Boxing is the 2nd most popular sport in the world among young people, according to research from GWI. In a series that charts the growth of today’s sporting markets, boxing came second, thanks largely to a boost in interest and an engagement among young adults who are increasingly following the sport in large numbers.
It’s no surprise that football or soccer was the number one hobby for people throughout the world. Its dominance doesn’t appear as if it will lag anytime soon.
However, boxing has beat some of the biggest sports in the world. This included athletics, tennis, and winter sports, to the second spot will shock some people.
Let’s take a look at why it ranks highly, particularly with young people and adults.
The APAC Region
APAC stands for Asia and the Pacific, and this area is one of the main reasons that boxing has skyrocketed among young people.
Compared to the rest of the world, boxing holds a 40% internet follower rate, which is only 2% off football in APAC.
Only North America, which is notorious for its own sports, has sports that beat football in popularity.
Latin America helps, too. Boxing holds a 46% share in the region and comes second overall.
Interest among young people and adults in Asia and the Pacific is reportedly down to the increase in sporting events, mainly boxing.
For example, huge fights have been held in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. They include Anthony Joshua versus Andy Ruiz Jr II. Also, Callum Smith versus George Groves in the World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight final. The Express estimates the latter earned £6 million each by fighting in Jeddah.
More Relatable Fighters
Young adults can’t relate to older fighters with different boxing styles. They want swashbuckling prizefighters who go for the kill. To put it all on the line to secure their sport status.
And these men and women are becoming easier to find within the industry.
World Heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, is a prime example as he had fifteen bouts before he fought for the IBF crown and has a knockout percentage of over 90%.
The heavyweight division is crammed with young talent representing the audience. Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois, to name two. It’s no wonder that the fight between the pair is a huge market on Casitabi since viewers are excited to see how healthy the golden division is and who will challenge Fury and Joshua’s likes in the future.
Boxing Big Fights
Boxing has a reputation for big fights not being made due to promotional conflicts and politics.
There are clear examples, including Floyd Mayweather taking on Manny Pacquaio when the latter was a few years past his prime.
However, the likes of Eddie Hearn have made waves and seem to be getting the best bouts made regularly.
Callum Smith versus Saul’ Canelo’ Alvarez is the latest example of two of the division’s best components of the art trading blows.
Teofimo Lopez and Vasiliy Lomachenko have happened. At the same time, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder have fought two hugely exciting contests.
With more compelling action and the sport’s politics not getting in the way, it’s easy to see why young people engage more with boxing.
Long may continue because boxing is a better sport when young fighters and audience members are part of the contests.