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The future of boxing: Five fundamental directions for the development of professional boxing

In this article, we will consider 5 fundamental directions for the development of professional boxing, which are necessary to increase the popularity of the sport and the level of athletes. Throughout its history, professional boxing has developed in “waves”: decline, rise, decline again and rise again. Today, boxing is one of the most popular sports in the world, and in the rankings of many bookmakers, it consistently occupies a place in the top three. You can bet on boxing on many platforms, for example,

Many factors influence the popularity of boxing: promoters and management; the general situation in the world (wars, famine, the formation of individual countries and continents); creating competition on the world stage; the general level of boxers of a particular era; political intervention in boxing (pursuit of Jack Johnson and suspension of Muhammad Ali); activities of mafia structures (the era of Frankie Carbo and IBC, read more about this period HERE); number of weight categories and championship titles. 

The above factors in one way or another influenced the level of popularity of professional boxing in a particular period of time. Today we have access to many years of boxing history. Based on this experience and all the information about the various periods, we can identify priority areas for the further rise in the popularity of professional boxing. The issue is project implementation. But a plan for the development of boxing of the future can be drawn up now.

So, 7 fundamental directions for the development of professional boxing, which are necessary to increase the popularity and level of athletes.

Attracting personnel from major international tournaments: Olympic Games, World Cup, European Championship, Pan American Games, Golden Gloves, Commonwealth Games

In modern professional boxing, experienced amateurs achieve success. With rare exceptions, at the top of the pound for pound ranking are the winners and medalists of the Olympics, World Cup, European Championship, Pan American Games and other major amateur tournaments. An experienced amateur is always treated with special attention and attention at the start of his professional career. Modern boxing realities require “ready shots” to start the path to the “pros”. A boxer must have a good base of amateurs and have a good hundred fights behind him. Boxing business. Attracting star amateurs and giving them the opportunity to advance in one way or another contributes to the development of professional boxing. Only such personnel will “rule the ball” in the future. The issue of promoting and attracting talented amateurs remains open. Every promoter and manager is interested in a quality fighter. It is necessary to invest money in an athlete in order to get results and profits in the future.

Work to reduce contact between representatives of the main boxing versions and promoters (boxers, managers)

One of the most important factors for the development of professional boxing. Corruption is the problem of modern boxing. The World Boxing Council is intentionally “looking” for contact with promoters (read more about corruption in the WBC HERE). This creates obstacles for the development of boxing as a fair sport. The International Boxing Federation (IBF) minimizes contact with fighters and managers, creating a fair game (read more about the pros and cons of the IBF HERE). The future of boxing dictates the rules of avoiding close contact between federations and fighters. Their relationship should resemble the actions between a seller and a buyer in a store – a minimum of contact, everyone gets what they want. If we are dealing with market relations, then the process of bribes, kickbacks, increased taxation and other points that impede the process of buying and selling begins. Development requires simplicity and honesty.

Fusion of boxing and MMA

The trend of intertwining boxing and mixed martial arts dates back to ancient times. The fight between Muhammad Ali and Antonio Inoki became a kind of beginning of the confrontation between boxing and MMA (read more about the fight between Ali and Inoki HERE). The audience loves it. Where there is an audience and a spectacle, there is money and development. The confrontation between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor caused a huge stir in the sports community. The fusion of boxing and MMA is an inevitable moment of the future. Fights between representatives of different types of martial arts are of great interest and contribute to the development of each individual area: boxing and MMA.

Creating competition in all areas of the boxing business

Competition is the way to progress and development. Competition is needed not only among boxers, but also among leading organizations, promoters, channels and managers. Boxing versions have to compete for the prestige of their organization, promoters for the best fighters and popular channels, boxers have the opportunity to compete against strong opponents and improve their level. Creating a healthy and fair competition in the professional boxing market will lead to systematic development. Leaving competition in the sphere of bribes, corruption, infringement of rights and inequality will lead to degradation in all areas. All participants in the boxing market are connected to each other. If one of the spheres is playing a dishonest game, then the rest will inevitably suffer.

Popularization of light weight categories or reduction thereof

The days of Ricardo Lopez and Rosendo Alvarez are gone. In modern boxing, the minimum, first flyweight, flyweight and second flyweight divisions have lost their popularity and interest among the audience. It makes sense to reduce the number of weight categories from 17 to 11, making a bias towards the elimination of light divisions. However, there is another way: to develop divisions, create public interest, conduct unification fights, attract high-level amateur fighters. This is a complex process that takes a lot of time. At the moment, small weights are in the most severe crisis and stagnation. This affects the overall development of boxing, creating a kind of tilt towards the heavyweight divisions.