Is MMA Replacing Boxing in the Hearts of Fight Fans?

Levi NileContributor IIIMarch 26, 2012

In a recent piece by Sam Lee of, the issue on the table is the “health” of the current state of boxing, and all of this based on a trip to the bookstore?

Well, it’s not as simple as all that.

Lee does make some interesting points, among them being no clear heirs to the throne that will be left behind by Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather when they retire and a weak heavyweight division.

One of the more striking (pardon the pun, please) references he makes is the abundant presence of MMA media at local booksellers and the lack thereof for the sweet science.

But at the end of the day, the real question seems to be a simple one: are MMA fans the same as boxing fans?

Yes and no, so it seems.

You can talk to a wide range of fight fans and get a variety of answers. In many ways, it may be just a simple question of what you were raised on: what got you interested in the fight game in the first place.

I think both sports are so drastically different that one will not replace another. Boxing has such a long history that it is entrenched in the minds of fight fans, and always will be.

Years from now, fight fans (be they boxing or MMA followers, or both) will be talking about Barrera/Morales I, Gatti/Ward I and so on. That's the great thing about great fights; they are timeless.

The same thing could be said for Henderson/Rua, and Griffin/Bonnar I.

Boxing does need a shot in the arm, and it wouldn't hurt to try and reinvent itself. It would be nice to see the sport put the interests of the fans first, instead of trying to sell us what they think we want to see, which just so happens to be what they want to sell.

So yes, boxing is indeed suffering many woes, but being replaced is not one of them.