A brief note to record my bemusement at the growing trend to feature news, interviews and previews on UFC and MMA events on boxing websites. Maxboxing, TheSweetscience (RIP) and BoxingTalk have all committed this particular crime and the reach is spreading. Is boxing so devoid of charisma or the tools required to reach out for the younger audience that it needs to steal goodwill from the aspiring fight code?
UFC isn’t boxing. Arguably marketed and run better, but it isn’t boxing and I wish my preferred list of daily digests would refrain from soiling their sites with news about some shaven-headed, lantern jawed wrestler with driving gloves on. Does a sport that took 150 years to shed the anarchy of bare-knuckle brawls, wrestling and illegal contact really need to look deep into its past to realign itself to a 21st century audience?
Pugilists as pure as Willie Pep, Sugar Ray, Ezzard Charles, Ray Leonard graced our sport. Using guile, craft, technique, speed, power and engaged in some of the most memorable sporting moments ever seen. In modern day classics like Corrales v Castillo, Barrera v Morales and Gatti v Ward surely the sport has the type of quality and depth of entertainment to attract audiences?
I hate the fact boxing websites feel the need to prostitute their integrity to capture the attention of the 18-35 demographic. Perhaps this hate merely mask my despair with boxing and its fractious and fractured management. The talent pool is deep enough, their are enough avenues for the sports promotion and it still has a purity of spirit at its core, it isn’t too late for boxing.
But if it is to resist the creep of UFC on to its territory it really needs to shake it head and re-establish the jab. Because the appearance of UFC news on boxing outlets suggests the sport is taking a metaphoric standing 8 count.