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MMA > Boxing

Mike Klotz

Some time has passed since the latest installment of Pacquiao-mania.  The "super-fight" was my first attempt at watching boxing since its last heyday, during the Tyson era.  Personally, I have many fond memories of watching mega-hyped fights featuring Tyson, Holyfield, Trinidad, De LaHoya, Lewis, Roy Jones, and even Prince Naseem Hamed.  During this same time I started watching MMA.  At the time MMA, the UFC in particular, was a proving ground where different fighting styles would face off against one another to see which was superior.  Most guys were really good at one aspect of MMA and attempted to win utilizing their strengths and avoiding their opponents strengths.  MMA has evolved, boxing has not. 


Now boxing has had much more time as an organized sport and less to evolve from, I understand that.   The heyday of many superstar fighters in boxing is long gone at this point. Without the star power its hard to put together a compelling enough card to justify the $54.99 price tag.  That's quite a hefty price for ONE compelling fight.  The UFC on the other hand, will have many fights that are compelling.  Usually the top 3 fights are intriguing enough for a casual fan to justify their PPV price at $44.99.  Therefore, MMA can survive a lackluster main event, boxing relies solely on the main event.  In the instant gratification society that we live in, relying on one fight to deem an event exciting or not is a dangerous game to play. 

The PPV buys prove that fight fans see it the same way as UFC events crush boxing barring a mega-super fight in boxing being the event.  Looking at the top ten PPV Events in both boxing and MMA last year, the UFC has 7 of them.  Boxing had the top two, Mayweather V. Mosely (1.5 mil buys) and Pacquiao vs.Margarito, (1.15 mil buys).   All of the top ten boxing cards on this list have either Pacman (2) or Mayweather (1) on the main marquee.  MMA had a wide range of its fighters on the main event and still managed to get a large amount of buys.;_ylt=As3sTGztWXzVgn_ElE9iZy09Eo14?slug=dm-ppvbiz011111

Beyond the story lines of a UFC fight, their product is simply more entertaining.  A UFC fight can end at any moment of the fight.  The little gloves and the submission skill set that many fighters hold; any moment could be the last moment of the fight.  Boxing, on the other hand, is much more likely to go the distance.  A MMA fight is much more unpredictable than boxing.  Once could easy attempt to predict who is going to win a fight but the method is harder to predict.  Boxing, the method is going to be punches and that's it.  The biggest problem is that its usually the judges and not punches that decide who one a boxing match. 

Dana White's motto "Don't leave the fight in the judges hands"

Another problem for boxing is its ridiculous presentation.  Both fighters in the Pacman V. Mosley entered the ring with the most cliche' songs one could imagine for walking into a boxing ring.  Mosley walked to the ring accompanied by LL Cool J performing, "Mamma Said Knock You Out."  Real cutting age, new stuff - I suppose that Kid and Play had a prior arraignment.  The champ couldn't be outdone as Manny walked out to the Survivor song, "Eye of the Tiger," actually being sung by the Survivor guy (who ever the hell that is).  Very fitting to chose two played out, long out of style songs for an archaic pastime. 


They were booked for a bar mitzvah

Whenever I can find someone who thinks that boxing is superior (they are getting harder to find) they will always say something like "I don't want to see a couple of guys rolling around on the ground hugging each other."  Homophobia is something isn't it?  Yes that's exactly wants going on, guys are simply rolling around hugging one another - the sweaty the better.  Its so ridiculous and it reveals ignorance beyond homophobia.  Surely there is MUCH more going on than simply rolling around and believe it or not you probably won't become gay by watching it.  That is of course, unless you already are (not that there's anything wrong with that).  If you think that there IS something wrong with that, maybe you should hit up Rev. Haggard and get his 21 day gay cure. 


The second most argument I hear is that, "MMA is just too brutal to watch that is why I prefer boxing."  It has been estimated that over 90% of boxers sustain a brain injury. To make these matters worse when a boxer is hit so hard in the head that they are dropped to the ground and could have lost consciousness for a moment they have a 10 count to get up so they can have it happen again.  In MMA, once a person in KO'ed, knocked down, or shows that they cannot defend themselves - the fight is over and damage is limited.  Yes there are moments in MMA fights where blood is all over the place but cuts heal - your brain does not.  So whats more brutal?  Ask Joe Frazier, Ali, or any other retired professional boxer (who isn't named Foreman) what they think.  That is if you can understand their response. 

8 count.jpg

Well you're standing after I counted to 8...

Young fans are flocking to the UFC in droves due their exemplary marketing.  The UFC fighters are very accessible via social media.  Many times fighters will follow their fans on twitter, retweet messages, and even follow some of their fans.  It allows UFC fans to be a part of the action and to have a personal connection to fighters.  The countdown shows are produced very well and develop story lines for many of the fights on the card beyond the main event.  They will go as far as showing multiple fights for free on Facebook and Spike (and other networks) for free.  The UFC also has fan expos a couple of times per year in which most of the fighters are in attendance to meet the fans.  It is also hard to overlook the attention that is attained from The Ultimate Fighter reality show on Spike to the sport.  I agree that the UFC's viewers are mainly white males but they are making strives to attain a more diverse audience.  I feel that the successful careers of different ethnic groups will bring in those respective audiences.  The fact that the UFC has the first Mexican heavyweight champion in Cain Velasquez and many other successful Asian and African American fighters.

Boxing is doing nothing to attract a younger audience.  Boxing's audience will dwindle as the sand falls through the hour glass.  The lack of compelling fights, fighters, marketing to youth, aging audience, and flat out bad product will sooner or later strike boxing from noteworthiness and put them as a footnote, or simply as just one aspect of MMA.




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mcmitch said:

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You've managed to write one of the most ridiculous pieces I've read in many years. Actually managed to get me to register, too. You are spewing utter nonsense, unsustainable arguments, and should be ashamed of yourself. Why is this website using a hack that concedes he hasn't watched boxing since Tyson's prime (that's 20 years, genius)? Maybe you missed...oh jesus, i'm not going here. But you missed a lot. And you quoted the opening montage from Days of our Lives. And where did get the 90% figure of boxers with brain injuries? Don't answer me. Just don't write your next piece during commercials while watching Spike.

Mike Klotz said:


I got the 90% stat from American Association of Neurological Surgeons used as a secondary source by Men's Health found here: I have no problem with you disagreeing with my arguments but accusing me of a fabrication is a low blow.

Maybe I have missed things in the last twenty years. For me, its due to the fact that there isn't anything compelling going on. There hasn't been a legit heavyweight superstar since Tyson. Plus MMA brings more excitement and unpredictability with many things beyond just punching.

This article shows that MMA betting is 4 times that of boxing in Vegas. Colbert in this article also backs my sustainable argument that MMA fans watch more than just the main event. Oh man, 1,000 Ways to Die is back on - I have to go. Thanks for reading!

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