Re: The Heavyweight Champion Of The World
Money is the problem. I don't want to sound like a communist, but fighters can make millions just fighting easy fights and padding their records without taking a risk. And in todays time, if you lose one fight (especially within the limit), you're done. So no one wants to take that risk anymore.
Due to human nature, corruption is an irreversible process. Unless jesus is ressurected and makes some miracles happen, there will always be 3 or 4 title belts. Unification, which is already highly unlikely as it happened two times in the last 20 years (three times if you count the upcoming Ibragimov (WBO) vs Chagaev (WBA) fight), would solve this. But governing bodies are ridiculously easy to strip fighters for ridiculously bad fighters (Ray Austin for instance).
Having to pay 50 dollars to be able to watch a stinker like 46 year old Holyfield vs 40 year old Lou Savarese doesn't help things either.
If you have a fighter who is just like Ali in both ability and character, but who will only fight Evangelista's and at best a Quarry to win his title, and who never gets any attention on tv or other media, then no one will ever watch his fights or get to know him. Names and charater sells. The WWF promotors knows this all too well. I'm not saying that boxing should become a freak show like that, but you have to be realistic; with all the PPV's, no one is going to recognise any boxer and when that happens, the sport is as good as dead.
Another factor is that society has changed. Over the last decades, more and more people think boxing is too brutal. Maybe because in the old days, people had less luxery and therefore were used to life being more rough. But life isn't going to get any less luxerous so this tendency is not likely to change. Seeing how ****ed up former boxing icons like Ali and Tyson are currently doesn't give the sport a better name either.
Maybe more important, in the current society, people don't seem to be willing to really take time for something anymore. Fewer than ever young people still read the papers. Everything has to be fast. Who wants to go in town and buy a CD and view the artwork/lyrics when you can just download the mp3 and move on? Who wants to do old fashioned running ? Everyone wants the hyped up Billy Blanks fitness stuff and related programs that "will make you lose 15 pounds in 2 weeks by doing one half an hour of work a day". Look good without spending time on it.
Trying to sell the idea of two men boxing for twelve (not fifteen) rounds is very hard to sell when you can also watch two men fighting for 3 rounds where they can also use their legs. K1, UFC etc may not last long in popularity, but at this moment they are much better to sell because the fights are much shorter. It simply fits better in society. The reason that we went from 15 rounds to 12 is all the same.
In Germany, boxing is pretty popular at this moment. You can see fights on national German television for free although that's only a few saturday nights a month. Perhaps the future lies in eastern Europe.