Evander Holyfield has commented on the current state of boxing, and believes the sport’s profile is not what it once was.
‘The Real Deal’ draws comparisons to the level of coverage there was during his early career and stressed the importance of solid publicity to bring new eyes to fighters.
In an interview with IFL TV, Holyfield said:
“The big thing with boxing in America is they don’t show all the fights, so you don’t get a chance to keep up with it.
I remember a time when boxing was on, that was the only thing you were going to see.
It doesn’t get the exposure that it used to get, I remember times when everybody knew who was fighting.”
Holyfield expressed the importance of boxing being exposed to young Americans to inspire the next generation of stars.
“With exposure, that’s what brings the people in.
I remember guys who were 17, 18 years old on TV. At once I started seeing that, I knew I had to work hard to get there.”
There are arguably few better placed to comment on exposure in boxing than Holyfield. His rematch with Mike Tyson in 1997 generated close to 2 million pay per view buys and was the third highest grossing fight of all time.
Although a necessity for certain high profile fights to take place, many feel lesser contests consistently been putting behind a paywall has been detrimental to growing fighters’ profiles as well as that of the sport as a whole.
Tyson Fury’s recent bout with Derek Chisora is a recent example that came under heavy criticism, with fans incensed by being charged £26.95 to see Fury easily dismantle a faded opponent whom he had already dealt with comfortably – twice.
Fears are growing amongst boxing purists that, should this trend continue, more and more fans will turn off from the sport and influencer boxing could eventually surpass the traditional professional code.