By Aaron Reynolds
In the last decade boxing has admittedly taken a sad decline like some washed up athlete clutching onto the glory for a few more disappointing years. The promotion and hype is not there, the community itself is divided, a true champion does not always exist and the sport is marred in a number of scandals and greed.
Still, the sudden emergence of Mixed Martial Arts proves that people could still use a good fight every now and then, and simply put when you compare boxing to MMA there is no question that one is more enjoyable and exciting than the other.
If you agree with that statement and think it's time for a boxing resurgence, then here are 5 Ways To Get Boxing Popular Again:
Imagine the headlines: Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao agree to a fight, and that fight will be broadcasted on NBC. You probably already can sense the hype, feel the anticipation. It's time for boxing to realize that Pay Per View is a joke and it is killing the sport. In these economical times people can afford to watch the NFL and NBA (at least from home), but not boxing. You get a huge fight like Mayweather Jr./Pacquiao on network TV and I guarantee you millions of people tune in. A great fight would only pave the way for more and more network coverage.
The other no brainer, clear cut change boxing needs to make is how it awards its champions. Right now there are four different Middleweight champions depending on whether you regard the judgment of the WBO, IBF, WBA or WBC the most. In layman's terms, boxing has become too complicated. You can no longer say that one boxer is the true champion of his weight class because of politics. Honestly, in any other sport would you take it serious if they had multiple champions each year from the same league or class?
By far the most asinine of the reasons Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao have not fought, and may never face each other in a boxing ring is because Mayweather insists that Pacquaio agree to Olympic-style drug testing before the match. Pacquiao is against it because he feels that drawing blood so close to a fight would weaken him. The problem is this shouldn't even be an issue because collectively the sport of boxing needs to mandate a fair and consistent drug testing process. All boxers, regardless of the class or promoters submit to the same testing standards. Performance enhancing drugs aren't accepted in any other sport, and the more strict the drug testing the better.
In the 1960s people didn't realize that years of getting your head bashed in could be extraordinarily dangerous to your health later in life. We witnessed the unfortunate decline of Muhammad Ali, and countless stories since that time of the tragic and depressing downfall of greats post-stardom. The reality is that boxing is an extremely violent and unforgiving sport, but surely there are ways to not only protect boxers in the ring but outside it as well. After all, it's difficult to watch a man slowly deteriorate in the ring, all of it before our eyes and simply for our own enjoyment.
The joke is that Don King runs the WBA, and boxing promoters taking advantage of their fighter is not exactly new news. A boxer will always need a great trainer and manager. But a promoter? In this DIY era it seems like boxers could do better by (gasp) representing themselves or having their fights scheduled in some type of league format. I know it's a foreign concept (admittedly a crazy one), but promoters are notorious for scandalous activity and taking advantage of their fighters which I believe has hurt the sport to a degree. More and more musicians are taking the detour past the record label and representing themselves. Why not boxers?
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