Sunday, November 14, 2010

Why Boxing Is In Decline And Solutions To Increase Viewership

After watching tonight's fight between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito, I decided to explore why boxers are able to duck out of fights (Mayweather). The boxing federation, as a company, has it structured all incorrectly. In all honesty, boxing is in a state of decline and the only real way to re-energize the fans and really get some growth in the boxing community would be to revise the fight policies.

In the UFC, fighters are employees. The organization constitutes regular fight schedules so that the fans of the sport can be assured consistent fights (something to reliably look forward to). Conversely, in the sport of boxing, fighters are treated as separate companies where they're able to decline fights and employ an army of lawyers to ensure they win negotiations.

While Floyd Mayweather is able to stir up the declining boxing fans with his ridiculous galavanting and trolling in the short term--the long term integrity of boxing as a sport suffers. Slowly but surely fighters with dishonourable, immature behaviour will transform the sport of boxing into a WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). Incidentally, a sport has always been about the people that are passionate about the sport.

Moving forward, I believe that if they revised the fight policies as so:
  • Fighters should be treated as employees, not separate corporations. There shouldn't be 'negotiations' that involve lawyers for an event.
  • Fighters should not be able to choose their opponents. Boxing allows boxers to hand-pick their opponants to inflate their win records.
  • Fighters should be disciplined for racial discrimination as an employee of the World Boxing Federation.
  • Regular fight schedules so that boxing analysts have better data and fans are consistently given the entertainment that they want.
  • Standardize Olympic-style testing to prevent fighters from 'juicing up' (steroid usage).
  • Reduce from 12-rounds to 8-rounds to spark more action.
  • Reduce the number of weight divisions to match UFC-style weight divisions. There are far too many weight divisions in boxing--this would increase the pool of fighters competing for championship titles.
  • Change point scale to be binary (0 or 1) instead of out of 10 from each judge for simplicity.
  • Employ stricter referees for stoppages. If the fighter has a closed eye (swollen), the fight needs to stop ASAP for their own health safety. It's a sport, not a murder scene.

With these revisions, boxing could theoretically become more action-packed, competitive, and structured in a way that helps the boxing community's growth and increase global viewership.

Good luck and have fun,
Jaime Bueza

Jaime Bueza is a software developer in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He has developed web applications for Nintendo, Starbucks, Electronic Arts, Ritchie Brothers, Kiwi Collections, Cox Communications and Microsoft. When he's not developing useful software that constantly evolves with business requirements, he's creating tutorial videos for aspiring front-end developers.