Boxing's popularity: Is the Sweet Science back?
People have been saying it for years - Boxing is dead.
They would say the sport is not as strong as it was in the "glory years” and that today's fighters are not the same.
Some have even crowned MMA as the ‘king of combat sports.’
However, recent trends prove that not only is boxing alive and well, and may be thriving more than ever.
I believe that we are on the cusp of a new ‘Golden Age of Boxing.’
As an amateur boxer, I visit different gyms across my hometown of Houston all the time, and they are always packed full of fighters with big dreams as well as spectators, both kids and adults and male and female.
Everywhere I went this summer, people asked for my thoughts on Mayweather vs McGregor and Golovkin vs Alvarez. There is a buzz about the sport that we have not seen for a while.
The hardcore fans have ways been there supporting guys like Erislandy Lara, Terence Crawford and Gennady Golovkin while more casuals are being brought in by the likes of Canelo Alvarez, Adrien Broner and Anthony Joshua.
There is legitimate excitement about future fights and potential future fights such as Crawford vs Garcia, Joshua vs Wilder and Lomachenko vs Rigondeaux. Both casuals and hardcore fans are excited.
We are beginning to see a changing of the guard in the sport as well. The days of the "protected" champion and carefully selecting opponents may be nearing an end. Ducking still happens in the sport. However, we are seeing a new wave of young and hungry champions who are poised to take over the sport and become the marquee stars for the next decade. All of them are very intelligent and articulate young men who care about their legacies. Simply put, they want to be the best. /
Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter are perfect examples. With this group of young Lions leading the charge I believe we could see the second coming of the "Four Kings of the 80's era". Duran, Hagler, Hearns and Leonard were famous for being both exciting and fearless. This new group of fighters seems to be cut from the same mold.
With more fights airing on free or cable television the sport is getting greater exposure and attracting new fans daily.
Some of them happened to stumble upon a PBC broadcast and witnessed a good fight while others were drawn in by the allure of Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Even former fans who jumped ship have returned after the recent stretch of good fights and surprise upsets.
2016 was a good year for boxing. 2017 has been even better with the biggest fight of the year a little over a week away. Bigger things lie ahead for the Sweet Science.
So... No, boxing isn't back. Boxing never left.
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