2016 has seen the explosion in success for British boxing as the professional US sweet science calendar struggled to keep up.
Just to premise this article first off, I’m Irish – so have no bias in this one way or another.
I, like any other boxing journalist or genuine fight fan out there, just want to see the best fights made.
After all, that’s the beauty of combat sports isn’t it? Seeing the best take on the best in the prime of their careers for world titles?
This year has been another big one for the UK boxing circuit which has seen a large number of world champions on their shores.
Traditionally speaking, there’s always been a big rivalry between these two biggest boxing markets in the world but after speaking to some of my US colleagues recently, even they are now admitting the power shift that is going on at the moment in boxing to Britain.
But that’s not an indefinite one mind you and like the fight business itself – is one that could turn back and change in the blink of an eye.
It’s a fickle game is boxing. At the end of the day it’s a talent driven sport where like any sport, it goes through ups and downs and peaks and troughs during phases of new stars breaking through.
American boxing is certainly in that phase at the moment as is all of boxing really, as we continue to come out of the post Mayweather-Pacquiao era properly.
Things are changing in how audiences are consuming boxing and the likes of Eddie Hearn and Sky Sports in the UK have been at the forefront from a promotional sense in this regards (in recent times).
But don’t write off the Americans just yet.
On a slightly more boring but still relevant note to this argument, the US dollar continues to trade well against the British pound that took a hit this year from the whole ‘Brexit’ fallout.
This has had direct implications in boxing already, as UK promoter Eddie Hearn was unable to secure a fight for his charge Kell Brook with Top Rank’s Jessie Vargas earlier this year after the exchange rates made it unaffordable compared to the previous deal that was on the table prior to ‘Brexit’.
Economists predict that the British pound could fall as low as the equal worth of the US dollar in the next three years too, which would certainly put a minor hit at least to those in the UK trying to bring over international boxing talent for big fights.
To get around this however, you could see more international shows off the coast of Britain put on by UK promoters.
Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn for example is doing this soon in Monte Carlo with his first international signing in Luis Ortiz.
But the bottom line is outside of economics, politics and promotional ability, is that the best boxers in the world need to fight each other on a more regular basis in my opinion.
Looking at November in US boxing and you have the likes of Kovalev vs Ward and Lomachenko vs Walters to look forward to.
This shows US boxing still has the ability to put on these type of compelling matchups, but it (as an industry) will have to pull it’s socks up as it were in 2017 to compete with the booming UK boxing industry.
With the return of top promoter Richard Schaefer to the sport expected to come properly next year in the States, a man in my opinion who was the brains behind the promotion of some of the biggest fights over the last fifteen years or so in the US – expect to see some more lifeblood back in the promotional realm too.
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