Boxing popularity about to explode, will boxing overtake UFC in the USA again?

Discussion in 'MMA Forum' started by bluebird, May 22, 2021.

  1. dragon666

    dragon666 Member Full Member

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    It isn't always but i'd still argue it's more competitive overall than UFC's heavyweight division. Povetkin was elite at one point. Chisora is a tough gatekeeper, journeyman type. He's not the best boxer in the world but he's a tough guy.

    You really think Tai Tuivasa is good? Is he better than Arreola?

    You think an old, shot to bits Arlovski, Rothwell or Walt Harris are great competition? I think UFC has like three or four top heavyweights and the rest aren't particularly great.



    Ngannou, Miocic, Lewis, and Gane. Blaydes, Rozenstruik and Volkov. 7 guys but 4 are really in the mix to win a belt.
     
  2. HUEwarrior

    HUEwarrior New Member Full Member

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    Cool numbers, until you look at the details. For example: Adesanya/ Costa sold 700k... Worldwide. Than you compare with how much the boxing match sold... in the US. Fury vs Wilder I sold 350k in the US and 450k in the UK, so the fight actually sold 800k... Worldwide. How much of those UFC ppv numbers comes from Brazil (Where ppv is cheaper than in the US, I can tell because I live here) and Nigeria (To be honest, I don't know if they have a ppv model in Nigeria or some other agreement. However...)? Or Canada? Maybe UK? Japan?
    How many ppv boxing would have if you count the worldwide numbers? Can you imagine how many ppv are sold for a Pacquiao fight in the Phillipines?
    Fury vs. Wilder II sold 1.2 million ppv (Based on Anthony Joshua numbers and the numbers disclosed from the previous match, you can say the fight sold at least 800k in the UK. So Fury vs Wilder II would have at least 2 million ppv... Worldwide); Canelo vs GGG 1 and 2 sold 1.1 and 1.3 million, in the US. Canelo vs Chavez Jr. sold 1 million, in the US.
    If you look closely to those UFC ppv numbers, you will see those numbers are very recent. Adesanya selling 800k and 700k is a 2020 reality, for example. In february 2019, Adesanya was selling 175k against Silva. UFC 244 (Nov/2019) did 200k ppv buys (Masvidal v. Diaz). Miocic vs Cormier had 400k. Miocic vs Cormier 3 also 400k. Now, that doesn't mean UFC didn't had good numbers or ppv stars on ther own, just that boxing, when active, still is putting up the best numbers in combat sports.
     
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  3. Surrix

    Surrix Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Chisora even likes me: he doesn't cherry pick.

    I mean that damn a lot boxers from Klit era still are fighting top guys from current era.
    I even might mention the same Takam: he had been beated and stopped by Povetkin, years later he fought vs A.J etc examples.

    Top boxers looks that are the same?. Klits era OR Modern era, doesn't matters so much difference.
     
  4. dragon666

    dragon666 Member Full Member

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    I mean the heavyweight division in boxing isn't particularly amazing but it still has some promising upcoming fights on the table.

    I mean i'd tune in to watch Miocic vs Ngannou 3 but i wouldn't be overly excited to watch it. Lewis vs Ngannou 2 might be interesting but the first fight was atrocious.
     
  5. Surrix

    Surrix Boxing Addict Full Member

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    The biggest problem with pro boxing is that they more talk than fight and this is reality since their obsession with 0 and dumb fans obsession with this.

    While the same 0 or not 0 in the same MMA, MT, KB does not matters end of hype.

    They does not fight often, always this long thing there.
    Top ranked boxers fights 1-2, good if 3 fights per year usually, sometimes 1 fight per 9 months etc.
    All this makes boxing more and more boring.
     
  6. TMLT87

    TMLT87 New Member Full Member

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    So basically you've cherry picked the joint third biggest UFC PPV of 2020 (the only one ive ever seen where the numbers are specified as worldwide), And then come up with a bunch of speculation and conjecture about how many buys various boxing PPVs might have sold worldwide in the complete absence of concrete numbers for them, while also speculating about how many of the UFC buys come from outside of America. Which is ironic considering 1) a constant criticism of the UFC is "no one cares outside of America" 2) theyve been doing these kinds of numbers since the late 00s before they even really started expanding internationally, so if a lot of these buys really are coming from outside the US it must mean the actual American PPV audience has shrunk significantly 3) its not on PPV in the vast majority of countries, neither sport is and 4) a lot of the biggest PPV numbers from boxing today come from UK domestic PPV which costs the equivalent of around $25, that includes AJs numbers..

    I mean you're basically saying that the UFC is great at exaggerating and twisting their numbers but for some reason boxing promoters just forget to mention the hundreds of thousands if not millions of additional buys that their fights got lol.

    If we go by what we can actually see rather than imagine, the UFC is at 4+m PPV buys this year already while boxing did 1.2m-1.6m for a Youtuber vs MMA fighter, Arreola/Ruiz around 150k, Povetkin/Whyte around 200k for 20 quid in the UK.

    The publicly available buys for boxing last year is around $5.4m total buys, that includes $1.6m from 50+ year old RJJ vs 50+ year old Mike Tyson in a match where no winner could be declared, with a co-main of a Youtuber vs an NBA player. a further 2 million comes from $25 UK PPVs. Even though wikipedia states the worldwide numbers for Fury/Wilder 2 are 1.2m we'll be super generous and just randomly add a million to that. So lets say $6.4m total. Not all the UFCs PPV buys from 2020 are publicly available but the 6 that are (out of 11 PPVs that year, the lowest number of PPVs they've put out in a single year since 2006) come to 5.1m total buys already, if the rest of their PPV did even 200k each which would be pretty poor it'd still add a million to the total.

    So with Mike Tyson coming out of retirement, Youtubers, NBA players, 2 mil UK PPV buys at less than half the price of American UFC PPV buys, and the biggest HW boxing PPV since Lennox/Tyson in 2002 (which we added a speculative extra 1 million buys to to be nice). Boxing may have slightly edged out the UFC (but probably didnt) in a year where the UFC produced their lowest amount of PPVs in 15 years and Conor got his 2nd worst PPV number out of 8 PPV fights. Happy?

    Now imagine how it looks if we dont count Tyson/RJJ + Paul/Robinson because it was sold entirely on its sideshow novelty and had **** all to do with interest in modern day boxing. Also imagine that we count UK buys as being worth half UFC buys due to the price difference. And that we accept 1.2m for Fury/Wilder 2 as the actual real global number, given that if it had been US only it would mean American buys almost QUADRUPLED between the first and second fight, which seems unlikely.

    That 175k PPV lost its main event literally a few hours before it went to air, it was also in Australia.

    I have no idea where you got that 200k for UFC 244 from. A lot of buyrates were not made public that year including that one. Considering we gave Fury/Wilder 2 a speculative additional 1 million buys maybe we'll be kind to UFC 244 and believe Dana when he said it was their biggest PPV of the year, because its absolutely believable, especially considering Jones/Smith which DID have a publicly available number did 650k. Otherwise you're basically saying that Tank/LSC did better on PPV than Jorge/Nate, do you honestly believe that yourself? I mean dont you remember it was Jorge/Nate that caused Canelo/Kovalev to be delayed so that Canelos own live audience could watch it on the big screens? that doesnt sound like a 200k PPV.

    Stipe/DC 3 did 500k, thats a good number and it wasnt even in their top 5 biggest PPV numbers of the year.

    I'm not even sure what you're trying to say regarding the numbers being recent? I mean arent you just saying that the UFC is good at creating stars quickly if Adesanya and Jorge became that big that fast? or are you suggesting that the UFC wasnt doing these kinds of numbers until now? because they've been doing it since the late 00s as I said before. Their first 1 mil breaker PPV was in 2008.

    The only legitimate boxing match out there right now that could outdraw a Conor fight is AJ/Fury on PPV, and it aint happening, probably ever at this point.

    Dont you think its telling that boxing PPV is now heavily consisting of Youtuber fights, long retired 90s era boxer exhibitions, and MMA fighters while UFC PPVs are actual MMA fights between MMA fighters? why would boxing be resorting to that if it was already the bigger PPV attraction? literally the 3 biggest boxing PPVs in the 6 years since Floyd/Pac are Floyd vs an MMA fighter, Tyson/RJJ and Paul/Askren, it will soon be the 4 biggest as you can add Floyd/Logan to the list. Chavez jr is boxing Anderson Silva, De La Hoya wanted to box GSP, an almost 60 year old Holyfield is supposed to be fighting soon. Imagine if the UFCs PPV business was propped up by dudes from Tik Tok, 90s fighters like Shamrock and Tank Abbott, and boxers.

    Boxing at this point is still much bigger in terms of participation rates, i'll give you that. But the UFC is clearly bigger now when it comes to actually consistently drawing eyes to its fights and stars, consistency is key here. Look at the regularity of the PPV numbers, look at the social media followings for the athletes, look at the Youtube etc view counts for UFC content, look at the traffic on MMA forums etc etc and theres a pretty consistent pattern there. Boxing spikes casual interest every now and then when theres a Canelo/GGG or a Fury/Wilder but its not like the UFC where practically every few weeks theres something that moves the needle at least a little bit, along with legit huge fights usually several times a year.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2021
  7. Brixton Bomber

    Brixton Bomber Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I don't rate Lewis, although Francis had an off night.

    Wilder was way worse. At least Tim fought the best around him.
     
  8. dragon666

    dragon666 Member Full Member

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    Sylvia will never live his loss to an old Ray Mercer down. He won on size alone in his fights against low competition. He also was a steroid user.

    Ngannou barely fought anyone and got a world title shot. There's hardly any UFC heavyweights to fight. He knocked out a lot of old, shot fighters like Arlovski and Overeem.

    Sylvia lost to nearly anyone half decent with talent he faced. He was just a big, strong guy who used steroids.

    He won on size alone against mma guys who were just starting to build their records. Jack of all trades opponents.

    Sylvia is probably the only mma fighter i dislike. Travis Browne is another one i'm not too keen on.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2021
  9. dragon666

    dragon666 Member Full Member

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    Dana White and UFC did a better job through 2020/21 Covid with events where boxing promoters did a really bad job and were very slow to put things together.

    I think Dana White could improve the salaries for some of the more marquee names. Maybe add 200 or 300k on top with their bigger stars.

    Instead of 800k give them 1 million with the added sponsorship. I think that's all it would take for the critics to go away. UFC wouldn't have to pay the fighters much more.

    Fighters with personality are gonna sell more even if they're not elite just world class. UFC can build stars better with their business model. Tank Davis isn't someone who can resonate and doesn't have a personality people will gravitate to. The same with Leo Santa Cruz.

    Whereas Masvidal can talk on the mic well and has a hep in his step vs Tank Davis who sounds like he has a speech impediment.

    I also think White should let the fighters go and do boxing, wwe,...etc... and make extra money because it doesn't necessarily harm the product or de-legitimize it.

    Scott Coker is more open about his fighters going into kickboxing, boxing etc and still fighting in the cage.

    Boxing won't ever have the consistency of UFC unless DAZN with matchroom sign more marquee fighters and put on better shows. DAZN's gameplan is they want a proper sports package not just boxing. So, I think boxing will never be a main focus for the long term growth of the business.

    The majority of boxers don't have the personality to really be moulded into stars which can really resonate with the fans and casual audiences.

    In terms of creating talent and finding talent it's easier for boxing promoters because of the system which is in place. I think boxing promoters could even create stars easier of they promoted them properly and gave the boxers better coverage.

    With all the boxing gyms and amateurs coming in statistically you should see higher quality boxers coming through but it won't ever be obvious if they will become ''elite''. Most will reach euro or fringe world level or area level.

    In MMA it's much more obvious who is ''elite'' over simply world class or journeyman/gatekeeper types.

    I think there's 7k plus active mma fighters compared to like 22k plus active boxers not including amateurs.

    The pay at the top level is still better in boxing. At the lowest and mid level and up overall the pay is better in mma.

    UFC has two or three strong divisions which have top competition. The UFC heavyweight division needs a bit more life pumped into it. The other divisions overall seem to be doing good.

    I think mma promoters have a much harder job to find the younger talent.

    I think if all the mma organizations like bellator, one championship, rizin, pfl, m-1 etc were all bought up and under one banner it would be very interesting for mma. I'm sure it would eventually turn into a cluster **** like boxing but initially it would be crazy.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2021
  10. TMLT87

    TMLT87 New Member Full Member

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    I do think Ngannou would be a force in any area just on size/athleticism/punching power alone. Hes to punching what Brock was to wrestling, not the most skilled or versatile but just a freak athlete who can brute force his way through a lot of situations.

    But yeah HW has been pretty weak for years now. I think the peak for HW in the UFC was the early 10s when they had Cain, JDS, Brock, Carwin, Mir etc then brought over several of the Strikeforce HW GP guys too ie Reem, DC, Bigfoot, returning Werdum, Barnett, AA.
     
  11. dragon666

    dragon666 Member Full Member

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    I think any ''elite'' combat sport athlete can be moulded into a world champion with natural abilities and strength. GSP is one of them who has elite natural talent and top physical ability.

    Ngannou is the kind of fighter who can be moulded into an elite talent. He's naturally gifted physically. I think there's a lot of heavyweights out there in other combat sports who are actually naturally talent physically but confined to one discipline. I think then it comes down to money and age at that point.

    In boxing you have guys whoare physically gifted with power but not the elite ability to win a belt. Ajagba is a strong guy but he's a bit stiff and might not ever win a proper world title.

    It makes me wonder if guys like him would do better in mma if they just trained for mma and not boxing.

    Wilder isn't a great boxer but his power was an enabler but he was shown up by a top boxer in Tyson Fury. He arguably lost both fights.

    Ngannou initially was getting by on his power alone and was relatively green in his first title shot. He was over-confident and lost to Miocic. He went and learned more about wrestling, takedown defense and other aspects of mma training and came back and beat Miocic rather emphatically.

    I think his first title shot was perhaps undeserved but he did beat old HOF types like Valesquez (injury prone and shot), Arlovski, Dos Santos, and Overeem. Overeem at that point was still a decent win but not great.

    Miocic being more seasoned and experienced was the two main factors in him beating Ngannou the first time.

    I think losing to Miocic was the best thing that has happened to Ngannou because he's upped his game and has clearly improved.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2021
  12. HUEwarrior

    HUEwarrior New Member Full Member

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    I didn't cherry picked those UFC ppv, they've been brought to the conversation to point out that UFC was largely outperforming boxing in ppv sales. UFC ppv buyrate is almost never full disclosed, especially after the ESPN deal, so much of those numbers are unofficial, both the good ones 700k for Adesanya/Costa) and the bad ones (200-250k for UFC 244). Fury vs Joshua I, indeed, sold 800k worldwide. They, indeed, sold 1.2 million in the US for the rematch. Too bad that BT Sports, the company responsible for the ppv numbers in the UK, don't disclose how many ppv were sold, just like... UFC don't disclose them. That's why I put a small estimate of 800k buys, because if the first fight made 450k already, the rematch has probably done much better and, if you look at boxing ppv numbers in the UK, it's not hard to understand the fight probably sold even more. Usyk vs Chisora, also in 2020, sold 1 millon ppv. Usyk v. Chisora is nowhere the size of Wilder v. Fury II. So, actually, the fight probably did numbers much closer to what Anthony Joshua has been putting out: 1-1.5 million per big fight.

    1) I'm brazilian. Indeed, nobody cares much about MMA outside of the United States, BUT in a few countries, like Brazil, people do care a lot. MMA is easily the second biggest sport in Brazil (Thanks to BJJ). So it's fair to assume that in a fight where you have a brazilian and a nigerian fighting for the title, a bigger number of ppv would be sold worldwide, including by the expat communities in countries like Canada. So how many of those 700k buys were US-based and how many were international? No way to know. Indeed, there's no problem in counting the ppv you're selling abroad, but for the sake of the argument, you shouldn't be comparing worldwide sales from a sport with the US sales of another, especially when the other sport (boxing) is way more international than the other (MMA).
    2) In the 2000s, they were not doing those numbers. To get an idea, GSP, who was arguably the biggest star in MMA, was selling 800k for some of his best fights. Actually, GSP never sold more than 1 million pay-per-views in a fight. In the 2000s, the only guy selling more than 1 million ppv was Brock Lesnar. Even in the 2010s, to sell those type of numbers, like 700-800k, you need to be a huge star, like Jon Jones and GSP, or be a really big fight, like Silva vs Sonnen or Silva v. Belfort.
    3) MMA is on ppv in some countries. Boxing is also on pay-per-view in some countries (In Brazil, Mayweather vs Pacquiao was on ppv. 15k sales, which is huge for a fight from a sport that is not trending and that did not involve any brazillian). They're on ppv there because there's a considerable number of people that buy the fights. How many of those sales comes from Canada? Or New Zealand? Or any other country on the planet? Hard to say. So, at least, the number 700k should not be compared with the US numbers of another event.
    4) Indeed. Still, you have to look to the specific fight. In terms of revenue, 1.5 million sales in the UK is the equivalent to 500-750k sales in the US.

    Basically, UFC chooses to exagerate their numbers by saying how much they sold worldwide. In boxing, the practice is to disclose how much the fight sold in the US. Different practices, that's all.

    Again, boxing has been inactive. None of the biggest names are fighting. The only big name fighting isn't on the ppv model anymore. I bet we would increase boxing numbers by 1.5 million if you count on the two Canelo fights so far this year. So far, we're waiting for Teofimo Lopez vs Kambosos Jr./ Spence Jr. vs Pacquiao (Real chances of the fight beat the 1 mi mark)/ Fury v. Wilder III (Real chances of 1 mi)/ Anthony Joshua v. Usyk and even the possibility of Joshua vs. Fury or Joshua vs Wilder later that year. Canelo is also supposed to fight again in 2021, against Caleb Plant to become the first undisputed mexican champion of the world. Put another million ppv mark. That's not considering Youtube boxing or legend boxing.

    It's really unfair to take boxing 2020 numbers. The sport, unlike UFC, stopped almost completely. No fight island. The only thing we had was The Bubble, by Top Rank, where they did great fight, but for streaming platforms. Those fights got some track. Lomachenko vs Lopez had more than 4 million viewers. UFC produced few ppv? Boxing was not even having fights in the first. We lost the entire summer. Canelo fought just once in the end of the year, losing both mexican dates. GGG inactive. Spence Jr inactive for the biggest part of the year. The list goes on...
     
  13. HUEwarrior

    HUEwarrior New Member Full Member

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    I completely agree with you on that. American boxing stars don't have the platforms the UFC stars have and that's a big problem. They're also not exposing themselves as much. you can't find a TV interview for the likes of Crawford, Spence or Mikey Garcia, for example. That's bad. But you also need to understand that unlike UFC, boxing is truly a global sport. We've already reach that point. When you're a truly international sport, you need to start to realize that promotion in the US becomes way harder, because not always the best fighters will know how to communicate with american audiences. The UFC have international fighters in the name, but you look to them, names like Ngannou, Adesanya and Usman, and they've been living and training in the US for a decade. Dealing with international stars is less like Adesanya, who knows how to communicate with american audiences, and more like dealing with Charles Oliveira, who doesn't know a single word of english, much less understand american audiences tastes. When UFC becomes a true global phenomenon, the company will experience what's boxing experience right now.

    Yet, boxing still have way more casual fans than MMA (MMA has more hardcore fans). More fans globally, also. And boxing also has a larger room to grow up even more and get even more consistent numbers. But that's not a process that happens in a day. It takes time to bring a whole sport to modern age. Eddie Hearn, the best promoter right now, was sucessful in doing so in the UK, but it took him a decade. He arrived in the US in 2018/2019, so I believe we're just gonna see the true results of it in american audiences by the 2030s. Until there, I'm still betting that boxing will continue to be bigger than UFC.
    Also, it's important to notice that boxing is going through a transition phase, where the two biggest names in the sport have been largely inactie or retired at the same time. Mayweather and Pacquiao, in that case. When something similar happened in the UFC, when McGregor and Ronda lost, the company also endured their worst year in ppv sales (2017) and found some hardship to find another stars that could take the crown. Despite increasing success, especially with Khabib, now retired, they're still searching and are really dependent on McGregor to bring in the numbers.
     
  14. TMLT87

    TMLT87 New Member Full Member

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    So basically in the 2000s they were not doing those numbers....except for all the examples of them doing those numbers that you yourself just brought up? wtf.

    They did almost 8 million total PPV buys in 2009, boxing did about half that the same year....

    This is massively reaching, nobody knows. All we know is that the numbers that are publicly available generally show the UFC as doing better than boxing on PPV. And like I said before if you pay attention to things like social media numbers, YT views, forum activity etc its consistent with the narrative that the UFC generates more interest than boxing.

    I highly doubt that Canelo/BJS and Canelo vs ****ing Yildrim would have totalled 1.5m buys between them if they had been on traditional PPV lol. Canelo/Plant would potentially do decent numbers though. But by the same logic what effect would it have on boxings PPV numbers if it wasnt for all these freakshow fights that have nothing to do with the actual current boxing scene?

    And like I said before, it isnt just 2021, or 2020, its most years.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2021
  15. TMLT87

    TMLT87 New Member Full Member

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    The UFC is already by far the biggest combat sports organization on the planet. When you call boxing a "global phenomenon" what it really means is its fractured between a bunch of small regional/domestic promotions. The UFC is much bigger and more international than PBC, Top Rank, Golden Boy, Matchroom never mind the smaller boxing promotions. I would be hugely surprised if the most viewed cards globally each week werent UFC cards most of the time. Again the numbers you consistently see on YT, IG, FB, Twitter, Reddit, dedicated forums etc supports that theory too, and those are all global platforms.

    If it does theres nothing tangible reflecting it.


    I mean, you're the only person ive ever heard forecasting that boxing is actually going to get bigger in future lol. The general consensus is that things will go further and further in the direction of MMA.
     
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