Rescue – 911

by JoeYancey

Boxing is dead. If it is not dead, it is on life support.

The common theme is at least one major draw carrying the torch. While that may seem logical, and at times effective, this is the exact opposite of Dana White’s UFC business model. If you cannot beat them (and you cannot) join them.

So, these may not sound like great ideas, but hear me out. Boxing needs to do the following:

  • 17 weight divisions is mania. There is no exclusivity. Boxing is shoveling piles of shit across 17 weight divisions. How many belts are necessary? The Golden Age of boxing ran 8 weight classes. I am saying, beyond that, let us filter less, and do a mass dump – 6 weight classes. Increase the product value, beef up division size. “The Champion” starts to carry meaning and value if he sits atop a throne with many would-be Champs below.
  • The scheduling is trash. It feels like boxing pins big events to Saturday night because that is just “how it is.” The competition is rich on Saturday night in sports. Boxing needs to understand its place, and pivot. Recommendation: Control one night of the week, any night – it does not matter the night, aside from the obvious ones during football season, Monday, Thursday, Sunday, and then there’s UFC on Saturday. I lied; the night matters. FRIDAY! Establish Friday and leave a large footprint. During the NFL offseason, run mid-day Sunday stuff. The goal is to capture the viewer while at home.
  • For the love of God, stop bending to the foreign boxer, and scheduling fights that air domestically at 1 pm Saturday because it’s overseas. If they want the money, they will come to MSG and get it. Trust me. This is still a US-of-A sport as it stands. Make it so.
  • What Boxing does not seem to know, is that they handed Dana White and UFC a blueprint. Before Ultimate Fighter was what?… HBO 24/7. This reality-style, episode-based timeline differs from UFC’s Ultimate Fighter but is similar in what it did for non-starters, becoming known, and in some cases, household names. Boxing cannot trot guys out there with 9-2 records because that is not a thing. UFC can, and the fighters are known by half the country. You know why? Because boxing does not discuss these people in circles that receive any viewership, and they do not deem these fighters important until they are Champions, or competing for a Championship. To summarize, the lack of a minor league system is a big issue. You must shepherd the talent and show the world, as you do it. It is the only way.

To be clear, boxing is still profitable. By all accounts, boxing is not losing money. The question is, how much is boxing making? Another problem in an already muddy sport is the lack of clarity and transparency. The three zillion weight classes and promoters are not helping matters. Depending on who you ask, boxing is thriving and better than ever, but per the fan, me – it is on life support and cannot be revived without the above moves, or some variation of.

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