Is boxing still a thing?

One of the developments that I welcomed was that boxing seemed to have declined in popularity and esteem as more and more people realized that it was barbaric to watch two people try to beat each other senseless and turned way from it. I was hoping that American football would witness a similar drop for the same reason.

But suddenly this whole week the news sites that I read and NPR are talking about some fight that is to take place this evening in Las Vegas between two men both in their mid-to-late 30s. I have no idea why this is such a big deal and Erin McClam’s attempt to explain (autoplay) the reasons and the list of celebrities who will be attending is not convincing.

But I sincerely hope that this is the last gasp of a ghastly spectacle and not a sign of a resurgent interest in a brutal activity that deserves to disappear.


  1. Carnife says

    I’m not sure if boxing has declined because of a declining interest in brutality, so much that the interest has shifted to UFC. Boxing seems to be in the process of being supplanted by MMA, which, at best, is a sideways move as far as I can see *shrug*

  2. says

    It’s especially disgusting how Mayweather’s violence against women goes unreported by the corporate media, despite the fact that he was as violent and criminal as Ray Rice.

    Boxing has been described as “slumming”, used by the rich to “wallow with the masses” then go home to their lives detached from life on the street. That’s a fairly accurate description.

    What I really don’t get is how so much made of so little action. The ceremony of boxing is as overdone as awards shows (e.g. oscars). Even high school football with its seven to game seasons see more action than a boxer does in a typical year.

    I’ve never wasted any copious amounts of money on sports, but I’ve definitely wasted time on it to my regret. I don’t watch sports at all anymore, not even those I watched for decades (e.g. NHL, Formula 1). Now I only pay attention to my own sporting activities, running, cycling, rec sports, etc. I wish I had done that sooner.

  3. Kengi says

    My mother used to say that my father only watched boxing because he hoped a hockey game would break out…

  4. moarscienceplz says

    I asked four people essentially this question and every reply I got had as the primary explanation the oceans of money sloshing around this fight. It seems people care much more about the spectacle than they do the actual fighting. I suspect these kinds of over the top pageants will continue for a while, but I think the foundation of boxing -- the fights in neighborhood gyms -- will continue to erode away, at least in the USA. Poor countries like Mexico and the Phillipines still will be big for boxing because it is one of the few paths out of grinding poverty.

  5. Matt G says

    People are also more aware of the lasting damage caused by the brain injury which is a necessary component of the activity. Pure barbarism, but as others have said, a spectacle wallowing in cash.

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