Is boxing dead???
I say no.
Is it on life support??? Perhaps.
The question is… Can boxing be saved???
I’m old school. I still like boxing over MMA. I get the appeal with mixed-martial arts, but I’ll stick with the sweet science. Most people my age and younger probably don’t even know that at one point, boxing was the biggest sport in the world. Now, it might not even be in the Top 10.
So what’s changed??? The answer is there are no more stars left. No Ali’s or Frazier’s. No Hagler’s or Hearns’. No Leonard’s or Duran’s. No Mike Tyson.
All we have left are Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Will they ever fight??? Let’s say they do. Then what’s next??? That’s the problem that boxing has. Mayweather-Pacquiao, in a lot of people’s eyes will be boxing’s last big fight.
I have other ideas…
This is how you save boxing. You start with a commissioner. The reason that the UFC has taken off is primarily due to one man; Dana White. His relentless marketing along with his tremendous business acumen have been the driving force behind his company’s surge. If boxing could find the one person with the right plan to get things cleaned up, a revival is possible.
Here’s where it gets good…
Next step. Throw away the belts. All 647 of them. Take ‘em all, throw ‘em in the trash and burn ‘em.
Earlier I said that boxing needs stars. How do you create stars??? By holding tournaments in every weight class to determine new champions. Why is the NCAA Tournament so successful??? Because they turn unknown kids and schools into household names. Just imagine if you had a 16-man tournament in each class that lasted over a one year period. It could be the biggest thing this side of the Super Bowl. With 17 different weight classes you could spread the fights out evenly over the year, where fighters have 3 months off in between. 3 months is a little shorter than normal for fighters, but they could manage.
The best way to bring these new faces into your homes is… Are you ready for this??? PUT THE FIGHTS ON ACTUAL TV!!!!!!!! Remember that??? Muhammad Ali used to fight on ABC, not PPV. Now I understand that you can’t have all of the fights for free, but what about the first 2 rounds? Introduce these fighters to the American consciousness. Get us invested in their story and then make us want more. So much so, that we’ll actually pay for it.
You can even broadcast the Final 4’s of the less glamorous weight classes on regular TV as well. Once the boxers and America are 9 months into the tournaments, we will be salivating for the big-time pay per views at the end of the year. I know I will.
There’s hope for you yet boxing. Now let’s make that hope happen.
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