Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Academic Magnet High School - North Charleston, South Carolina.


Is Pro Boxing Dead?

An opinion from a casual fan
Logan Paul boxing Dillon Danis

At one point professional boxers were the most prolific athletes in the world, obtaining A-list celebrity status. Boxing influenced all parts of culture in previous eras with Muhammad Ali acting not only as an athlete but a political and cultural activist. Boxers like Mike Tyson were among the most popular athletes of the 20th century, but boxing seems to have fallen off the map as a top-watched sport. The excitement around the sport in popular culture was highlighted by things like the Rocky movie series, one of the highest viewed action movie series of all time. The top names in the sport are no longer household names after both Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather retired. Now some of the biggest names in the sport aren’t even boxers, they are YouTubers and rappers like Logan Paul and Blueface. I blame the rise of the UFC combined with the fad of celebrity boxing matches to the decline in the sport’s popularity. 

The Rise of UFC

UFC has propelled itself to the forefront of the competitive fighting world in the past 10 years. Its popularity has accelerated greatly since the COVID-19 Pandemic due to the idea of “Fight Island.” UFC President, Dana White, took swift action after the lockdown was announced and moved a group of fighters to a “bubble” so they could continue competing behind closed doors, similar to the NBA Disney World bubble. This provided all types of sports fans entertainment as there was little competition for sporting events on TV, prompting some commentators and experts to declare that UFC overtook boxing.  

McGregor vs Mayweather 2017

The UFC claims the highest bought card across all fighting styles since 2018 with UFC 229: Nurmagomedov vs McGregor. Funny enough, the highest watched boxing event since 2018 was the McGregor vs Mayweather fight. A fight with UFC fighter, Connor McGregor, was the one that could draw the highest number of viewers which seems indicative of the shifting tide in the industry. This was also the second highest bought boxing match of all time and for sure one of the most hyped in modern history. This was a great PR boost to the UFC as it showed that UFC fighters could nearly compete with all time great boxers like Floyd Mayweather. I personally think that McGregor won the fight all things considered. Who would’ve thought an MMA fighter could pull more viewers than boxing legends like Mike Tyson. A reaction in the fighting industry to the growing popularity of UFC has been multiple cards that include these crossovers between MMA fighters and boxers.

However, the relatively new organization has been riddled with controversy and pushback from both politicians and fans. Due to its violent and “barbaric” nature it is not necessarily appealing to many and even disturbing. In 1996, John McCain attempted to completely ban MMA and the UFC in the United States after watching one fight calling it “human cockfighting.” Despite these efforts, this sport has continued to rise in popularity in the United States and internationally. 


Celebrity Feud Boxing

Highlighted by the fight that made headlines this past weekend, Logan Paul vs Dillon Danis, celebrities settling beef in the ring seems to have become more popular than legitimate fights. People pay to watch YouTubers, streamers, and rappers settle seemingly artificial feuds in the ring. Why people pay money for these fights, I’m not sure, but they do. While writing this article I asked my younger brother if he knew any professional boxers and he responded with the disheartening answer of “Jake and Logan Paul.” This response would cause boxing enthusiasts to roll over in their graves. 

KSI vs Logan Paul

The most recent fight, Logan Paul vs Dillon Danis, is the perfect example of the fad of celebrity boxing. This card sold over 1.3 million pay-per-views, only 200k views away from being the 10th highest viewed match of all time. The two exchanged Tweets and social media posts making fun of each other, taking shots at their family and girlfriends. They developed the hype for the fight over months just to ultimately disappoint fans and followers with the fight’s decision which was decided by disqualification over a rule technicality. On the same card was another interesting fight that is telling of the current state of boxing. The fight was professional boxer, Tommy Fury vs YouTuber, KSI. Tommy Fury could have pursued a successful boxing career and followed in the footsteps of his brother, the World Heavyweight champion but decided instead to be a TV personality on Love Island. There is also a theory that these two fights were artificially arranged to promote KSI and Logan Paul’s energy drink: Prime. It almost seems unbelievable that a boxing match between YouTubers and reality TV stars could outsell boxing legends.

The world of boxing has experienced a great shift, with the rise of the UFC and the excitement behind celebrity boxing matches contributing to its changing dynamic. While the sport may no longer be the Heavyweight Champion of the fighting and athletic world, it will continue to change its approach to strive to stay alive. As we look ahead, it remains to be seen what exciting transformations and surprises the sport of boxing may yet deliver. I think that boxing will ultimately make beneficial changes that will bring it back to the forefront of the fighting world and to its former glory.

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