Boxing has long been the king of sports when it comes to combat sports.
Long before the term combat sport or mixed martial arts was coined, boxing was one of the most watched sports in the world alongside other sports including football, tennis and race. But why is it more popular than MMA even though MMA is a more authentic form of fighting?
Why is Boxing more popular than MMA? The reason is because boxing is a much older and older sport than MMA. It is over 100 years old while MMA is only 30 years old. Boxing spawned talented superstars like Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather, and others.
When we compared boxing and MMA’s best-selling PPV events from 2002 to 2017, we found that in 13 of those 16 years, more people preferred watching the boxing event than MMA.
Total PPV for all those number one events is 22,740,000 and 12,599,000 for MMA. By those numbers, boxing was almost 2x more popular than MMA than MMA during that time period.
Popularity of Boxing Compared to Popularity of MMA
There are many boxing movies and sports media that constantly refer to boxing along with other mainstream sports, which also attracts more and more fans.
On the other hand, MMA also has superstars. For example, Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey, Brock Lesnar, Jon Jones, GSP but apart from Conor McGregor and Ronda However, they are not nearly as famous as the best boxers of all time.
Many people take advantage of the popularity of boxing. They opened a shop selling boxing training equipment like Best Floor Stand Punching Bag which sold very well
Currently, MMA is becoming more and more popular and attracts more and more fans as well as fighters. It is mainly due to the superstars that UFC is constantly creating and promoting as well as with new organizations around the world (One Championship, in Southeast Asia, Rizin FF in Japan).
UFC is one of the fastest growing combat sports organizations today. With contracts with major TV channels like FOX and ESPN, UFC is sure to make MMA a mainstream sport in the long run.
MMA is increasingly becoming a popular sport of all ages but is mainly aimed at a young audience. That means it will definitely become more popular than boxing, but when exactly is it unknown?
Possibly the turning point was when the boxing match between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev was postponed by two hours because more people wanted to watch the UFC Diaz vs Masvidal event. The fighters were forced to wait in their locker rooms until the MMA event was over.
Even former president Donald Trump decided to attend UFC rather than attend a boxing match.
That means MMA is more popular than boxing, definitely not, boxing is still more popular. But that was perhaps the beginning of MMA’s journey to becoming the most popular combat sport.