Was boxing ever the most popular sport in the states

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Eye of Timaeus, Feb 8, 2020.


  1. Eye of Timaeus

    Eye of Timaeus Active Member Full Member

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    Back in the 60s with Ali was it ever on par with NFL or MLB.
     
  2. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    I believe at its peak it was 2nd behind baseball 30s 40s. Along with Horseracing. By the the time Ali came on the scene it was already sinking in that regard. TV had created a new Avenue but at the same time hurt the sport in the long run.
     
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  3. Eye of Timaeus

    Eye of Timaeus Active Member Full Member

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    Horseracing really?
     
  4. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    Way back it was big stuff. I got a chance to go to some of the old time tracks before they closed like Hollywood Park. It a good and quite addictive
     
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  5. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    The NFL was growing so fast by the late 60s it may have been even with baseball. Boxing would have been a distant 3r or 4th
     
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  6. JackSilver

    JackSilver Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Who told you that Ali was that popular in the 60s?
     
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  7. FrankinDallas

    FrankinDallas Boxing Addict Full Member

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    NFL was NOTHING until the 60's-70'. College football was more popular.
    Baseball DOMINATED until the end of the 1950's, maybe into the 60's. It wasn't called "The National Pastime"
    for nothing.
    Boxing's heyday was the 1920's-1950's.
     
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  8. Seamus

    Seamus Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    College Football was more popular than the NFL well into the 70's... maybe even 80's. In many places (the South) it still is.

    1930's boxing might have been the most popular with only baseball to challenge. There were good cards almost every night in the biggest East Coast cities, especially NYC. Pre-TV era boxing would definitely be its apex.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
  9. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    If you go back further, then it was undoubtedly the most popular!
     
  10. Gazelle Punch

    Gazelle Punch Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I’ve heard that Jack Dempsey was the biggest thing in the states for some time. Bigger then Babe Ruth even. So maybe the 20s it was the biggest thing? Idk where it ranked in the 60/70s but From what I’m told back then everyone knew a little boxing and spent some time in a gym at some point...def can’t say that today
     
  11. kolchak65

    kolchak65 New Member Full Member

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    Baseball was number one for decades. The shift to football starting occurring in the 1970s. Boxing ran a close second to baseball in the 1920s and 1930s, perhaps the 1940s . Baseball, boxing, and basketball - my three favorite sports. The first two used to dominate but have been receding since the '70s. No idea what the future holds, but I doubt boxing will regain its past glories.
     
  12. Seamus

    Seamus Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Boxing has the appearance of a diminishing draw if you only focus on the US. But worldwide it's blown up over the past 40 years. And in the US, it still boasts some of the highest paid athletes and remains the only sport whose best matches are exclusively on PPV.
     
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  13. kolchak65

    kolchak65 New Member Full Member

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    That all may be correct. I was talking only about the United States.
     
  14. PernellSweetPea

    PernellSweetPea Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    It does not have a consistent schedule like a sports like basketball or baseball or things of that nature. So people cannot depend on the professional fights in the same manner as a set schedule of games and then playoffs etc. Maybe that is why is not as big now. I don't know about before. Probably the biggest in the 1920s. My Grandfather whom I never met used to listen to the fights on Friday nights on his radio in the 1950s. My Dad told me this. My Dad would be coming home from college on Fridays and his father had to pick him up at the train station and would be a little late because of listening to the fights.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020


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