Is Boxing Having a Renaissance?

Written by JR Hartley
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Boxing is regarded as the sweet science and is one of the oldest sports around. In the previous century, boxing was one of the biggest spectacles on the planet, and some of the best sports stars were boxers.

With legends in and out of the ring like Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Robinson, George Foreman, and Joe Frazier, to name a few, the sports had some of the most prominent personalities in the world.

However, fans felt boxing had fallen off in the 21st century and isn't the draw it used to be. The past few years seem to dispel that notion, so is boxing having a renaissance?

Celebrity Influence

As stated above, it wasn't the best boxers who were just good in the ring; they were also extraordinarily polarising and had people holding on to every word. Celebrities bring their entertainment culture to the ring by bringing narratives, as typified by Jake Paul.

The former YouTuber is known for his outlandish comments and has generated much interest, even if it is hate. He has earned a match against World Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury's brother, Tommy Fury. When betting on boxing, you can see he is the underdog at 8/5, but his in-ring ability has improved exponentially since his first fight. So, despite the latest boxing tips, some would predict that he can come out on top.

What is apparent is the impact he has had on the sport. YouTubers like his brother Logan Paul, KSI and AnEsonGib elevated the sport for many new viewers, and it's opened this world of celebrity boxing. Since 2018 we've seen a slew of celebrities boxing, including Aaron Carter, Nate Robinson and Bryce Hall. The trend may not continue, but it seems to be generating a lot of interest; whether it is good for boxing or not is a matter of opinion.

Return of the Heavyweight

The heavyweight division has always been the calling card of professional boxing. The spectacle of two insanely large human beings in hand-to-hand combat with each other is genuinely entertaining. That is why many of the greatest boxers have all been heavyweights. There is just something about all of that power that is a marvel to watch.

However, in the 21st Century, we saw lower-weight divisions take centre stage. The technical capabilities of the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are breathtaking. Their speed, footwork and intensity have carried boxing for the past few years. Nevertheless, heavyweights usually make for spectacular fights, and having great fighters in that division is good for boxing.

The last few years have seen the resurrection of Tyson Fury, who is a captivating individual. He is joined by some excellent fighters like Oleksandr Usyk, Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, Andy Ruiz Jr., and a host of others. They have produced some awe-inspiring contests, shocking upsets, and tremendous storylines. Having heavyweights back on top has garnered a lot of fever from boxing fans

What Has Changed?

Has boxing gone through a metamorphosis, or has it remained the same? It is just that more people are paying more attention. What seems to help a sport or a promotion is marketing. If they can't market themselves, nobody will care about it. However, you also need to have a "product", and showcasing excellent fighters who can also sell a fight is paramount to success. Mayweather may have made boxing boring with his dominance; if people know the outcome, why bother watching? Also, if a champion is ducking fights against the best challenger, people will instantly be turned away.

The UFC is so popular that the best fighters are always competing against each other, which usually results in terrific fights. Boxing appears to be learning from its combat sports competitor, as we have been treated to some great fights recently. Long may it continue, as boxing seems to be returning to its best.

Read 1726 times Last modified on Monday, 15 November 2021 15:58
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JR Hartley

JR Hartley

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