It’s a bummer too, because I used to be its big fan.
And marketers used to be its best friend. Remember when boxing was big and popular (ok, try really hard…and if you’re younger than 25, go look it up)? The days when there were great boxers up and down the divisions. The days when Mike Tyson was champion, and you didn’t even have to watch the fight because you know if you missed it he’d still be the champ in the morning. The days when boxing champions would command big spokesperson dollars – for everything from ad spots and shoe contracts to Wheaties boxes and video games.
Now, do you even know who boxes anymore, never mind who the champion is (c’mon, name 10 professional boxers, fast)? Even if you do put out an APB and find out who the champion is, is he relevant? Will he be champ in another month? Is he even known in North America, and does anyone even care about his likeness or his persona? If you had to give your opinion and name THE top boxer (let’s say Jerry Lewis pulls a gun out of his bag in the airport and points it at you, demanding a name), who would you say? An aging Roy Jones, who has declining skills and increasing other interests? Floyd Mayweather, who’d rather do about 6 other things than box at this point? Oscar De la Hoya (see Roy Jones above)? Kimbo Slice, who isn’t even a boxer?
Man, talk about a sport that has done NOTHING to promote its stars, or even promote its sport. It’s practically invisible now. Its like hockey, before hockey.
Marketers don’t like the obscure (unless it’s an obscure network of niche websites that delivers phenomenal targeting potential). They also don’t like things their customers perceive as unimportant, dishonest and uninteresting. Boxing can’t even get a scoring system that’s perceived as fair and reliable (it actually isn’t either, forget perception) for one of the biggest stages of all, the Olympics. Plus, all the various obscure championship belts and mega-fights that never happen due to one reason (money) or another (money) have watered down the sport and created zero in terms of anticipation and excitement.
RIP, boxing, I’ll miss you on my radar. Gotta go now, have to watch some obscure MMA fights on Spike TV.