As far as I’m concerned, UFC has pretty much made traditional boxing obsolete. Why should I watch two fighters square off behind puffy gloves when I can watch two barely padded UFC fighters repeatedly knee and kick each other in the head? Boxing needs to come up with a new gimmick, and I think Tyson Fury found it by punching himself in the face (video below).
I would love to see two boxers standing on either ends of the ring, each one trying their damnedest to knock his own self out through repeated, self-inflicted blows to the face before the other guy succeeds at knocking himself out first, but I think there’s a better way of taking this idea of unadulterated self-defacement, and applying it to the opposition.
Imagine a shootout in soccer where each team sends a player to the line for a free shot without any defenders. Then imagine that scenario in the ring, where the soccer defenders are the other boxer’s fists, and the free shot at the goal, an undefended punch to the other guy’s face.
It’s sudden death, boxing style… And sure, standing still while another guy punches you in the face as hard as he physically can defies common conceptions of who the athletic boxer is, but who gives a shit? The only reason anyone watches boxing is to watch either party get knocked out; preferably as painfully as possible.
Even if a boxing fan has $200 riding on Boxer A KO’ing Boxer B, and Boxer B hits Boxer A so hard that Boxer B’s mouthpiece flies out of his mouth, over the ropes, into the crowd, and lands in Tera Reid’s appletini 53 rows back (they won’t let her too close to the ring because she’s disgusting) while Boxer A crumbles face-first into the mat, they will be happy to lose the $200 because they got to see an intense KO (and Tera Reid spill her drink all over her disgusting self). It’s human nature, and it’s also why people go to the circus (but that’s a different article altogether).
UFC has taken the KO factor out of boxing and replaced it with the little sister’s slumber party pillow fight factor. If they want to keep their ratings up, they’re going to need to think about sudden death.