Monday, 1 March 2010

MMA and Boxing

MMA is the number one combat sport in today’s world. Over the past sixteen years or so it has not only opened peoples eyes to the realities of which martial art techniques work and which do not, but has also overtook boxing with regards to popularity, excitement, and caliber of fighters.

Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Forman, Mike Tyson etc. This article alone could easily be filled with names of past boxing champions who have inspired, entertained and provided some of the greatest demonstrations of human spirit, endurance and will to succeed. Names such as these and many others will be remembered for many years to come and quite rightly so!

However, names such as Gracie, Shamrock, Machida, St Pierre, Silva, Emelianenko and many others have cropped over the last couple of decades which have helped develop the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. Such is the popularity of this combat sport that it has attracted the best fighters in the world to compete within, which unfortunately has left boxing in a predicament where it is no where near as popular as it once was.

This is not to say that boxing does not provide viewers with some great fights still. Fighters like Manny Paquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr still provide us with the occasional night of action with the anticipation and excitement that re kindles dormant feelings of the past, that where experienced when we used to watch Tyson knock out some one, or Ali dancing around the ring with lightening fast punches.

However, unfortunately, this is a rare treat which we are gifted with, when compared to the fast and furious MMA fights that now occupy our pay per view channels on a regular basis.

To some, it could seem that boxing is a dying sport. After all, there are only four punches with a few variations to them that are seen during a boxing fight. In MMA, not only does one see these punches, but they also see kicks, knees, elbows, clinch fighting, ground grappling and submission holds. It is a sport which encourages and allows many different elements of a fight and some prefer to watch this, rather than see a referee brake up two fighters as soon as they start clinching as in boxing. Such opinions lead one to question the need for boxing. Should boxing events be stopped? Put to rest? A thing of the past?

Simply put, no they should not! Boxing provides so much too so many. It provides a way out of trouble for many youngsters in the world. It is not uncommon to hear champion fighters of the past comment on how boxing is what saved them from becoming convicts or even worse, dead. Boxing provides many with a goal. Something to focus there energies towards that can help them become a respected person and simply because of this, it should always have its place in the world of sport.

For MMA fighters, western boxing should never die. It is a vital part of MMA and every fighter will do well to absorb the teachings of a qualified and respected boxing trainer. For MMA fans/fighters/enthusiasts to disrespect boxing is silly because it is a part of their new sport which they love so much. A solid boxing background is a great way for people wanting to get involved in MMA to start. By learning boxing, one learns timing, rhythm, and many other attributes which are applicable and vital for MMA. It should always been seen as a vital part of MMA and never just an expendable asset.

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