Has the UFC Killed Boxing?
By Jason Kim: I realize this article will anger some and go over the heads of other boxing fans, but there’s some realities that need to be accepted. Boxing is slowly being eroded and diminished by more entertaining sports like the MMA, specifically UFC.
In an article by Bernard Fernandez from Philly.com, he discusses how Joe Hand, a national closed circuit distributor for both boxing and UFC events, is saying that boxing is decreasing in business when he sells the events to bars and restaurants whereas UFC events are increasing substantially.
Hand, 72, says “When I got to sell [UFC] to a bar or restaurant, they understand they’re going to get three hours of entertainment.” Hand goes on to point out that the majority of the boxing cards only have one good fight, but the undercard is usually crappy and thrown together at the last moment. He has a point. Many of the big boxing events often have only one good fight. That’s not to say that there’s no stars on the undercard because there is usually at least a couple of talented prospects on the undercard.
However, the boxing promoters make a mistake of creating huge mismatches in the undercard in a move to both protect their prospects from harm while at the same time to make them look better than they really are. That’s something that has got to change because boxing fans can’t afford to pay $49.95 to see one good fight with the rest of it being garbage that turns off the casual fans.
If you look at a typical UFC fight, every bout on the card is a competitive one. Dana White, the president of the UFC, doesn’t set up mismatches because he understands that MMA fans have no interest in seeing an uncompetitive fight. Boxing promoters need to adapt and get a clue from the UFC, because they’re destroying the sport of boxing with their lack of competitive fights.
Hand says “People ask, ‘do you think UFC will kill boxing? “It already has. Boxing is dead.” Hand goes on to point out that bars will choose a cheaper UFC event rather than a more expensive alternative, like the upcoming September 19th bout between Floyd Mayweather vs. Juan Manuel Marquez, which will go for twice as much as the UFC 103 event, which takes place the same night.
Right now, MMA is going way up in popularity whereas boxing appears to be slowly dying. It’s not too late for boxing to create a revival but it starts with the promoters. They need to create better match ups and start doing more to market the new stars that they’re tying to develop.
Although I personally prefer boxing over UFC, I have to agree that the typical UFC event is much more appealing than watching even the best boxing card. And the reason is simple. The boxing cards generally only have one good fight with the rest of them huge mismatches. Even the main fight card is often a huge mismatch. Take for example the bout between Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao in May.
Hatton had nothing on his record that would show that he belonged in the same ring with Pacquiao, yet he was matched with him anyway and ended up being destroyed in a 2nd round blowout. Hatton was a good fighter, but he had never proven that he was a true quality fighter by beating a great fighter in the past. He lost to Mayweather two years earlier and had struggled against an old 37-year-old Kostya Tszyu at the end of his career.