The Sports Version of Jumping the Shark

Sports is an industry built on spectacle. And no other sport does more spectacle more than boxing. Ever since Sir Walter O’Hennigan boxed a kangaroo in 1885, boxing is the ultimate sport that not only thrives on hype and the absurd, it needs it in order to survive.

At least boxing needs it now more than ever.

When boxing was at it’s peak in the 1940’s through the 1960’s, everyone knew the best fighters at all weight classes, the heavyweight champion was a world famous title, and the number of prize-fighting events that shook the sports world were many.

Now….not so much.

These days, there are only about 3 world famous boxers, 2 of them really don’t fight anymore, and hardly anyone can name one of about eight different heavyweight champions. Boxing is dying. UFC is partly responsible, the NFL and other team sports have something to do with it as well, but ultimately boxing has itself to blame. Corruption, lack of visibility, and absolutely no institutional control has made the boxing world more of the wild west than it ever has before. And remember, this is the same sport where men fought kangaroos for a nickel.

So what is the solution? Why don’t we match up the best pound-for-pound fighter (who really never fights anymore) with a guy from the UFC.

Yeah, that is a sustainable solution.

This is such a dumb idea, I cannot believe people are buying into it. Connor MacGregor, an MMA guy, is going to fight Floyd Mayweather, possibly the greatest fighter at 155, in a BOXING match? Why in the world would anyone think MacGregor can beat any professional boxer in a boxing match? And to beat Floyd? That is so stupid I can’t even begin to address it. That is like thinking Tom Brady can beat LeBron James in a 1-on-1 basketball game because, well, Tom Brady is good sportsball, so why not?

But this is so consistent with what boxing is; all spectacle. I guess I can’t be surprised. The hype machine is getting behind this awful idea and there is really no way of stopping it. I am sure it will make a lot of money for a very few people involved in this, but this is no solution to the issue boxing has of being irrelevant. Also, this is in no way going to help the UFC long term. Sure, this event will draw many eyes towards it, but those eyes are going to see some guy get schooled in a sport he has never done professionally. There is no challenge in this. There is no competition. There is not even a title to fight over. It is just two guys from two different sports that are clamoring for more international attention.

I’d rather see either of them fight that kangaroo.