Home Betting-Gambling Why boxing still trumps MMA 

Why boxing still trumps MMA 

Francis Ngannou and Tyson Fury. Photo credit: Getty Images

While options like the UFC appeal to some fight fans, boxing will always be the main attraction when assessing the various combat sports that people typically enjoy. Although we’ve seen both sports collide in recent times, such as when Tyson Fury fought Francis Ngannou, they’re ultimately two different offerings with unique qualities.

For many lovers of fight-based sports, though, it’s hard to look past the sweet science. While some boxing fans still follow the big UFC contests and even indulge in some UFC betting, the Octagon cage doesn’t stand out as much as the boxing ring for numerous reasons. Cage fighting is brutal and can serve up plenty of entertainment, though, but boxing’s all-around package makes it far superior to any MMA bout.

Of course, it’s ultimately subjective as to whether or not boxing is better than MMA, but there are some notable reasons why many fans take that stance. Let’s take a look at some of them below.

The boxing on offer in the UFC is of a poor standard 

The UFC certainly features some savage contests throughout a typical year, but most of them generally entertain audiences due to the stand-up fighting that occurs. Even though this is entertaining to watch, the standard of punches and the all-around technique on show is poor compared to professional boxing. From footwork to the ability to throw a solid jab, many top MMA fighters simply struggle with their boxing skills. As a result, while it might create a bit of a slugfest, the actual boxing skill on display is subpar. UFC fighters obviously have to learn multiple disciplines to be able to excel in the sport, something that is admirable in itself, but not many of them appear to be natural boxers. For some UFC fighters, taking an opponent down and grappling is more natural than mastering any sort of boxing technique.

Boxing is easier to watch 

Alongside the questionable execution of some of boxing’s most important elements is the fact that MMA isn’t as straightforward to watch as the sport of boxing. Boxing’s one-dimensional aspect makes it far easier for prospective fans to engage in the sport, whereas the average person doesn’t understand the grappling nature of an MMA contest, for example. In fact, for many people, as soon a big UFC contest takes place on the ground, it becomes a bit tiresome. The fact is, fight fans want to see heavy hits and a range of punches being thrown. The UFC and other leading promotions in the MMA arena can’t promise that, though, making the sport less appealing in the process and trickier to understand.

Bigger personalities in boxing 

Tyson Fury. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

While the UFC is improving here, boxing has generally always led the charge when it comes to promoting major fights. This is largely due to the big personalities that occupy the sport, such as Tyson Fury, Ryan Garcia, and Chris Eubank Jnr. All three boxers certainly know how to sell a fight, with boxing’s variety of promotional material standing out far more than many UFC press conferences do. The likes of Paddy Pimblett are winning over UFC fans due to his quirky personality, but there aren’t enough characters like him in the sport. There’s a reason why UFC fans are desperate for the return of Conor McGregor and it isn’t necessarily because they want to see him fight again, it’s because the sport is crying out for a personality like his to continue its momentum and create more memorable press conferences in the process. Boxing, on the other hand, is serving up heated exchanges and eye-catching content with nearly every fight.

Boxers make more money 

Even before major events were being held in Saudi Arabia, boxers have always made more money than MMA fighters. While this doesn’t impact the spectacle on offer, boxing does a much better job of paying its fighters fairly. Although the various organizations can create confusion, there isn’t a monopoly over the market. The UFC, on the other hand, is the only major promotion in the MMA sphere. This, in turn, means that fighters have to accept the enticing opportunity of winning an illustrious UFC belt but also come to terms with the fact that the money on offer is nothing compared to what some of the world’s biggest boxers earn. Of course, joining other promotions, such as PFL or ONE, is an option, but a fighter won’t necessarily be regarded as a legitimate world champion because neither promotion is rated as highly as the UFC. In boxing, the competition between the promoters drives up fighter salaries because they bid for the best matchups. As a result of this, boxers get a far better deal.

Longer history and tradition 

Another notable reason why millions of sports lovers prefer boxing over MMA is due the rich history that is attached to the sport. Boxing’s roots go all the way to ancient times, making it one of the oldest martial arts around. Sure, MMA is also steeped in history, but it’s a sport that hasn’t been as accessible overall. Boxing, though, has taken place over centuries and produced an extensive collection of legendary fighters, such as Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. Boxing is therefore synonymous with combat sports, making it an offering that even manages to spill over into pop culture and lifestyle. Maybe one day promotions like the UFC will also penetrate society in the same way boxing has. Right now, though, boxing’s influence is far bigger.