This argument has been presented before. Mixed martial arts isn’t the brawl that it once was it. Now it’s a technical sport that has gone global. It’s no longer a battle between two street fighters trying to kill each other, but can the argument be made that boxing is the sport that involves a more “thug” image?
Boxing is viewed as a technical sport. It’s the true competition, two men standing in front of each other using technique and skill to defeat each other. It isn’t a brawl where two men just come swinging looking to knock each other’s head off. Due to boxing’s history however it seems to get a pass when things go wrong.
Mixed martial arts is the “new” sport. It’s been around for a little over 2o years and was started with an emphasis on no rules. Obviously this didn’t help the image of the sport on bit, but it’s evolved since then. Mixed martial arts is a sanctioned sport in 48 states and is in fact safer than boxing, but that’s not what this article as about.
How often have we seen a brawl during an MMA weigh in? Sure we’ve seen some pushing and shoving, but nothing compared to boxing. I’m not just talking about Mike Tyson getting in fights with opponents prior to the match either. Recently there was the slapping incident at the weigh in between Derek Chisora and Vitaly Klitschko.
In boxing matches there’s also been the incident of Tyson biting part of Evander Holyfield’s ear during about. He was also convicted of rape and was welcomed back to the sport without much issue.
Floyd Mayweather, considered by many the top boxer today, is going to prison for a domestic violence charge, but still gets to fight May 5 prior to going to jail. When the Zuffa learned of Brett Rogers being charged for domestic violence he was promptly cut for Strikeforce.
Now we have seen some issues in MMA. Rampage was involved in a high speed chase, but other than that it’s difficult to think of others that have not been quickly acted upon by the UFC.
Boxing tends to get a free pass because it’s the older, established sport. Outspoken promoters like Bob Arum say it’s just skinheads fighting.
However, it has had more publicity issues than MMA has. They are largely ignored by the public and fade away without much talk. It seems that if writers and the media want to condemn mixed martial arts because of how it was once viewed. The sport is no longer close to what it once was and has advanced beyond that image. It is thriving sport unlike boxing and seems to be the image with cleaner, more professional athletes under it’s banner.