Sports Outside the Beltway

Joe Calzaghe: Boxing on the ropes

The Welsh fighter voiced this opinion in London today.

Joe Calzaghe believes boxing is on the ropes, with too many champions and few real stars.

Still weighing whether he’ll retire after beating Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr. this year to remain unbeaten in 46 fights, Calzaghe said Wednesday he was glad he was almost on the way out of the sport instead of just starting out.

“I think boxing is a dying sport. Globally — in America for instance — you’ve got UFC, which has taken a lot off boxing, business-wise,” Calzaghe said, referring to the mixed martial arts Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The Welshman who held the WBO super middleweight world title for more than 10 years before moving up to light heavyweight to fight Hopkins and Jones also said boxing has its own problems.

“There is too much politics in boxing, too many belts and too many champions, which dilutes real champions like myself,” he said. “There are four world champions in each division and it’s bad because there are no stars any more. It’s a big problem.”

First of all, who is Joe Calzaghe? Never heard of him before today. I probably just make this fighter’s point.

Boxing has found PPV profitable but at the same time it has dwindled the fan base. I’ve only once paid to watch a fight. As no fighter is high profile enough, because I have never seen or even heard of them, I just don’t feel obliged to pay $50-60 to watch 36 minutes of boxing. I make a bet many sports fans feel the same as I do about the sport. What ever happened to the days when there fights on prime-time network television? They’re gone, I don’t think they will coming back.

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