Boxing Still #1 Combat Sport In USA


Anyone who doubts the fact that boxing is still the number one combat sport in the USA need look no further than the guaranteed $32 million payday Dan Rafael of ESPN said Floyd Mayweather was going to earn, against Robert Guerrero in their much-anticipated fight.  In addition, Mayweather will be taking a majority of the Pay-Per-View proceeds. Not to mention the lucrative deal Mayweather inked with Showtime.  In comparison, according to MMA Manifesto, in 2013, the top UFC earner is Georges St-Pierre who has earned $400 thousand followed by Victor Belfort who has earned $325 thousand.  That doesn’t include bonuses and Pay-Per View money but that still won’t bring them anywhere close to Mayweather’s guaranteed purse.  So why the huge discrepancy despite the fact the two sports seem headed in opposite directions?   Despite the fact most boxers are poor which is how many get in to the sport, boxing is a rich man’s sport.  Boxing is Las Vegas, money, intrigue, excitement. Try getting a ringside seat to the Mayweather, Guerrero fight.  If you can get it, it will cost you thousands.  You can get great seats to any MMA fight without too much difficulty.  MMA is a younger man’s sport, viewed and loved by millions but without the cache.  It’s not unlike soccer.  Millions watch and love it but will it ever replace the four major US sports, not to mention college sports.  Every “real” boxing fan will understand that the days leading up to a big fight are electrifying.  The excitement, and drama is without parallel.  Guerrero’s dad calling Mayweather a wife beater.  It’s great stuff.  MMA just doesn’t have that yet.  Finally, from a purely Martial Arts perspective, the lack of skill at times, demonstrated in MMA, is disturbing.  I often say, I think they find some of these guys in bars, hit them with a two by four and if they don’t go down, they offer them a contract.  I love the Martial Arts, I will always be a student of the Arts.  I understand what’s good and bad about every throw and every attempted technique.  When I see a good one, I’m always impressed.  But more often than not, these guys are just tough, without tremendous skill.  Now that might not mean anything to average fan without twenty years of experience, who just wants to see blood but you’d be surprised how many do know the difference.  On the other hand, boxing is the sweet science.  Too watch a Mayweather, a Manny Pacquiao or a Bernard Hopkins, is to watch something special.  Without skill in boxing, you lose most of the time, particularly when fighting more skilled competitors.  Without skill in MMA, if tough enough, you always have a shot.  So despite the bad press and the hope of MMA organizers, for the demise of boxing, boxing fans are always hoping, praying and waiting for the next Leonard, Ali or Tyson, just like racing fans are always waiting for the next Secretariat.

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