Last night was the pay-per-view telecast of UFC 74. Ever since the De La Hoya – Mayweather fight earlier this year, the sporting world has been enveloped in a debate about whether or not boxing was on it’s way out and Mixed Martial Arts, more specifically, UFC was the next big thing. There is only one thing to do in a case like this. Lets go to the Tape!
~Tale of the Tape~
Boxing: De La Hoya – Mayweather = $54.95
UFC: #74 = $39.99
Edge: UFC. In a fairly straightforward battle UFC has the advantage here.
Boxing: 3 Minutes
UFC: 5 Minutes
Edge: Boxing. This generation in America has a very short attention span. So I am going to give the shorter rounds the advantage.
Boxing: The squared circle. Mythical. Historic. Old School.
UFC: The Octagon. Exotic. Plus it is surrounded by a chain link fence.
Edge: UFC. The Octagon is pretty bad ass.
Boxing: Occasionally someone will get their face bloodied. However, the refs never seem to let it get that far.
UFC: If you don’t see someone bloodied, you didn’t get your moneys worth. Knockouts a plenty! Double Knockouts.
Plus this clip is just downright exciting.
Edge: UFC. If you are a fight fan, deep down you want to see someone get fucked up.
Boxing: When the punches aren’t flying, the two boxers are just bouncing around the ring looking at each other. And that’s kinda gay.
UFC: When the punches aren’t flying the two fighters are usually holding each other on the ground or holding each other against the cage. And that’s kinda gay.
Edge: There are no winners here.
Boxing: It’s origins date back to bare-knuckle fighting in the 1800’s. Along with horse racing, boxing was the biggest sport of the early 20th Century. Past generations go from Dempsey to Marciano to Ali etc…
UFC: It’s origins date back to bar fights mixed with high school wrestling. Famous names of the past include Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie.
Edge: Boxing in a landslide. History has big role in sports. Just look at the most popular teams and rivalries.
Boxing: Oscar De La Hoya, Bernard Hopkins, Floyd Mayweather
UFC: Randy Couture, Iceman Lidell, Rampage Jackson, Mirko Cro Cop, Gabriel Gonzaga
Edge: Even. This is a tough category. Mainstream wise boxing has the edge. But the three biggest names in boxing are all on their way out.
Boxing: Current Champion – That Russian Guy. What’s his name. Then there’s that other guy. Aw hell, I have no clue. But I know there are four of them. (For those of you saying why didn’t you just look them up, you obviously missed the point. WBA: Rusian Chagaev. IBF: Wladimir Klitschko. WBC: Oleg Maskaev. WBO: Sultan Ibragimov)
UFC: Randy Couture
Edge: UFC in a landslide. Any sort of organized fighting lives and dies by the Heavyweight Division. UFC gains points for only having one champion and having that champion being one of biggest names in the sport. The Heavyweight Division in boxing hasn’t mattered in about four years. That shouldn’t happen.
Boxing: Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant, Emanuel Steward, Harold Lederman, Max Kellerman
UFC: Mike Goldberg, Joe Rogan
Edge: Boxing. Kellerman may be a bit smug at times. But the amount of unintentional comedy that comes out of HBO Boxing events is fantastic. And these guys do know what they are talking about sometimes. I just can’t take Joe Rogan seriously.
Boxing: The Contender
UFC: The Ultimate Fighter
Edge: UFC. Ok I admit. I am basing the next few statement on absolutely nothing at all. Yes The Contender was on network television, and I admit I loved the first season. But it featured Sylvester Stalone and Sugar Ray. The Ultimate Fighter is on Spike TV, has a cult following, the sixth season is about to start (with the seventh already planned for the spring), the first season saw Couture and Lidell as the coaches.
Boxing: Mills Lane. Famous for being the ref for the “Bite Match”
UFC: Big John McCarthy (“The Ninth Wall of the Octagon”). Famous for his delivery of the trademark phrase “Let’s Get It On.”
Edge: UFC. Big John Stud is cool. And being a member of the LAPD is way cooler and demands a lot more respect than being a judge on TV.
What Does the Future Hold:
Boxing: Unless they can get some big fights and develop some outstanding American born talent, the Future is looking bleak.
UFC: After UFC 74, SportsCenter showed video highlights of the match. They never did that for boxing.
The world of Boxing in rich in history, but that is exactly what they will become unless they step it up soon. I see two quick solutions.
1) Unify all the belts so that there is only one champion in each weight class (This is a long shot)
2) Pit the best boxers against the bets UFC fighters to see who comes out on top. It could be like when the Jetsons met the Flintstones or the GoBots met the Rocklords. Mayweather said that the thought about it, maybe he should do it for the sake of his sport. (This is also a long shot)
Lets just hope that one day we don’t need to show our kids archival footage to our kids to explain to them why the television is making a big deal about Mohammad Ali dying.