Over the past couple of years, there has been a big rise in the appetite for so-called ‘celebrity fights’ in boxing, most recently seen with Logan Paul taking on Floyd Mayweather. There have also been crossover fights with the likes of Connor McGregor taking on the same opponent and giants from the world of boxing such as Mike Tyson returning to the ring. Boxing fans from all over the world have been getting involved in the debate about whether this is a good or a bad thing for the sport overall, and there is certainly a lot of negative feeling around. However, there are also some positive impacts that are worth discussing in further detail. So, let’s take a look at these right here and now.
Bringing Boxing to a New Audience
The young people today – Generation Z – that are coming to adulthood now are increasingly influenced by the online world. YouTubers such as Logan and Jake Paul command an enormous audience, despite the fact that they are not well-known among older people. When he decided to step into the ring, the reaction was immense, and a whole new set of people were introduced into the world of boxing who may not have otherwise found it through the more traditional media sources. In an interview Betway, UFC legend Mark Coleman said that, “the big thing now is obviously celebrity boxing, and I think it's great. It's great for boxing. it's great for the MMA fighters. Anybody doesn't see it that way, well, that's their choice, but I think the more opportunities the better.”
More Collaboration Between Disciplines
While boxing is often seen as the original and ‘purest’ form of combat sports, there has been a big public appetite for UFC and MMA over recent years. While this has inevitably meant that there is plenty of rivalries here, the bigger crossover between the two from fights like the McGregor/Mayweather one has meant that audiences are being shared across the two disciplines. Rather than just having two isolated audiences, each can enjoy the other’s sport in a bigger way than ever before.
Bigger Financial Opportunities
We live in a world in which sport popularity and money are intrinsically linked, and there is no doubt that the big celebrity fights have helped to generate huge sums of money. While the fighters and their teams inevitably make plenty of it, there is also plenty that will get reinvested into the sport that will help it stay relevant and popular in an age when there are more entertainment sources than ever before.
Gets More People Taking Part
With a bigger audience share, this inevitably means that more people are going to take part in the sport, which helps in so many ways such as fitness and discipline and giving purpose and direction to people who may not have had it otherwise. The young people getting involved in boxing now may well be those who are the stars of tomorrow.
When thinking about the impacts of celebrity fights on the world of boxing, it is worth thinking about it from all angles, and there are certainly some plus points in there to drown out some of the naysayers.