I received a post from Shane Howell. He posted on the, "From the Cheap Seats" Facebook page, "Will heavy weight boxing ever have the same lure as in years past?"
This is a good question that is asked by many a boxing fan. I have asked the same question and
I have a few thoughts on this subject.
I am really old school when it comes to the heavyweight division. I grew up watching Ali, Frazier, Foreman and Norton. I remember ths classic Ali-Frazier fights and Ali doing the rope a dope on Foreman. This was a great time for the heavyweight division. After this era, you had Tyson, Lewis, Holyfield and Klitchko but not at the same time. You had a bit of overlap but never like the division in the seventies.
The heavyweight division in the seventies had it's story lines and some great boxers. The eras after that had great boxers, just not at the same time. If you put Tyson, Lewis, Holyfield and Klitschko in their primes and in the same era, you now have interest.
One of the biggest downfalls for boxing, not just the heavyweight division, is the pay per view medium. I remember watching Ali fight on ABC. I remember hearing the voice of Howard Cosell. Who can forget hearing Cosell screaming, "Down goes Frazier!". This was all for free on network television. In this day and age and in this economy, people are not going to shell out close to sixty dollars to see what might be a sixty dollar stinker. In order to get the masses interested, you need to let them see your product. Let them test drive it, kick the tires and check under the hood. No one will go test drive a car if you charge them sixty dollars.
My second point is the rise of the ultimate fighting. With ultimate fighting growing in popularity and reaching the masses, you are losing a lot of people to that. Ultimate fighting is a street fight will boxing is a dance. Ultimate fighting is non stop action while boxing is a chess match. Ultimate fighting also has many more viewing possibilities. There are free shows on cable as well as the pay per view. They are giving fans the ability to test drive it's product.
Boxing needs to take a different tact if it wants interest in viewers but most importantly it needs to take a different tact if it wants to see another Ali.