Re: when did boxing start to decrese in popularity?
It was around post WWII and the evolution of television. The start of the baby boom era saw a suburbanization of society away from city dwelling. Even some baseball franchises suffered from this effect. Vaudeville was completely destroyed. A lot of forms of live entertainment diminished with the advent of TV and the stay-at-home entertainment factor. Add in the rising popularity of professional football and basketball and suddenly boxing found itself drifting behind. City and towns that used to have as many as three boxing cards a week shrunk to monthly events. Boxing even disappeared from some towns altogether. Another factor was the post war economic boom saw the number of fighters in gyms drop off. Forced to embrace TV boxing saw a slight rise in the late 50's but some ring deaths almost sunk Friday night fights at the forum. Ali breathed some live back into it but it never came close to what boxing was in the first half of the 20th century.