Is the MMA Stealing Boxing’s Thunder?


Michael Schebel, Special Assignment Reporter

When most people think of boxing, they think of punches, knockouts and championship belts. It has been a sport that people have loved for over a century. However, the word “corruption” does not usually come to mind when thinking of boxing nowadays.

Boxing is different than other team sports in terms of how the athletes get paid. In a team sport, players usually sign a contract for a certain number of years and get paid according to their contract. Fighters do not sign long contracts, they work on a fight-to-fight basis.

The thing about boxing is that these professional boxers usually won’t fight for a small purse. They usually will step into the ring for big matches with large sums of money on the line.  

Over the years, boxing has seen many great champions such as Muhammed Ali, Rocky Marciano, George Foreman and Mike Tyson. They were household names and it was a big deal when these athletes would square off against any opponent. In recent years, boxing has faded from the center spotlight and other sports have taken more of the focus.

Corruption in boxing raises questions such as how the factor of potential corruption affects the sport and if it lowers its value from an entertainment standpoint.

Junior Jaylen Samuel says boxing is not corrupt but has just simply lost popularity.  

“Boxing is not talked about as much as it used to be,” Samuel said. “Some people do not even consider boxing a sport even though it clearly is.”

If the fall of boxing is not due to it being a totally corrupt sport, it might have something to do with the rise of other fighting sports. Senior Ka’Sean Watlington said he beileves that Ultimate Fighting is a large reason.

“I think boxing takes a backseat to MMA and the UFC nowadays,” he said. “I believe people find it much more exciting than boxing because it is so new.”

While boxing might not be in the spotlight, it still has a large fanbase. The fighters might make big money to fight but at the end of the day it is also a business. Any signs of corruption from the outside would cause the sport to lose fans and that is something that promoters do not want.

Senior Christian Englund believes the lower levels of competition are the ones being overlooked.  

“There is definitely more that goes on behind the scenes than we know, especially at the lower levels,” he said. “Throwing matches is something that I feel still goes on in some places in the boxing world.”