Boxing is a sport that has been around for centuries. Once considered a brutal and dangerous sport, it has now become a mainstream entertainment event that attracts millions of fans worldwide. With the rise of social media, a new phenomenon has emerged – influencer boxing. It is a trend where social media influencers with no prior boxing experience take part in boxing matches with each other for the sake of entertainment. While some consider it a money-making gimmick, others see it as a way to inject fresh energy into the sport of boxing. In this article, we will examine the influence of influencer boxing on the sport of boxing, its effects on boxers, and whether or not it is a viable long-term plan to promote boxing.
What Is Influencer Boxing?
Influencer boxing is a new trend where social media influencers, celebrities or internet personalities, take part in boxing matches with each other. The matches are often recorded, shared on social media, and televised live, allowing fans to follow the proceedings. The aim of influencer boxing is to capitalize on the large social media followings of these personalities to generate interest in boxing. However, there is some criticism surrounding influencer boxing, as many traditional boxing fans and players consider it a mockery of the sport.
Why is Influencer Boxing Popular?
Influencer boxing has become increasingly popular due to its ability to reach a much broader audience than traditional boxing. For example, influencer boxing matches featuring YouTube stars KSI and Logan Paul had an cumulative audience of over 20 million people. The young demographic of these influencers has enabled the sport to reach people who may not have been interested in traditional boxing matches. It has also opened boxing up to a wider and more diverse range of fans.
Influencer boxing has also increased the commercial viability of the sport. The potential for earning money from influencer boxing matches is significantly higher than traditional boxing matches. Moreover, the commercial benefits extend beyond the matches themselves. For example, the prominent British YouTuber KSI used his fame from the first influencer boxing match to launch a music career, releasing a single that went platinum in the UK.
Effects on the Sport of Boxing
While influencer boxing has brought many benefits to the sport, it has also had negative effects on the sport, particularly on the traditional boxing model. It raises questions around the value and importance of traditional boxing, and whether it is still relevant to the broader population. Many boxer purists believe that influencer boxing is a distraction from the sport's core values, posing a threat to its legacy and heritage.
Influencer boxing has also resulted in reduced attention and funding for amateur boxing. The International Olympic Committee has reduced the quota of boxers competing at the Olympic games. Furthermore, the popularity of influencer boxing matches has meant that amateur boxing organizations have less media coverage and fewer sponsorships.
Influencer boxing has also impacted the quality of professional boxing matches. As the demand for influencer boxing increases, some professional boxers have shown enthusiasm to participate in such events. This comes at the expense of their professional careers, neglecting rigorous training for ring entertainment. This could lead to fans developing expectations of untrained YouTube personalities over professional boxers.
The Future of Influencer Boxing
Influencer boxing is unlikely to disappear anytime soon. It has become a mainstream entertainment event, attracting a broad and diverse audience. The substantial commercial benefit of influencer boxing matches makes it difficult to ignore. However, its long term effects on the sport of boxing are hard to predict.
One likely scenario is that influencer boxing will continue to grow but within limits. While it has brought substantial commercial benefits to the sport, it is unlikely to replace traditional boxing events in the long term. As such, it will continue to operate side by side with traditional boxing and potentially attract a new and younger audience to the sport.
Influencer boxing has created a new platform for the sport of boxing, enabling it to reach a more extensive audience while providing a substantial commercial benefit to the industry. However, it has also contributed to undermining the sport's traditional values of dedication and training. On balance, its contribution to the sport cannot be underestimated. Still, the long term effects of its presence on the sport are yet to be fully understood. Regardless, it is evident that influencer boxing is here to stay, and we can only wait and watch to see if its presence will benefit or detract from the sport of boxing.