People wonder why the sweet science of boxing is slowly losing importance in the sports world, and that’s a sad thing.
As a child, boxing was always on the nationally syndicated television channels like ABC, CBS, NBC. But now we have to shell out $99 just to watch maybe three hours of entertainment from our own livingroom.
This past weekend’s Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. welterweight fight embodied everything that is wrong with how the sport is marketed. You have two of the more decorated fighters in the sport today, and yet, the pay-per-view costs more than a quick trip to Target.
Look at a lot of the cities where these fighters come from. Chances are they’re not fighting out of some gated community … that is until they start bringing in the prize money.
How do big money sports, like professional football, afford to play their games on national television without charging exorbitant fees each week to watch?
It’s called saturating the market with your brand name. The National Football League is a common household name, whereas boxing has way too many federations and commissions to begin to mention.
Keep it simple, boxing. Start showing some of your fights on cable television periodically — not on some channel that most fans do not have.
Boxing is a blue collar sport right down to its very roots.
Look back at some of the American history books; men used to fight to support their families during the Great Depression.
Boxing has been around for ages, it started as one of the original Olympic sports, and it still is today.
The sport got a much needed lift with the most lucrative payout in sports history with the Pacquiao-Mayweather bout drawing $180 million in prize money for the winner, Mayweather.
Where do you think all that money came from?
Last Thursday, I was up in the break room at our office, and the vending machine attendant overheard one of my coworkers and I talking about the big fight on Saturday.
The fellow seemed to be really invested in the fighting culture, while I have become sort of distanced from it due to its unavailability on regular cable television.
Does anyone remember the old cable boxes, where you could watch the big fights in scramble vision for free? Those were the days.
How does boxing not take any flack like football for head injuries called in the sport. After all, isn’t the object of a boxing match to outpunch your opponent and in some cases, knock him out?
I haven’t heard of any panels trying to ban the sport of boxing. And, much like football, I don’t think it will ever go away.
Boxing is one of the more rudimentary sports in terms of equipment. At the amateur levels, fighters wear gloves with more padding, and they wear headgear to help cushion potential concussion-caliber blows.
As fighters move into the professional ranks, the extent of the equipment worn is the girdle underneath the shorts, gloves and boots.
Boxing is an expensive sport for a fan. People often take to the Internet to find stories on their favorite fighters and to see what bars the matches will be shown in.
While a lot of people tuned into Saturday’s prime time fight, it got a lot of the nonfans talking about who they would like to see win.
The news was all over the event, but if boxing returned to the levels of interest it had in the 1980s and 1990s, maybe new fighters would get the same recognition that Mike Tyson or Sugar Ray Leonard got back in the day.
Pacquiao-Mayweather, while many dubbed it a boring bout, did something that not many boxing matches have accomplished in the last decade
It brought eyes back to the sport.
Follow Ed Niser on Twitter/Tout: @EdNiser