Boxing is in Need of a Major Shakeup
Over the years, boxing has gone from one of the most popular sports in the world to one that barely generates any interest. Gone are the days of legends like Mohammed Ali, Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Robinson, George Foreman, Mike Tyson, and even Floyd Mayweather Jr. Now, the biggest names in Boxing are Anthony Joshua, Wladimir Klitschko, and Tyson Fury. Despite the lack of big names, people are still making money on sportsbetting odds.
Back in the glory days of boxing, fighters didn’t suck each other like they do now because there were less promoters influencing fights and the fighters weren’t making the money boxers are making today, so they had to fight as many times as possible to make a decent living.
Today, most of boxing, especially the heavyweight division, hasn’t had a great rivalry to promote some of the best fighters available. The Klitschko brothers dominated the heavyweight division after Lennox Lewis and the fighters of his generation either retired or were in the final stages of their careers.
Because they were brothers, the Klitschko’s decided never to fight each other, which eliminated the potential of having an undisputed heavyweight champion that was able to unify the belts. By the time Vitali Klitschko retires, there were no legitimate fighters challenging him or his brother for the heavyweight crown.
In 2015, Wladimir Klitschko, who many believe is at the tail end of his career, lost the belt to Tyson Fury, who many thought would be the new face of the heavyweight division. Fury however has proven he isn’t ready to be the face of the sport after a series of erratic behavior since he won the belt.
Fury tested positive for cocaine, and after the results were made public, he didn’t attempt to try and spin the story, and revealed he has been using the drug ever since he won the belt. He also admitted he was dealing with depression and decided to vacate the titles he held before he was stripped of his license.
With Fury out of the picture, the next person in line is the young Anthony Joshua, who was schedule to fight Klitschko in December. When the fight was announced, many were surprised Klitschko took the fight because they don’t think he will be able to defeat Joshua at this stage in his career.
Less than two months before the fight was scheduled to take place, Klitschko pulled out of the fight because of an injury, leaving the heavyweight division with no semblance of order.
In order for the heavyweight division to get back to the level it once was, the sanctioning bodies in boxing have to do a better job with its fighters. Boxers should be given title shots when they earn them, and be forced to defend the titles often, keeping the fans interested in the process. Having a champion defend his title once or twice a year is what got them into this mess in the first place.
Even when Tyson was knocking everyone out, fans paid to see him fight and were rewarded with multiple fights per year. By defending a belt only once or twice, the interest generated when the title holder won the fight will be greatly diminished by the time the fighter gets back into the ring.
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