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Presidents Column  |  October 2016
POSTED ON OCTOBER 26, 2016.
BY: WBF PRESIDENT HOWARD GOLDBERG.
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COLUMN   Photo: World Boxing Federation (WBF) President Howard Goldberg.
 
 

The usual question posed to me in my travels, as well as back home in South Africa, is about the continuity of the sport of boxing worldwide given the rise of MMA.

Can or will boxing survive and stay relevant given the upsurge of MMA? There is no doubt in my mind that boxing will not only survive but thrive despite these changing times.

It is an interesting debate, the future of boxing, but in my personal opinion, there are several reasons why the noble sport of boxing, again despite certain issues, will move forward and upwards in the future.

The first reason is historical and that boxing has roots so far back, that the sport is deeply entrenched in so many countries, that to think of boxing being removed is completely unimaginable.

The second reason is that boxing has the support of so many celebrities. One just has to look at the Mayweather v Pacquiao fight and the hordes of superstars who are in attendance at ringside adding a different flavor to the event. Jack Nicholson, 50 Cent, Will Smith Ė the list is endless, in fact.

The third reason is that of television. While perhaps TV is a contributor to diminishing live crowds in some cases, TV also is a multimillion Dollar dynamic which is a huge contributor to economies in many countries. Where there is boxing, there is money, and where there is money, there is boxing, is the hard truth.

The next reason is Muhammad Ali and the legacy of other greats such as Foreman, Frazier, Marciano and others. But Muhammad Ali epitomizes the sport of boxing in all its greatness. People who know nothing about boxing still know who Muhammad Ali was.

The final reason in my opinion is of course money. Superstars like Floyd Mayweather earned (if indeed there is no comeback) fortunes over his career, particularly at the end of his career. It is that sort of money (in addition to the fame) that most boxers dream about.

In addition there is and always has been a romantic dream about boxing. This dream often comes from, but is not exclusive, to poor countries, where fighters dream for success, both in the ring and financial Ė to move their families away from poverty, and to become heroes in their country. Case in point, Manny Pacquiao.

So boxing is like a championship fight. Itís tough and itís long, but itís going to go the distance. It might fall at times, but it gets up and keeps going, getting stronger towards the latter rounds.

Boxing is the greatest sport in the world, and we are privileged to be part of it.

Until next time, keep boxing.

Howard Goldberg

PRESIDENT: World Boxing Federation

 

 
 
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