For the last few years, you might have thought that the sport of boxing had gone into hiding, or simply retired altogether to be replaced by MMA De La Hoya and Merryweather came along to try to breathe new life into their sport; while I can’t yet say what this will mean for the future of boxing, I do know that my generation and the generations which will follow will certainly prefer MMA over boxing.
The question of the popularity of the two sports as compared to each other is largely generational. Younger generations prefer MMA, while the older set is in favor of boxing. The following generations are also going to prefer MMA – because to put it simply, it is a better sport and has more to offer the fans.
So why is MMA better than boxing? I’ll explain by starting with the negatives of both sports – the negatives are actually the same for each, so it’s simple.
Those who prefer boxing to MMA call MMA barbaric. This perception comes largely from not knowing about the sport and being unaware of the rules of MMA. Just like boxing, low blows, gouges, pokes and other dirty moves are disallowed. I ask you is MMA really so barbaric? Boxers punch each other in the face too – the difference is that MMA adds wrestling moves to the equation; is that really what pushes it over the edge, or is it just a matter of taste? This is specious reasoning for sure. If MMA is barbaric, then so is boxing.
Another argument made is that the promotional tactics used by MMA are ludicrous. True, there is plenty of pre-game trash talk between the fighters. Many compare these promos to those used for professional wrestling matches. However, exactly this kind of promotion is done for boxing as well. Remember Muhammad Ali? He had a trash talking game which would put any pro wrestler to shame. It’s hard to make the claim that MMA is silly when boxers do just the same as MMA fighters.
Some boxing fans will also tell you that like professional wrestling, MMA matches are staged. I answer this claim with these two questions – Do you have proof that MMA matches are staged? Do you have any proof that boxing matches are not staged? These people have exactly as much proof as I do that the sport in question is a sham (none!). This argument gets no one anywhere.
Having gone over the downsides, let’s move on to the positives. The positives are also easy enough to explain. As a way to illustrate the question of boxing versus MMA, consider the analogy of pizza. Someone decided to do something very smart by adding tomato sauce and cheese to bread. However, there is always someone smart enough to improve on your idea, no matter how good it may be. So someone came along later and added onions and olives to this pizza, making a good thing even better.
If boxing is like the pizza, MMA is like that next step – this is a sport which can offer everything which boxing can and much more besides. MMA takes boxing as a starting off point and adds elements from jujitsu, kickboxing and wrestling. While boxing is a sport which needs a lot of strategy, MMA is even more so. With so many different fighting styles in play in any given match, fighters have even more to consider and to anticipate. Is their opponent a master of the takedown? Are they weak in the boxing department? How is their defense? While boxers need to know the boxing style, MMA fighters need to know how their opponent employs many different fighting styles.
The cards for MMA events are also superior to those offered by most boxing events. A boxing card may only have one match of interest (this is usually the case) – the main event itself. The price is also far higher than is an MMA event. A ticket for a big boxing event can run as high as $2,500 r $55 on PPV. By contrast, even the most expensive seats at a MMA event are no more than $750 and usually $40 or less on PPV. There will also be three or four good matches per event.
MMA takes boxing a step further and offers much more entertainment value to fans, With its lower price, bigger number of stars and greater thrills, it is sure to continue its popularity over boxing with future generations.