BOTH ARE AMAZING
Gotta go with the UFC. I just cant get into boxing anymore now that im a UFC fan. It just seems to be outdated now.
i like both.
UFC not to many good boxing for awhile now maybe mayweather vs paq will happen one day.
Grew up watching boxing with father, later on walked into Gleason's famed Brooklyn gym and fell in love. Both sports have their place. Also the business models for both are entirely different, with the top in boxing making vastly more than their counterparts in MMA.
Boxer vs MMA fighter in a boxing match= boxer wins
Boxer vs MMA fighter in a MMA fight= MMA fighter wins
Boxer vs MMA fighter in a kickboxing match= MMA fighter wins
Boxer vs MMA fighter in a grappling match= MMA fighter wins
Thats just how the cookie crumbles
ANS PERFORMANCE REPRESENTATIVE
great, i see the next 5 posts just say everything I tried to but much more directly
Not to mention world class boxers are a at a completely differnet level of skill in striking than a mixed martial artist that trains in boxing. If Randy Couture fought Toney in a boxing match (which he never will), Toney would obliterate him. Even Randy said this would happen. I liked what Vitor Belfort proposed. He wanted to fight Toney in an octagon with 4 oz. gloves and make it a kickboxing/muay thai type of deal.
Use some perspective. Lesnar became a champion after how many pro fights? In boxing that would be damn near impossible, where size has less to do with it, than pure skill. If Lesnar were 15-0 in boxing and you were to put him in the ring with a top 5 fighter, you'd have your license revoked and he would be in the hospital. You can't intelligently compare boxing vs MMA in terms of their popularity. Boxing boasts names like Muhammad Ali and is stoked in tradition. MMA just popped up in the mainstream only a few short years ago. To properly judge both sports and their impact with the public, both sports would have to be judged against time and in that vein boxing takes the belt.
If a fighter in MMA starts out with 10 wins without a loss, it is a hell of a beginning to a career, but if a boxer loses that early, it puts a huge dent into his record. The only boxer I can think of with an early loss and still become elite is Pacquiao. To my knowledge, the best official beginning to a career post-NSAC clearance is Diego Sanchez at 17-0 (I say official because of the BS loss on Fedor's record to TK).
Lesnar become champ because of 20 years of amateur wrestling experience including a DI championship with a 105-6 record during college. Yes, he's a huge dude, but he's also a freak athlete.
Impact also depends largely upon culture. In Brazil, Japan, Russia, Thailand, etc., traditional western boxing has very low cultural impact while BJJ, Judo, Muay Thai, Sambo, Vale Tudo, etc. have a much higher cultural impact. MMA as we know it is really only about 15 years old, but the concept of having different arts compete against each other goes back well over 70 years in Brazil, which is really the Motherland of MMA.
Fair point, however, boxers are brought along slowly to maximize their potential, more so than to simply pad their records. As an example, Fernando Vargas was thrown into the lion's den after having only 20 pro bouts to his name, against the likes of Felix Tito Trinidad; and consequently was never the same after that. If he were given the chance to mature both mentally and physically, presumably he could have gone down as one of the best fighters of his generation, based solely on his talent level. Boxers have a short lifespan to maximize both their potential and their pocket books.
I agree that MMA is more popular in certain areas of the world, however, if you have one of their countryman fighting for a title in boxing, it will capture their imagination and the entire country, much like Manny Pac has. More over he doesn't speak English, yet was still granted an SI cover, and was a first seat guest on Leno, Letterman and Kimmel. Some of the biggest fights in boxing history were fought internationally, in places like Manila and Zaire. Everyone has heard of the "Thrilla in Manila", not so sure everyone has heard about "Lesnar/Couture". History speaks to my general point.
I think MMA has it's place. To argue that it's more popular than boxing, would need to be argued in context, given that it's only been given a mainstream outlet in the past few years. It would need another 20 to justify that argument while steeping itself in tradition, much like Muhammad Ali, Tyson and Leonard among many others have come to define boxing and become A-List celebrities outside of their respective sport.
I think to say that the future of boxing is secure is a tad too arrogant in the sense that the overall popularity of boxing has tailed immensely because of the lack of an infusion of fresh, captivating talent. For better or worse, the marketing of a fighter plays a huge role and this is where boxing has really faltered. There is a rich history of characters in boxing, but it really seems like that could be a thing of the past as the scumbag promoters have really taken over the sport and delay the fights for years and years. Even if they do happen, it's often too late as the luster of the matchup has ended (I'm not saying that this doesn't happen in MMA because it does and there's 1 person to blame for it).
In terms of raw marketing, I like the direction that Dana White has taken, especially with the rumor that he plans to create his own network, which is a game changer. If you could forgo the networks then you're ahead of the game. Dana White was losing money until the UFC made it's reality tv debut, which showcased the sport to a much broader audience. I don't think the heavyweight division is as important as it use to be, with respect to the long term health of the sport. Even when Lennox Lewis was the heavyweight champion, boxing's most popular figure was Oscar Dela Hoya. As long as you have a mixture of talent coupled with a dynamic personality, then you're back in business. Manny and May possess both.
Boxing needs a uniformed commission, however, that would alter the current business model, affecting both the fighter and their promoter, which is why it hasn't happened yet. Having said that, the last few boxing PPV's were all successful, with some even breaking prior records for both purses made and live gate. Boxing moving away from networks like ABC and CBS, have been detrimental to the sport in terms of marketability, however, fighting on HBO (subscription model) brings in a lot more money to the fighters and promoters; it's a catch 22. Both boxing and MMA will ultimately thrive; albeit through different mechanisms.
Im a big fan of both sports. Both have amazing skill sets of their own. MMA is so much more diverse, giving the fighter much more to worry about. Which is technical is its own way. Because you dont know if the guy will punch, kick, knee, or take you down for G&P or to set up a sub. In boxing its much more artful since all you use is footwork, body movement, and your hands.
Overall I prefer MMA but a great boxing fight is tough to beat by a top MMA fight. I miss the old days when you seen great fights and fighters on free TV. I remember watching my favorite fighter Thomas Hitman Hearns on Wide World of Sports. Boxing lead to its own demise. By no means am I saying its dead, but its fading fast while MMA is steadily rising.
ANS PERFORMANCE REPRESENTATIVE
Objectively speaking, the UFC has dominated boxing in pay-per-view buyrates, revenue, and television ratings over the past three-and-a-half years. Unless there is some other measure of popularity that I am unaware of - one obviously not related to the purchasing behavior of consumers who endorse a given sport - that particular point is moot. UFC is, for and at the moment, more popular, successful, and profitable than boxing. (I would say MMA in-general, here, but truthfully speaking the UFC commands this attention moreso than all the other promotions combined.)
This owes itself to many factors, not the least of which being the [at best] tepid state of boxing's heavyweight division, the inability of major promoters to capitalize on the largest fight(s) currently possible (Pacquiao/Mayweather) and the abject failure of boxing as a sport to remain relevant in the contemporary sports narrative. Fairly or not, boxing has come to be seen as antiquated, and the consequence is an increasingly aging demographic who is less inclined to purchase, and who is therefore unable to keep boxing "popular."
As for the argument on tradition, I find this an ineffective rubric for measuring the worth of a particular sport. Competitive chess, and ringette, and lacrosse have their traditions, does this mean they captivate the current sports audience? A feat, again, that is necessary to proclaim something as "popular." Tradition is a function of time as much as it is quality and we cannot project hypothetically forward in time in order to assess a thing's current popularity.
As for Lesnar and the amount of pro fights, I believe I did a summation of similar phenomenon in boxing on the previous page.