Boxing is one of the most-watched sports in the world. This game is the combination of incredible stamina, sheer guts, and spectacular footwork.
The spills and thrills between two individuals going head to head offered by boxing are not found in any other sport. Whether you do it as a hobby or as a competition, boxing develops a healthy physique and enables one to achieve the internal discipline.
From amateur to professional boxing, this game is the man against man or woman against woman and the boxing future entirely depends on the fighters. Boxing is famous for its ruthless nature; however, it requires a level of respect for your opponent and it can teach even the most talented to performers, how to be humble.
In recent times, boxing is facing a bit of criticism for slowing down. With the extinction of some of the boxing legends like Tyson and the emergence of some of the flops has led the fans to think that boxing has seen better days.
With the pressure and popularity of ultimate fights and mixed martial arts, many people are wondering what will be the future of boxing.
History of Boxing
Throughout the world, various evidence of boxing or the fist-fighting in ancient times has been found. According to the painting of Minoan Civilization, one of the earliest documentation of fighters exchanging their blows dates back to 1650 BC. There is also evidence of boxing as a sport in 1350 BC.
It is Ancient Greece which took boxing as a sport more seriously than the rest of the world. Greece gave it the form of a well-developed sport with a set of rules and popularity among people. Boxing was even included in the Ancient Olympic Games that were first introduced during the 23rd Olympiad in 688 BC.
There were rules in the past but the boxing in ancient times was nothing like we see today. For the protection of hands, boxers used to wear leather thongs. There was also no time limit or the number of rounds during the bout in the past. The fighters used to fight until one of them was not able to fight back.
Boxing got huge popularity in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the late 17th century, bare-knuckle boxing started gaining popularity in England. In 1719, James Figg became the first English bare-knuckle champion.
It is the time when the 'Boxing' word was used for the first time and roots of boxing future were set. Boxing had no proper set of rules or regulations until 1867 when ring dimensions, duration of each round, 10 count rule and number of rounds were set.
Despite the regulations and rules, boxing was still not accepted by the common public. In most of the United Kingdom and the USA, the bare-knuckle fights were banned. The main motive behind the fights was prize money for the winner, money from betting on the outcome of the fight and ticket money for the promoter.
All of this changed in 1904 when boxing was first introduced in the modern Olympics. In the Olympics of 1908, amateur boxing became the part of the Olympics and people started to watch this game with interest.
Difference Between Amateur and Professional Boxing
Amateur boxing mainly features in the Commonwealth Games and Olympics. It is a more protective type of sport as compared to the professional one.
A bout of amateur boxing consists of three rounds that are of three minutes with points that are awarded on the number of clean punches that are landed rather than the intensity of the blow.
In amateur boxing, boxers wear headgear for the purpose of protection during bouts. Ringside judges gave points to boxers and the fighter with most of the points at the end of the fighting match is declared the winner. If there is a tie between the boxers, then the winner is decided according to technical superiority.
Contrary to that, professional boxing is a different affair than amateur boxing and it has ten to twelve rounds. A technical knockout win is awarded to a fighter if the other fighter is unable to continue the fight. No headgears are allowed in professional boxing and there are also chances of physical damage.
Young boxers work on their technical ability at the start of their career and participate in the Olympics and Commonwealth Games before they switch to professional boxing later in their career. While talking about money, a boxer earns more money through professional boxing.
1. Professional Boxing
The future of boxing relies mostly on professional boxing. With the growing popularity and flow of money, professional boxing became one of the most famous sports in Europe and America.
Many legendary boxers became instant heroes and gained a lot of popularity. The hit movies based on boxing in Hollywood also helped boxing to spread all around the world.
Some of the boxing legends in history are Muhammad Ali who is considered as one of the best boxers of all time, Joe Louis, Mike Tyson, and Floyd Mayweather. In the history of boxing, there are a total of 15 boxers who retired without even losing a single bout.
2. Amateur Boxing
Professional boxing is much more famous and also more money-laden, still many boxers dream of winning the Olympic medal. And this drive has made boxing one of the most famous sport in the Olympic Games.
Boxing is part of the Olympic Games since the year 1904 and in the year 2012 in the Olympic Games, Women's Boxing was also introduced. The USA has dominated at the Olympics when it comes to boxing with 50 gold medals and 114 podium finishes.
Controversies Associated with Boxing
Boxing has been facing criticism from the beginning. While talking about the rich history of boxing, there has always been some controversies. Despite the big money draws and the controversial match-ups, boxing still holds a huge fan following and some amazing young talent.
There are many passionate and extremely talented young boxers who are training worldwide to take boxing to the new heights. The newcomers like Claressa Shields, Errol Spence Jr, and Shakur Stevenson are playing a significant role in the new era of boxing.
There are many skilled performers with KO power who have accomplished amazing things in the boxing ring. There is a lot of talent among the various weight classes in the new generation of boxing. Today, in boxing, you can find many elite fighters that are bringing new approaches to the game.
The best part is that all these young fighters are full of energy and they are just entering the boxing world. Because of them, the future of boxing is looking quite strong and bright now.
An Innovative Sport
Predicting about boxing future is never a thing of certainty. However, along with the promotion of fights, sports betting and sports viewing, one can easily assume that boxing is going through a number of significant changes.
Various mobile and smart technologies have largely increased all these factors and the popularity of boxing. From apps to online betting, boxing has long surpassed the days of watching a prize bout on the TV screen. In the modern era of technology, like many other sports, boxing has undergone many innovations.
Self-Promotion of Boxers
Many boxers today use their own company for their promotion and all the money that comes from winning the fight is due to their own talent. This method has highly influenced the new breed of boxers. The fighters are no longer dependent on the managers or any other fight promoters.
These promoters are not able to do the marketing with the fighter's best interests in mind. So, the boxers started their own self-promotion and marketing strategies. This idea of molding oneself as a brand in the boxing world is the new business model in this age of the internet.
Social media is the single biggest change in how boxing is promoted in recent times as it was in 2016 with the abundance of social media platforms.
In this era of the internet, the boxers can easily send a controversial tweet on Twitter or simply post on Facebook that can grab huge attention as compared to any other traditional media company could ever gather for them.
With this trend, the fighters are becoming their own promoters more and more and are having highly engaged social media followings.
There are four widely recognized governing bodies in the realm of professional boxing which are IBF, WBC, WBA, and WBO. The boxers aim to obtain belts of these four governing bodies.
However, with the changing weight classes from silvers to supers, inter-continentals, the addition of interim titles and many others, it has become quite confusing when it comes to the boxing belts. Now, there appears to be a belt for every day of the week, contrary to that the fans are hoping for the unification of these belts.
Now for the boxing future, the experts are planning to stick with the older model where there was only one champion per weight class on the global stage. The experts must eliminate the excess belts so that the fighters could fight under one banner.
How Can We Change Boxing for The Better?
There are specific ways by which boxing the future can become more shining and we can change this sport for the better. One of which is to stop certain fights from happening. Some of the rematches and fights are made which nobody is interested in watching and nobody sees them.
The people who run boxing programs must know which fighters and fights to run with. Boxing fans feel frustrated by watching the ridiculous fights.
Time is constantly changing, so does the trends and technologies. In the evolving time, boxing can't live in the past years. By transforming certain things, we can save boxing.
You can relate the prediction of the future of boxing with doing a lottery, where you know that you might not win, but it's fun to do it. The changes in the sport have been accelerated with the advent of different advanced technologies.
Although boxing dates back to be one of the oldest sports it is forced to change and move along with time like all other sports. Despite recent controversies about boxing, this sport is still continuing to draw crowds in larger numbers from the young generation new fans who are the future of boxing.
The upcoming professional boxing fighters are not only talented in the ring but also outside the ring. They are much aware of the promotional trends and the new marketing platforms that help them to proceed and offer monetary benefits to the talent instead of management.
There are many factors that have attributed to the positive growth of boxing, including apps, making fights available to the people more conveniently, development in mobile technologies and streaming services.
New and exciting mashups of boxing with other sported like mixed martial arts are also assisting in the promotion of mega fights, all this has given a new life to the sport.
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