Is 50 Cent Right When He Says WWE-Style Theatrics Could Help Boxing?
Boxing and pro wrestling have always had somewhat of an undefined link.
While boxing is real fighting and pro wrestling is scripted, there are still plenty of similarities, including the use of title belts; a four-sided ring; and, of course, high-cost pay-per-view events.
50 Cent recently spoke with USA Today to hype his fighter Yuriorkis Gamboa's upcoming bout, and he spoke about how he feels boxing could benefit from using some of WWE's tactics:
[Boxing should] use some of the theatrics that you see in WWE, and bringing them into a sport that doesn't have a question mark—we know boxing is real. We don't say, "Is that real?" like wrestling. If you add those different elements to it, you can offer something that would be entertaining enough to watch the entire show.
While the idea of using WWE-style entertainment in boxing has been brought up in the past, it might be a more valid argument in today's climate. The WWE has embraced boxing in the past, so perhaps it can work both ways.
Boxing is nowhere near as popular as it used to be, and these days the only fights that draw real attention are the big cards with the well-established names fighting.
MMA has eaten up a portion of the profits the boxing world used to see, and part of that is because boxing has remained largely the same for decades while MMA was new to many Americans until 15 years ago.
The fighters change, but the sport stays the same. Two men enter a ring and fight until the final round is up or someone gets knocked out.
The sport has been a cornerstone of American athletics for many, many years, and we are not likely to see it go away anytime soon just because it is in a slump, but is 50 Cent right when he says some theatrics could help the boxing world?
The main issue some people would have with this happening is that boxing is real and therefore has no room for anything scripted.
Do you think boxing needs to be more like the WWE?
What is the point of a scripted pre-fight promo when the real promo a fighter would deliver is likely to be very similar?
Perhaps what 50 Cent is saying is that boxing needs to use some of the production techniques WWE uses.
This would include anything from pyrotechnics to well-produced video packages and a heavy emphasis on music to outrageous outfits.
Whether the boxing world is ready for these kinds of things is not really the question, because it has already embraced them to some degree.
Boxing usually has a preview video package before a big fight. The boxers wear colorful trunks, and fireworks have been used at these events for years.
What this comes down to is whether or not boxing can regain the glory it once had by embracing some new techniques to make the show more interesting.
There is always room for improvement, but with boxing consisting of so many promotions, fighters, weight-classes, championships and traditions, the odds of any major changes happening seem slim.
What the sport of boxing needs to hope for is for more than one or two major names to draw attention. Almost anyone you ask will have heard of Floyd Mayweather, regardless of whether he is into boxing, but how many other boxers can be called household names?
The list is certainly short, and unless we start seeing more fighters emerge with as much potential as a Mike Tyson or a Manny Pacquiao, then we might never see boxing get back to where it once was.
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