long time.
It can be more of a business than a sport
There is a bit of a negative ratio in terms of what viewers get and what they pay for in terms of pay-per-view fights. Popular fighters often sell PPV on their own accord, with the unfeatured fights not really being worth it.
In times of economic turmoil, people are reluctant to doll out large sums of cash on a boxing card that is doing little to better the sport. People just aren’t getting what they pay for anymore.
Boxing is up against fierce competition
There has been a steady rise in variety in terms of contact sports over the last decade or so, with MMA being a particularly popular example. Somewhere between its brutality, entertainment value and ability to create fighting legends, the octagon has taken a fair share of boxing’s ring-side seats away from it.
Of course, they are two very different sports, but in consistently trying to promote itself, MMA has given viewers and fighters everything that boxing has been missing out on over the last ten years or so. That’s not to say that boxing, as a sport or career path is going out of favour. There is and always will be a certain integrity in the sport, which is why it still has a dedicated following of fans and athletes. However, working on problems such as these will only increase the popularity and enjoyment of the sport; so why settle for the current state of things?
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