Boxing: Breaking Down Boxing's Hollywood Connection

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Boxing: Breaking Down Boxing's Hollywood Connection
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Mark Wahlberg and Will Smith take in a fight in Las Vegas

Since the early days of boxing at the turn of the 20th century in the United States, the upper class and starlets of the entertainment world have been enamored with the sweet science. In the 1920s, boxers like Jack Johnson and Jack Dempsey were the celebrities of their time and often dated socialites and Hollywood actresses (per Wikipedia).

Some of Hollywood's most notable actors have starred in boxing films such as Raging Bull, Rocky and Cinderella Man. The success of these films and others has helped strengthen the connection between Hollywood and pugilism.

Today, boxing doesn't hold the same mainstream clout as it once did in the early 1900s. And though it's a strange relationship that exists—as The Seattle Times notes—there is still a definite bond that is alive between Hollywood and the sport of boxing.

There is something about two boxers going toe-to-toe in the ring that captivates even the biggest movie stars and athletes of other sports. When Manny Pacquiao was upset by Timothy Bradley in June 2012, celebrities took to Twitter to voice their displeasure. Everyone from Miley Cyrus to Justin Timberlake let it be known that they do watch boxing and care about the results.

There are tons of famous celebrity boxing fans, such as Brad Pitt, Justin Bieber and Lil Wayne. This list not only looks at the biggest modern-day boxing supporters, but also how these Hollywood stars are closely connected to the sport.

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