Boxing is Dead. Long Live MMA

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Does anyone realize how big boxing used to be? There is a reason that Muhammad Ali is considered one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century. He was the biggest name in the biggest sport of his era. Now I'm a sports fan. I regularly watch all of the three major US sports and I watch SportsCenter when there is nothing else to turn to. But I can't honestly think of the name of a single boxer who is still currently fighting. I think there is a Russian boxer named Klitchko, they may be two of them who are brothers, but that's about it. Heck, do a Google search on the word "boxers" and you don't get anything of relevance. It goes to show you how out of mind that sport is.

But to make matters worse there is a sport now called MMA that is really gaining traction and it is everything that boxing is not. I was flipping through the channels this weekend and stopped on a fight that was being shown on CBS. Now, I'm not a boxing fan. I'm not a fan of watching people get beat up, but I have to admit I was actually interested in the fight that was happening. There was action. It was fast. Guys were actually getting hit. And the match was over relatively quickly. The last fight, Fedor vs. Rogers, was over about 7 minutes into the fight. Just the right chunk of time in our ADD culture.

Contrast this to boxing. Most of the time fights go the full amount of rounds. Guys are throwing punches but nothing is really landing. You can go the full match and not really watch anyone get in any trouble. And of course, you end up getting some sort of split decision. How boring is that. I don't think I've ever been able to watch a boxing match end to end because it just takes too long and it is too boring.

If boxing can't capture the attention of a mainstream sports fan like myself yet there is an alternative like MMA available that can, what chance does boxing have to survive?

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