By Craig Pearson on July 18, 2014
In previous eras, boxing was one of the more popular sports around, but in recent times the interest in the sport has declined -- save for the mega events, like a Floyd Mayweather or a Manny Pacquiao fight. Boxing still has all the potential to be one of the most watched sports around, though, with no other sport offering the combined multitude of emotions, drama and skill level that boxing can.
Now, not every fighter is going to want to necessarily have an entrance like Prince Naseem Hamed, but the main events should feel like main events. Places like Germany and the UK now are bringing the lights, the fireworks, the glitz and the glamor to shows, and the fans enjoy the entertainment of the night as a whole. Big-time boxing needs to act like big-time boxing.
There are far too many belts in boxing right now. In many fights, at least one fighter is the champion of something or other, which largely is completely irrelevant. If every fight has a defending champion, then how are new or casual fans supposed to understand the fake from the real champions? The main belts of the four main sanctioning bodies are acceptable, but titles like the International, Silver, Emeritus, Super, etc have to go.
People will take an interest when they can relate to a product, but you have to give fans the accessibility and familiarity with the fighters that they need. The profile of too many fighters is way below the level of their talent and sporting success. The most well-known boxers are usually the ones who promote themselves through trash talking, yet better fighters continue to go under the radar.
Everybody wants value for money in life, so why would people spend their precious money to watch a main event with an undercard of filler fights and mismatches? They can catch the main event on TV in their own time and skip the rest. If the main event is the only attraction, then people have less reason to spend their money and support the show.
What's worse than an undercard of filler fights and mismatches? A main event that is too! There's nothing intriguing about seeing whether a top level fighter can beat a B level fighter. People want to see the best fight the best. Too much politics stops that from happening, and as a result, it holds the sport back from reaching the full potential it has.
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