Is Boxing Back?
Around 80,000 fans will pack Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday (May 31) for Froch v Groves II, the long-anticipated re-match between two British Super Middleweights who, in the finest traditions of boxing, really can’t stand each other.
The fight is expected to break the British attendance record for boxing, and has generated a massive amount of excitement and anticipation that extends way beyond hard-core boxing fans. It will be interesting to see whether this fight could be a turning point for the popularity of boxing and the relationship between the sport and the broader brand community which has tended to look elsewhere when considering sponsorship opportunities. Except for a handful of world title fights, boxing seems to have lost its way and a couple of generations of fans since the 1970s. If the traction gained by Froch Groves II can be maintained, the sport will have something to build on to take it into the commercial mainstream and – although they will never be replaced – make it less reliant on Pay TV revenues. “This weekend’s Froch Groves fight at Wembley will attract a record UK attendance and will be a landmark Pay TV event. But does the excitement represent an opportunity for boxing to establish a new relationship with brands who currently look elsewhere for sponsorship opportunities?”