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The Real Reason Boxing is Dying in the US

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Boxing may not have died in the US but it is definitely on life support. The lawyers are looking over the will trying to figure out how much inheritance the UFC is set to receive. You can go to any amateur boxing show in America and see for yourself.

Many people have tried to explain it away by blaming social media as the culprit however; in this article I will explain a much deep issue that if not checked, will keep boxing gyms empty for decades.

Social Media

Social media has become a fixture in our everyday lives. Accordingly to Sprout Social Inc new Instagram accounts have grown by over 100 million user each year since 2014. You can expect kids in America ages 8-12 to spend nearly 6 hours daily on their phones.

With all that time spent on their phone these kids are not getting to the boxing gyms right? Not so fast. While daily internet use continues to climb, so is the number of kids enrolled in sports in America. Over 45 million kids play sports. That’s 1 in 4. So if kids are putting their phones down, then why aren’t they picking up boxing gloves?

Obesity

It’s not a myth that we Americans could use some exercise. This is a major concern for parents. This is why childhood obesity is the number 1 concern among parents, ahead of drugs and smoking according to OECD.org. Many people are attempting to champion this epidemic by pushing schools to extend recess and promote activity based learning in the classroom.

This is a strong step forward. I would imagine that parent would want to push their kids into boxing because the cardio aspect. This could keep kids healthy and keep their weight down. So boxing for weight loss? Try again.

The Concussion issue

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Head trauma is a serious concern when partaking in sports such as boxing, football, lacrosse, and others. It’s important to understand the risks as well as knowing how to mitigate those risks in order to live a more productive life. As a result, participation in youth football has been steadily decreasing since 2008 according to JAMA pediatrics.

Boxer with headgear
Boxer with headgear

Parents don’t want their kids getting hurt so I understand them discouraging boxing. The only problem with that argument is that there are only a few thousand kids boxing in America. If you look at football there are still over 1 million kids playing despite the decrease year over year. So what is the issue? Why are they even joining in the first place?

Answer: Opportunity

Boxing has long been associated as a poor man’s sport in America. Every year people attempt to throw their lot into the sports in hopes of making that Floyd Mayweather payday. The road is long and hard. Many won’t make it. So a kids that’s 13 years old and 6 feet tall may want to box but he is being hedged off football, basketball, and baseball coaches. At home when he tells his mom that he wants to be like Floyd Mayweather she will tell him his chances are better at basketball and that it is a safer sport.

College is also a deterrent for boxing, especially when you can go for free. With the rising cost of education, parents have move towards sports in the hopes that their kid can somehow get into a good university without the hardships of paying for it.

Boxing used to be an NCAA sanctioned sports so there are little to no scholarships given. In order to practice the sport you have to join a club. Training is done without the help of the school. Sometimes you have to pay your own way to fights.

With these things considered, basketball may not be that bad of a sport. Better options have led to boxing gyms being empty. I do have hope that things will change. I hope that a boxer can bring awareness to the sport that I love and that people will consider making it a NCAA sport.

As of now, we cannot compete with the other sports because if their benefits. If we could, we would probably have the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the world.

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