So it turns out FM picked Maidana despite him actually losing the social media poll to Khan. Disappointing. Hopefully the notion catches on regardless!!
A few weeks back I vented my frustrations about where the sport of boxing was going and who in their right mind was going to come in and save the day.
As if The Money Team itself was listening, we might have an answer…
Floyd Mayweather Jr. (45-0) crowdsourcing his next opponent in Twitter is a genius stroke of marketing.
Over 200,000 fight fans reportedly responded to a tweet from the unbeaten, five-division world champion asking for their opinion on whether he should next fight WBA Welterweight champion Marcos Maidana or British star Amir Khan.
Maidana got the vote, literally, and the unification title bout on May 3 will be the sport’s first ever fight agreed via social media.
Given the sheer volume of fan engagement generated by this initiative - bearing in mind it was barely advertised or pushed by the powers that be - we might well be seeing a lot more of social in boxing yet. Here’s hoping.
Next decision, the venue - Vegas or New York? Watch this space… or tweet Showtime Sports boss @.
I recently attended a night of World Championship Kickboxing at Madison Square Garden. It was an incredible night of raucous, brutal action, glitz, glamor, celebrities and alcohol. And I loved it. As did the thousands of people in the packed out arena.
Kickboxing, along with MMA and UFC, is continuing to experience a meteoritic rise in popularity across the United States. More and more people are attending professional fights, more and more bouts and related shows are being picked up by cable networks, brands are jumping on the endorsement bandwagon, and more and more young fighters are being attracted into the sports. Even WWE is continuing to grow in much the same way across the world.
These trends are all linked, of course. But given this rosy situation, why is the greatest prize fighting sport of them all continuing to slide into absolute obscurity?
Wait, I take that back. In my humble opinion, boxing is not just the greatest fighting sport - its the greatest sport of them all. The ultimate in human physical sporting exertion. The pinnacle of one-on-one combat. Some say its savage but I’d argue done right its positively balletic. Especially when compared to its grappling, cage fighting counterparts. Boxing is strategic. Intense. Its the ultimate test of mentality, bravery and physicality.
When Ali was champ, he was literally the champion of all sports. King of the World. And he probably always will be.
I stood there watching the Kickboxing in the Garden, for many people including me, one of the homes of boxing. Floyd Mayweather Jr„ the greatest boxer of this current generation, swaggered past me.
Boxing has lost its cool. Boxing has lost its relevance. And its lost its heroes.
I genuinely believe it can recover. But it needs to rediscover its identity. It needs personality and within that, it needs personalities. Boxing needs a new wave of boxers, trained from the grassroots up - not recruited from NFL or other sports. We need a 20-year-old Mike Tyson to come in and shake the world. We need to be able to get excited about an amateur Olympic gold medalist who has the pedigree of a Lennox Lewis to go on and become a household name.
To get this, boxing needs to reimagine itself. It needs the glamor, it needs an elevated status. It needs finances - to wow the audiences, and to entice young stars into the sport instead of where they’re currently going - the NFL, the NBA or any of the aforementioned fight games.
Brands have to get involved - that or some billionaire angel investor. Brands need to contribute to a format overhaul to generate excitement. More regular big fight night showcases to get the media buzzing.
We need to find our heroes.