In the 80’ and most of the 90’s, the baddest man on the planet was always the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. There was typically just one at a time, he was American, and he was a household name.
It didn’t matter if it was Mike Tyson, Buster Douglas, Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe, George Foreman or even Michael Moorer, people knew who the heavyweight champion was. Sadly, those days are long gone and there are three big reasons as to why.
1 – The lack of Americans in the Heavyweight Division. The welterweight division has some tremendous American fighters such as Shawn Showtime Porter, Keith Thurman and Floyd “Money” Mayweather, both capable of packing the seats and selling PPV”s, but the heavyweight division does not. Boxing needs to find a way to better develop and promote the Heavyweight division for Americans.
2- Too many belts, they need to unify the title under one main umbrella. There is currently the WBA, WEC, WBO and several others that recognize “World Titles” as their own. This is too many. If you want people to respect a world title, than you have one, not nine per weight class.
3 – It costs too much money to order a “big” fight. Case in point, the first fight in almost ten years that fight fans nationwide and even casual fans had to truly get excited for was Mayweather vs Manny Pac, last May, but at $100 being the cost of a PPV, they took the casual fan right out of affordability to purchase it.
How do we fix it?
1- Start putting fights on FREE TV, every single weekend! If you notice Dana White did that as soon as he took over control of the UFC. They took a struggling brand, put it on free TV along with reality tv, and the next thing you knew, they had a brand new audience and the sport exploded.
Boxing needs to do the same thing right now, keep putting fights on NBC, Spike and CBS each and every week.
Remember the 80’s? ABC Wide World of Sports had boxing every single week.
2- Unify the heavyweight title!
3- Start offering Boxing as a sport in high school. You want some of America’s best athletes to choose boxing over football, basketball and baseball, even hockey, offer it in high school as a team sport much like you do wrestling.
Until next time fight fans!