Let’s make Boxing global
By Ronnie Jordan: After watching the brilliant Ricky Burns v. Ramon Martinez super featherweight slug-fest last night it got me thinking how incredible the atmosphere was with the fervent Scottish crowd singing flower of Scotland and roaring every time Burns landed a shot. It showed what a phenomenal sport boxing can be at its best and how passionate the supporters get behind there home grown fighters.
Being a boxing fan in the UK I’ve always had to look across the pond for the big world title fights. America has for decades been the epicenter of championship boxing and big money events. Nearly all the wealth in the sport is generated by American promoters and TV companies and generally if a big fight was taking place it would be there. Although today there’s big fights talking place in football stadiums around Europe and Asia the pull of America is still too strong for many fighters to resist.
Looking at the new breed of fighters coming through the wealth of boxing talent is far more evenly spread around the world. With current super stars already like Manny Pacqiauo and Wladimir Klitschko and young fighters coming through like Yuriorkis Gamboa, David Lemieux, and Matvey Korobov the previous American dominance of the p4p list will soon be challenged. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not writing America off in any way. I’m not stupid enough to ignore young American talent like Timothy Bradley and Paul Williams and great prospects like Omar Henry and Mike Jones. I am acknowledging however the definite change in the tides. For me this is great for the wealth and world wide popularity of the sport. Hole countries unite behind there fighters especially smaller impoverished nations who lack the wealth of top sportsman we enjoy in Western Europe and America.
In the UK we have a healthy domestic scene and a strong following of passionate fans who love the sport. The recent world title fights held in the o2 arena and Wembley stadium are always packed full and it could be argued they have a much better atmosphere than either Madison Square Garden or the MGM grand Lass Vegas. The tendency to always host these shows in America is of course motivated by money. The large pay per view audiences inevitably come from the USA and when there’s an American fighter on the bill then of course that makes sense. But soon enough we will start seeing a lot more clashes with fighters from different countries and its then I hope the lure of America doesn’t take these bouts away from the fans. There have of course been phenomenal nights in American venues like the recent trilogy of Juan Manual Marquez vs. Manny Pacquiao. But just imagine those fights held in a Mexican or Filipino football stadium. The atmosphere would of been incredible with the adoring passionate fans cheering every minute of every round. I would have to say these classic match ups would have been so much better.
There’s the on going talk of David Haye vs. Wladimir klitschko which I know is getting ridiculous, but if they do finally meet I’d much prefer seeing it at the o2 arena or a German football stadium. Both venues would be full of English and German fans singing and cheering at the top of there voices, passionately getting behind there fighter.
Lets put aside financial interest for a second and think about what would make the sport more enjoyable around the world. The fellow country men of fighters are the people who care about them so they should be able to see them live. I think its about time boxing becomes a globally run sport with invested interest all over the world not just in America.
If we do it for nothing else at least consider me having to stay up till 4am to watch a fight. It’s not fair!
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