Boxing’s modern history goes back a century. Legendary fighters stepped into the ring to show their prowess and won the hearts of millions of people.
There was a time when boxers were regarded as titans among athletes and their popularity had no comparison. One need only looks at the picture of press coverage of Muhammad Ali to see how enamored people were with boxers.
But that golden era has long gone and in the past decade or so boxing has declined in popularity, thanks mainly to MMA (mixed martial arts). It has come to the point that fans of the sport want to see a boxer fight an MMA fighter.
The Rise of MMA
Bandwagon fans of boxing find such matchups intriguing because sadly boxing has had some rough few years. There haven’t been fights that have excited fans like in the olden days, with a few exceptions. The popularity of MMA has had an effect on boxing ratings among fans.
In 2015, primetime boxing fights drew 2.88 million viewers, while MMA prime time fights attracted 3.09 million viewers.
The numbers speak for themselves, and just a couple of years ago it seemed that boxing was breathing its last. But the news of its demise was greatly exaggerated because a few captivating matchups have breathed new life into the sport and it is making a strong comeback in 2017.
Boxing was never really down and out as some people believed, there were fights that showed that spark and finally in the past year or so boxing has come back with a bang.
Pacquiao vs. Mayweather
New life was breathed into boxing in 2015 with the biggest fight in decades; Pacquiao – Mayweather drew in crowds from everywhere. Celebrities and boxing enthusiasts descended on Las Vegas and 4.4 million people tuned in to watch the two best fighters of the age battle for greatness.
The fight had the hype that is worthy of a PPV boxing fight.
The fight itself was less competitive than people predicted and but it had everything that a basketball fan should appreciate.
Joshua vs. Klitschko
The biggest attraction for boxing fans in 2017 was Joshua – Klitschko fight. The heavyweight championship fight for the ages featured an aging Wladimir Klitschko and the young and energetic Anthony Joshua.
True fans of the sport could see the turning of the tide when April 29 drew closer. There was excitement about boxing once again and the bout did not disappoint at all.
Both fighters gave a valiant effort until Round 11 when Joshua came out with newfound aggression and referee stopped the fight to crown him the WBA, IBO and IBF heavyweight champion of the world. An instant classic.
Jacobs vs. Golovkin
Gennady Golovkin is perhaps one of the most popular boxers in the world right now and he was challenged by Danny Jacobs. What made the match exciting was the fact that everyone believed that ‘GGG’ will wipe the floor with Jacobs. But the fight was very competitive and lasted the whole 12 rounds. No fighter could be ruled out until the end of the fight when judges called the bout in favor of Golovkin.
This edge of the seat thriller was exactly what the sport of boxing needed in 2017.
More Exciting Things to Come
2017 in only just half way done and it has plenty more to offer in terms of boxing duels.
Berchelt vs. Miura
The super popular featherweight division has an upcoming fight that is highly anticipated in boxing circles. The WBC world super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt will take on the former champion Takashi Miura.
A fight that many are referring to as a strong contender for the ‘Fight of the Year.
Crawford vs. Indongo
When two unbeaten fighters step into the ring it always makes for an intriguing fight. WBA, WBC and WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford (31-0) will face Julius Indongo (22-0) in August.
Mayweather vs. McGregor
There is a lot of hype surrounding this fight. Many hardcore boxing fans find the fight to be an entertainment ploy and nothing else. No matter the intentions of the promoters, Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor will give fans a good show. And when Mayweather knocks out McGregor, everyone will know why boxing is the superior sport.
Golovkin vs. Alvarez
Golovkin will step into the ring one more time this year to defend his title against one of the best boxers in Mexico, Alvarez. Golovkin is still undefeated, while Alvarez has only been beaten by Mayweather. The fight will be the biggest PPV fight since Mayweather – Pacquiao in 2015.
These are just the primetime fights, there are many more exciting matchups and bouts that show that boxing has made a huge comeback in 2017.
Boxing has recaptured the prestige it once held. It will continue to mesmerize fans with breathtaking bouts and battles of titans of the ring!