Recently Boxing’s mantle as the main ‘fight’ sport has come under serious danger from Blended Martial Arts (MMA), and in particular the Dana White lead Final Fighting Championship (UFC).
Slick presentations, clever advertising and the capability to generate the fights which fans yearn to see, has seen the UFC explode in the United States. The trend is now positively spreading across Canada, Europe and the remaining World.
Claims and nations who after barred MMA activities as ‘too brutal’ are now actually openly promoting them in their top stadia and venues. The UFC Events always have sell-out crowds regardless of the venue enormity, and it’s extended while the train has distribute to nations like the UK and Ireland. Other MMA Organisations, such as for example Pride (Japan) and Affliction also get large crowds for his or her events. All that is occurring against the back-drop of an international recession!
On another hand, Boxing has been a mainstream populous sport for in excess on 100 years. Legends such as for example Muhammad Ali, Marvellous Marvin Hagler, Rocky Marciano, Sugar Lewis Leonard and Henry Tyson (to name a few) are family names amongst most people from both sides of the Atlantic.
Boxing, celebrity and charisma have gone ‘hand in hand’ for decades. View re-runs of Gervonta davis fights from the 90’s on YouTube and try and spot the non-celebrities ringside – it’s extremely tough! With such celebrity links comes large revenues – something top-level practitioners have, in several cases, capitalised upon to become acutely rich, with their promoters.
Nevertheless, that huge influx of celebrity and wealth seemingly have come at a pricey price for the respectable artwork of boxing. With such income and prestige open to ‘World Champion’s’, every promoter wanted a champ. It’s led to the increased number of fat sections (very small deviation between the weights) and most damagingly the release of the numerous ‘alphabet’ World Titles.
The original and respectable boxing organisations like the WBC, WBA, IBF have substantially swelled with the growing of the WBO and IBO, followed by such non-entity belts while the WBU. All it’s led to numerous World Winners at each fat class. Though it’s today commonly accepted that it’s the fighter who ‘makes the belt’ (The Ring Strip is finally determined upon in that way), the reluctance of organisations to interlink suggests many ‘top’ fights never occur. Combine that with the reluctance of marketers / practitioners to chance their status as ‘World Champ’ for such a thing less an ‘using this earth payday’ and you the present scenario.
Though there are always exceptions to the principle, as Ricky Hatton and PBF lately proved, it’s too often the event that the best practitioners don’t actually match in the ring. This is not the case in MMA, where every event looks to provide one or more fight between a fat sections top two. Additionally there are less fat sections, and, unlike boxing, there never looks to become a mis-match in order to ‘pad’ a fighter’s record. The charisma / celebrity side of the sports can be turning in MMA’s favor (and that’s not referring to Tito Ortiz’s partner!). Celebrities such as for example Paris Hilton are normal place at UFC activities, Donald Trump positively stimulates activities in his sites although the Goldenboy of Boxing, Oscar Del Hoya, was lately ecstatically cheering ringside at the Affliction major event of Fedor v Arloski (he had a small business fascination with that event).
It appears that MMA is obviously demanding Boxing’s supremacy want it has never been pushed before. Many fans suggest the sports are as different as Baseball would be to Rugby, but their audience catchment communities most definitely overlap. If MMA, and the UFC in particular, continue steadily to ‘run their business’ and improve as they have recently they have a huge future. They need to take a cautious notice of what’s occurred to boxing recently and learn from their mistakes. On a ‘flip-side’, perhaps boxing and it’s bosses must ‘go-back to basics’, standard the MMA success system and re-invent their model accordingly. Just time will tell.