Boxing’s Return To Prominence: The Resurgence Of The Sweet Science In The Modern Era

The sport of boxing has struggled a bit in the past couple of decades, but it has been able to make a resurgence in recent times thanks to the many captivating personalities, thrilling matchups, and innovative marketing strategies learned from newer combat sports like mixed martial arts.

The massive influx of investments into the boxing industry has opened the door for some of the biggest matchups that fans have asked for, while the new celebrity boxing niche continues to bring in legions of younger fans. The sport of boxing is at an interesting crossroads right now as it repurposes its product for a different audience.


Breaking Down Boxing’s Modern Revival

Let’s take a closer look at some of the catalysts that have helped propel boxing to new heights in the modern era:


1) The Rise Of Exciting Talent

Every sport needs a few heroes and storylines that keep fans glued to the action. The sport suffered a major loss following the retirement of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, the two biggest names in the sport since the late 90s.

While talent has never been an issue for the sweet science, boxers with the right personalities to fill up arenas aren’t that easy to come by.

Fortunately, fighters like Terence Crawford, Gervonta Davis, and Naoya Inoue are now stepping up to play that role. Stars like Claressa Shields, Katie Taylor, and Amanda Serrano have emerged as the best female boxers of the modern era, attracting new sets of eyes.


2) Thrilling Matchups And Epic Showdowns

Here is one aspect boxing has recently made major improvements in the modern era, compared to a decade ago. One of the biggest issues that plagued boxing during the start of the millennium was how difficult it was to get the best fighters in any division to go against each other.

Even the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao superfight took more than a decade to make, and both men were way past their primes despite their sharp skills when they finally agreed on terms. What boxing fans wanted to see was 20-something-year-old Mayweather and Pacquiao go at it, and that would have been a lot more entertaining than what fans ended up getting. They could have then gone on to have a couple more fights between them, with the potential to create one of the biggest rivalries in the sport’s history.

Boxing’s new superstars seem to understand how such scenarios hurt boxing and their pockets. They’ve been more willing to go against the best in their division and that led to an excellent year for boxing in 2023.

The highly anticipated Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia fight brought in over 1.2 million pay-per-view buys, proving that boxing fans are willing to shell out money for the fights they want to see.

Being a boxing fan has been pretty good in the past few years. We got to see Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder, Terence Crawford vs. Errol Spence, and Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou.

Boxing has certainly taken advantage of the increasing popularity of streaming technology by delivering entertaining matchups. For the first time, fans can now access boxing events from anywhere in the world with internet access, opening the door for more pay-per-view sales.


3) The Emergence Of Influencer Boxing

Hardcore boxing fans weren’t huge fans of celebrity boxing when the trend first started, but its impact on the sport is undeniable. Celebrity boxing has been around for decades, but social media made it possible for influencers like KSI and Jake Paul to take things to the next level, hosting their events at one point and selling out every seat in the arena.

For the first time in boxing’s history, promoters are now working closely with influencers to help reach new audiences. Many of the top influencers in boxing today have millions of followers watching everything they do, and it gives promoters a chance to get some of their lesser-known fighters exposure to a young audience on their undercards.


4) Modern Marketing And Promotional Techniques

Boxing was slow to adapt to social media and streaming services, but things have changed considerably in the last few years. Promoters have learned a lot from working with influencers and now employ social media and viral posts to create buzz for events.

Spectacles have also become more popular with fighters often being accompanied by some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry like rapper Eminem walking Terence Crawford to the ring for his fight against Errol Spence while rapping “Lose Yourself.”

Saudi boxing promoters entering the fray has led to even larger spectacles as millions of dollars are spent on entertainment and new arenas as they establish themselves as the new power players in the boxing space.

Boxing appears to be one the onset of a new era and it’s clear the sport isn’t going anywhere despite all the problems it had in the early 21st century. The new marketing strategies employed continue to bring in new audiences and casual fans, helping to grow the sport.


The Enduring Appeal Of The Sweet Science

Boxing remains the most popular combat sport worldwide despite the many changes to the sports and entertainment space in the past couple of decades. It’s a sport that gives fans everything they need to be entertained from intriguing storylines to the perseverance fighters show inside the ring.

The increasing popularity of mixed martial arts was one of the biggest threats boxing has ever faced, but it appears the sweet science has learned from its top rival. Many of the promotional tools used in MMA are also now seen in boxing.

Boxing at its core is a test of intelligence, skill, courage, and determination. Every boxer brings their unique style inside the ring, creating an endless selection of narratives and matchups that keep fans wanting more.

Boxing’s return to prominence in the modern era is a testament to the enduring appeal of the sweet science. Fueled by exciting talent, thrilling matchups, and innovative marketing, the sport has once again captured the imagination of sports fans worldwide.


You may also like:

The History And Origins Of Boxing

More in Boxing

Also On Evolve