Posted by: Jon Pyle | June 9, 2007

Quicklist: What Boxing Can Learn from the UFC

This post originally ran on The Big Lead when I filled in back on May 4th. I’m reposting it for purposes relating to The Hot Blogger Bracket, as this was the piece I submitted.  But remember I have not altered the content at all, despite my urge to do so.

As you may have ascertained from the name of my blog that I’m shamelessly promoting, I enjoy making lists. So, I thought I’d bring a little of my flavor (”Why y’all gotta waste my flava? Damn!”) to the Big Lead.

With the huge De la Hoya-Mayweather fight this Saturday (Mayweather wins with a 6th or 7th round TKO), a lot of people have talked about this clash as boxing’s last hurrah as the preferred pugilistic sport in America. With the UFC rapidly gaining popularity among sports fans (particularly the all-important Male 18-35 demographic) and corruption and ineptitude running rampant, boxing is become less relevant and accessible by the moment. But, I think there is room for both boxing and UFC to prosper if done correctly. Here a few thoughts to rejuvenate the Sweet Science:

1. One title per division- This is so obvious that I won’t go any further.
2. Consolidate power- Another obvious one, but you need one guy to run it all. That man is not Don King.
3. Make your TV exposure count- There are boxing matches on TV everyday but nobody really cares about any of them. While the Contender is nice for Sly Stallone to pretend he’s Rocky all over again or allow the bitter boxing rivalry of the USA vs. the UK to continue, it can only contribute to boxing the way American Idol contributes to music. Boxing needs to have one flagship show to anchor it’s PPV’s and promote it’s not-ready-for big fight talent.
4. Cut PPV cost- PPV buyers have been skeptical of boxing since the 1 and done Mike Tyson era. You have to win back their trust so that homes become the gathering places for fights again instead of bars.
5. Sell your live product- I’ve always heard there’s nothing like a good boxing match live. Too bad nobody in my generation has ever gone to fight, in sharp contrast to our Fathers and/or Grandfathers before us. Making it affordable and accessible for people to get tickets and providing a better product will draw a crowd.

What UFC and Boxing can both learn from the WWF, er, WWE– Consciously work on the interview skills of your athletes. That’s a big part of what makes wrestling so enjoyable to watch. You can create a persona without becoming a character or detracting for the sport’s credibility.




  1. You honestly thought Mayweather would knock out De La Hoya? JP, you’re better than that bro. Seriously, nice article though, I couldn’t agree more on just about everything you said. These are all things i’ve said to my friends over the past few months…did u happen to catch the Cotto-Judah fight last night? I missed it, but I love Cotto and I hope he eventually fights Mayweather…anyways…gr8 works as always buddy…

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