Glazer: The Death of Boxing As We Knew It

There was a time, not long ago, that THE title in sports was…HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD!

The title was held by the world’s best known men – men like Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali. Today it’s over. Boxing is nearly dead.

Sure, there’s still Floyd Mayweather and Manny Paciauo, but that’s nearly all there is. Not to forget the not very popular Klitschko Brothers who have held the heavyweight belts for more than a decade and are even older than Floyd or Pacuiauo. 

Clearly Floyd and Manny are now far past their prime – both in their mid 30’s. Neither have had much competition so they have slowed down, gotten a bit fat, sloppy and happy. Floyd is headed to jail for three months for beating up a girl…again. And Manny is too busy being a political leader. The two household name fighters have made well over $200 million each as champs…of what we don’t really much know.

Mixed Martial Arts
is the rage today, but there are no real superstars, and nobody lasts very long. The money is much smaller than boxing. However today if you are not Floyd, Manny or even Klitschko, there is almost no money in boxing. In fact guys like Evander Holyfield, who was in his prime in the late 80’s, still fights for more dough than young, up-and-coming fighters. Why? Because someone’s heard of the former champ evern though he’s 50 an still fighting. Evander gets show up money to fight for ESPN 2 at about $50,000 a fight today. Hell, George Foreman went until he was nearly 50 as well.

Boxing was brutal, but it was replaced really by the NFL and NBA.

Big men, like Lebron James, who could have been a heavyweight champ in boxing today, pass it by for the bigger bucks in the far less dangerous NBA. As the money has died in boxing so has the attendance and TV revenue. Only Manny and Floyd mean anything and both are at or near the end of their careers. If they fight each other, and that may not happen, each could get 100 plus million bucks.

Then it’s over. Nobody else really matters.

When the Wladimer Klitschko fights, nobody much cares. The money is way down, maybe under $1 million dollars for his Championship fights on live HBO at best. There’s not enough interest for Pay Per View anymore.

This is all very painful to me, since I made much of my Hollywood living doing Sports Films, like Champions Forever with Ali, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, Ken Norton and Larry Holmes – the greatest set of champs ever. I did two focused on the world’s most famous man, Ali. This is the job I got right out of prison, so it was quite an honor for me. Ali was my hero.

I went on to do four more on boxing and racing, but none were as exciting as the first.

Last night Floyd Mayweather just got by Miguel Cotto for a super welterweight title, almost nobody even asked me about it or cared.

Remember this one?

"Hey, where you gonna watch the Tyson fight?"

Those days are gone. Soon boxing will be gone. Some are happy, "it was too brutal!"

Now we hear that about the NFL. There will always be a brutal sport for Americans…we love it. That’s why NASCAR stories focus on the CRASHES…those are the photos on TV, right?

Remember when Michael Buffer would say loudly into the mic, "LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, LETS GET READY TO RUMBLEEEEEEE…."

Well, now he says it at Arrowhead Stadium before a football game.

Those were the days – where have you gone, Joe Lewis?

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15 Responses to Glazer: The Death of Boxing As We Knew It

  1. Super Dave says:

    $60.00 plus PPV cost isn’t helping matters at all either.

  2. Janice Would says:

    Another poorly written,
    gramatically challenged attempt to put yourself in the limelight -“This is all very painful to me..” blah, blah blah. Sad.

  3. Craig Glazer says:

    Gee Fake Janice
    In what way am I putting myself in the limelight? Oh gee I mentioned my relationship to the sport. Man I am so sorry, what a jerk I am. Please forgive me. What a crazy guy I am. Damn.

  4. smartman says:

    KO’ed in KC
    I’ll be in Newtown, PA this Saturday for a 7 fight card at the Newtown Athletic Club. Boxing ain’t dead on the east coast. In KC it might as well be F1 racing. With the exception of Steven St. John, no one in the local sports media can talk intelligently about boxing. Most KC boxing fans are part time douchebags that get excited when a big PPV event rolls around. They invite their buddies over, smoke cigars and shadow box…..real tough guys. Boxing comes and goes in cycles. The next big wave will be the west coast Latinos against the east coast blacks. In the barrios of Southern California a new crew of De la Hoya’s and Vargas’s are coming of age. In Chicago, Boston, Philly, Detroit and Albany the next Tyson’s and Hitman’s are learning the “sweet science”.

    We may never see a return to the golden age of boxing but the Floyd and Manny fight will be made and it will do HUGE business in the US and worldwide. With the kind of money that fight will generate for the boxers, promoters and cable networks you can be damn sure that those vested interests won’t let the sport die.

  5. mike says:

    I agree with you
    The kids in the inner city where the great fighters used to come from now are more into basketball. The sport of boxing has been poorly promoted due to greed. When I was growing up, you could see Ali, Frazier, etc. fight for free against lesser competition and roll through them to build up to them fighting each other. You knew who they were and couldn’t wait to see them fight each other. Now, the champion fighters don’t fight as often and when they do fight lesser opponents, they make you pay to see it. There are also too many paper champions due to all the extra weight classes and organizations so championships have lost their meaning. The reason UFC is gaining popularity is because they are doing a better job of promoting it. You see all of the top fighters in free fights on their way up so you know who they are. Championships have more meaning as they are not so diluted because there is only one major organization. The UFC fighters would get recognized walking down the street much more than all but a few boxers. I used to be a boxing fan, but am much more of an MMA fan now myself.

  6. chuck says:

    Interesting stuff Glaze.
    Many of my friends and I would go, back in the 80’s to see fights brought in by C Band. What a great time. Went to see Holmes / Cooney down at Kemper I think. there were so many of us, we rented a bus. Holmes is the most under rated heavy weight of all time, imo, right next to Earnie Shavers. The Shavers/Holme fight was incredible. Shavers hit Holmes so hard, I really thought he killed him. Homes got up, lasted the round and beat Earnie into submission with his left.

    Went to see Tommy the Hit Man Hearns V Marvin Hagler at the Uptown. Jesus. What. A. Fight.

    Went to to Vegas saw some fights and saw Tommy Morrison down at, I think Municipal.

    Until you see these guys up close, you just can’t believe how fast they are. Tommy Morrison was lighting in person, jesus he was fast, yet he wasn’t nearly as fast as Ray Leonard, or Ali or many other fighters.

    I fought “Smokers” in the service and thought I was pretty good. I fought some Golden Goves guys, beat them, but decided I didn’t have the sotmache for it after I fought a guy who told me he had faought in “The Silver Mittens”. I had no fuckin idea what that was, but he could counter punch and broke my face up enough so that I thought I might go to college on the GI Bill. It was a good decision.

    Glaze, I think boxing is only asleep. Ya gotta have personalities and especially Heavy Weight Champs with personalities in order to aquire the drama needed to pique the public’s interest.

    I watch the fuckin Klitscho fights and fall asleep. The top ten heavy weights from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s would kill these guys.

    When I was in Vegas, I met Suger Ray, Mike Tyson (He is short) and Robbie Sims all in the same night. Weird night, it was all coincidence.

    Remember teh Alexis Arguello – Arron Pryor fight?

    Those fights had some real drama.

    Most of these guys, end up in pretty bad shape. Gatti, Arguello, Valero and the list just keeps growing. Tough sport.

    I can’t watch the Mixed Martial Arts. I’m old.

    Good article, enjoyed it.

  7. chuck says:

    With 50 seconds to go, in the first round
    you see what made these guys great.

    It was just different.

    I am not qualified to comment on MMA, but for some reason, when great fighters, boxers matched up, back in the day, it was drama like no other drama.

  8. balbonis moleskine says:

    Boxing isn’t dead, it is just niche now. The boxers are richer than they ever were. There are just as many great fights, we just choose not to watch them because Americans are not interested in Latino fighters.

    Turn on any espn2 or vs boxing match and you’ll see the sweet science is still very much alive—even though Mayweather and Klitchkos are boring champs who are unlikeable and have boring styles.

    As far as MMA, I think it is a joke that barely qualifies as a sport. It is painfully obvious that Dana White sets up the fights to produce the desired outcome of the fighter he wants winning. But the problem is bigger than a bald, cracker Don King.
    With MMA gloves, any hack can get a knockout. To your average doofus who watches sports for the ‘big hits’, this is awesome. For others, it just means the fights are akin to two drunk Raytowners swinging at each other outside of Fun House Pizza.

    And has anyone else noticed how creepy the MMA fans are? They have these man-crushes on fighters in this extremely homoerotic sport. You can spot them by their metrosexual fake tans, affliction t-shirts and frosted tips.

    Personally I don’t care if boxing is niche. Let the closeted frosted tips crew fuck out buffalo wild wings once a month for UFC 177 or whatever. I will continue to enjoy boxing.

  9. balbonis moleskine says:

    fight of the year 2011
    Here is a youtube link to the fight of the year of 2011, Morales v. Maidana. Pretty enjoyable, but your average MMA fan will get bored as someone isn’t knocked out or teabagged within 10 seconds.

  10. mike says:

    @balbonis moleskine
    MMA is very much of a sport. There is actually more strategy involved than in boxing. You have takedowns, kicks, knees, elbows, and submissions to deliver and defend against. Anybody who thinks it is like barfighting knows nothing about the sport. One dimensional brawlers usually lose. As far as Dana White trying to control outcomes, Lesnar was his biggest moneymaker and he put him up against the best competition he could find and Lesnar lost to Velasquez, then Overeem and then retired from the sport. He could have put him up against lesser fighters to stretch his title run and made more money off of him that way but did not. Being a fan of an MMA fighter is not a “man crush” anymore than it is in boxing or any other sport. Football and baseball fans wear replica jerseys of their favorite players and are not called homoerotic for it. It is very arrogant to think someone is less of a man than you are just because they are a fan of MMA and you are not.

  11. mark smith says:

    mayweather and cotto was a good fight..not worth 60 plus
    but a very good fight from 1st to the final bell. The super middle division is filled with talent. Welter through cruiser is full of good fighters and there have been plenty of good fights. Sergio Martinez another great fighter at his peak. Plenty of talent, its just not in the HW class anymore. As for it being dead, Cotto got a minimum purse of 8 million, Mayweather picked up a minimum of 32 mil. Somebody is clearly watching at 60 bucks a pop.

  12. the dude says:

    It is OK Mike,
    if you want to come out of the closet and declare your man love, we are OK with it (not that there is anything wrong with that).

    A grown man wearing a jersey with some dude’s name and number on it is not a man. Period.
    I don’t care how you try to argue your way out of that.

  13. mike says:

    @the dude
    Tell that to all the 1000s of guys at Arrowhead wearing replica Chiefs jerseys and see if you make it out of there without a severe ass kicking. What do you wear, a dress?

  14. the dude says:

    I believe the term is ‘man-child’,
    sounds like you are a potential face painter mike, facepaint much?
    You wouldn’t catch me anywhere near a Chefs game mike, I am not a sadomasochist.

    Just stating the facts mikey, I know you don’t like it but the truth hurts sometimes.

  15. mike says:

    No I don’t
    paint my face or wear replica jerseys either one , myself. What I object to with you is your blanket gereralizations about people. If these are facts, what do you have to back them up? You need to know the difference between what constitutes an opinion and a fact.

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