It’s no stretch to say that boxing had moved passed it’s golden age of 80’s heavyweights and all the fame that came with them, but recently there has been a resurgence in the scene with some big names bringing some life back across multiple divisions, but another difference has been made as the world of celebrity boxing has appeared seemingly out of nowhere.
This mostly all got underway with a superfight in boxing between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather, which would end up being the most bet and viewed boxing event in history as it broke PPV numbers, and there have been similar rumblings of other MMA superstars moving over to boxing and boxing stars making moves in MMA, but in big acts of publicity we’ve also seen other stars such as those from Youtube fame settle their differences in the ring. The first big event here was with the Paul brothers and their fights against KSI and Deji, with Logan and KSI becoming so popular that famous promoter Eddie Hearn would be involved in the second fight between the two. We’ve also most recently seen this with strongmen Eddie Hall and Hafthor Bjornsson as they’re set to go at it as they’ve both started training.
In many cases, it seems like a bit of a strange transition – untrained fighters stirring up drama and settling it by learning a difficult sport, but strangely these events are often performing much better than traditional fights showing the position boxing is currently in – this could largely be a result of the popularity of many of these fighters, after all at the time of the second KSI and Logan Paul fight they did have a combined 40 million subscribers on Youtube, and they’re also able to avoid many of the red tape that is set around professional boxing as they were able to choose their own ticket prices for the event removing the obscene ticket prices for many high profile fights.
There’s also the presence of betting here to consider too as it has always been an important part of combat sports that helps determine purse – despite changes within the UK through initiatives such as Gamstop and a ban on credit card betting, these events will continue to do extremely well because of the big following of these stars, a growing number of operators choose to register outside of the UK and as such these bookies aren’t part of the scheme, and will be particularly present in the upcoming Hall vs Bjornsson fight.
This could be a trend that slowly fades overtime, as a whole it has only really been a popular thing for the past two or so years, but for now it seems a very lucrative approach for anyone looking to secure their name a little more. There isn’t much in the way of any big public drama through big channels yet to spur any upcoming fight, but a big performance from the two strongmen could very quickly change that.