In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

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In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by Hamilcar on Tue May 19, 2015 11:07 pm

In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity


SINGAPORE, May 19 — The explosive growth of mixed martial arts (MMA) in Asia is putting the squeeze on boxing as it attracts millions of young fans and sells out venues across the region.

Just a few years ago, cage fighting was seen as a niche and grisly pursuit but it is moving into the mainstream with major TV and sponsorship deals and a planned US$1 billion (RM3.58 billion) IPO for Asia’s main player.

Gyms are mushrooming across Asia and fights have been held in dozens of major cities across a region which groups about 4.4 billion people, two-thirds of the world’s population.

MMA has also taken hold in the Americas and Europe but it has a particular appeal in Asia, which is the birthplace of the martial arts but lacks homegrown sports heroes.

Its success is cutting into the fanbase of other combat sports, notably boxing, which is making a belated push for the Asian market with several big fights in Macau.

Even Manny Pacquiao, Asia’s best-known boxer who lost this month’s “Fight of the Century” to Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas, is a fan and investor in One Championship.

The growth of the Singapore-based company, the most prominent of several Asian MMA organisations, is testament to the sport’s rapid expansion in the region.

In just three-and-a-half years, One Championship — renamed from One Fighting Championship — has grown to 24 events this year, including 10 in China.

Billion-dollar baby -

Sponsors include L’Oreal and Sony, and a tie-up with Disney means One Championship promotes films such as “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and the forthcoming Star Wars.

CEO Victor Cui said by the end of 2017 the company aimed to hold one event a week, and that it planned a billion-dollar share listing in three years’ time.

“Compared to MMA, boxing attracts only the boxing fans whereas MMA is across all the martial arts,” he told AFP at a large MMA gym in downtown Singapore.

“The appeal base across Asia is quite different, because every Asian country has some form of martial art that they already do... whereas boxing is not as heavily rooted in every country.”

In MMA fights, competitors can use a variety of martial arts to knock out their opponent or force a submission or stoppage, as well as accumulating points on the three judges’ scorecards, making the action varied and sometimes vicious.

While opinions vary about the sport’s merits, it is attracting a large and young Asian fan base, often male, fuelled by its prevalence on TV and social media.

“There’s a misconception that it’s bloody, that it’s brutal, but there’s a lot of respect that goes on out of the cage,” said Matt Eaton, editor and publisher of the Hong Kong-based Rough magazine and website.

“They’re martial artists, they have a lot of respect for each other.”

He added: “Boxing has done itself a bit of a disservice by remaining relatively old school. People still like the spectacle of boxing... but what MMA has got going for it is that it’s a relatively new sport, it’s almost a native of this whole digital world.”

‘Hard to watch sober’

Boxing’s schism with the martial arts widened this month when the International Boxing Association (AIBA) decided to pull out of the 2017 World Combat Games, preferring to maintain its “noble” image.

AIBA officials were not available to comment for this story when approached by AFP. But One Championship’s Cui said boxing faced “a bit of a challenge” to reach prominence in Asia.

“The conversation we had with Manny (about investing) was, only Manny could fill out a 20,000-seater stadium in the Philippines, there’s no other boxer who could do that,” Cui said.

“Here’s our sport One Championship, we don’t have our Manny Pacquiao yet, but we’re filling 20,000-seat stadiums.”

A key element to the growth is the fitness boom and the trend towards more challenging and varied workouts than the traditional approach of lifting weights at a gym.

During AFP’s visit to the Evolve gym in Singapore, dozens of people were using their lunch break to punch, kick and grapple their way into shape.

“It’s just so stimulating, so challenging... I just wanted do  something different with my life,” said Singapore zoo keeper Rachel Yeo, 27.

“This place makes me feel alive.”

Boxing’s cause was not helped by the disappointing “Fight of the Century”, when Mayweather skilfully picked off Pacquiao while keeping largely out of range.

“Hard to watch sober,” was the verdict of Singaporean cage fighter Stephen Langdown, 22, who said it compared poorly with the spectacle of MMA.

“Nobody’s interested in seeing people run around for 12 rounds, pit-pat, pit-pat. It’s just not good TV.” — AFP
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Re: In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by PRIDE4EVER on Wed May 20, 2015 12:07 am

But but MMA is dead and horrible
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Re: In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by iforgotmypassword on Wed May 20, 2015 12:56 am

Lol Canelo and Klits did over 2 million on premium HBO. MMAGAY barely does that on FOX.


I bet you shill for crossfit too PRide4ever. Those crossfit lunatics think it's the greatest thing ever and taking over the world just like delusional MMA fans.

When all the facts point to the exact opposite.

Just keep shilling for a sport that has a WOMAN beating tomato cans as the BIGGEST star. Rousey got 600k PPV's on a SHIT card.


Jesus christ. That is like a WNBA all star being bigger than Lebron.


MMA CAN NOT be a bigger joke if it tried. Stop shilling for it and get a fucking life.

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Re: In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by TeamJohnPerretti on Wed May 20, 2015 1:30 am

iforgotmypassword wrote:Lol Canelo and Klits did over 2 million on premium HBO. MMAGAY barely does that on FOX.



On Saturday, HBO ended a spectacular five-week run of fights.

4/17 Matthysse-Provodnikov: 1.47 million viewers

4/25 Klitschko-Jennings: 1.74 million viewers

5/2 Mayweather-Pacquiao: 4.4 million* PPV viewers

5/9 Alvarez-Kirkland: 2.3 million viewers

5/16 Golovkin-Monroe: 1.47 million viewers


* All time PPV record.



http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/hbo-ends-torrid-5-week-run-291425
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Re: In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by TeamJohnPerretti on Wed May 20, 2015 3:22 am

There is plenty of room for both boxing and mma.

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Re: In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by PRIDE4EVER on Wed May 20, 2015 4:21 am

TeamJohnPerretti wrote:There is plenty of room for both boxing and mma.


Yes there is I thoroughly enjoy boxing, I am a big Canelo fan. iforgotmypassword nice to see you are back to being a crazy mma hating Zuffa feeder loving lunatic.
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Re: In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by stu3ufc on Wed May 20, 2015 6:35 am

iforgotmypassword wrote:

MMA CAN NOT be a bigger joke if it tried. Stop shilling for it and get a fucking life.

dying Rolling LMAO

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Re: In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by PRIDE4EVER on Wed May 20, 2015 10:21 am

iforgotmypassword wrote:Lol Canelo and Klits did over 2 million on premium HBO. MMAGAY barely does that on FOX.


I bet you shill for crossfit too PRide4ever. Those crossfit lunatics think it's the greatest thing ever and taking over the world just like delusional MMA fans.

When all the facts point to the exact opposite.

Just keep shilling for a sport that has a WOMAN beating tomato cans as the BIGGEST star. Rousey got 600k PPV's on a SHIT card.


Jesus christ. That is like a WNBA all star being bigger than Lebron.


MMA CAN NOT be a bigger joke if it tried. Stop shilling for it and get a fucking life.

Get a fucking life? Huh should I be like you and become mr.keyboard badass and sit on an internet forum and insult people all day, clearly guy it is you who needs to get off the computer and get a life.
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Re: In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by stu3ufc on Wed May 20, 2015 12:09 pm

aahahah

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Re: In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by Hamilcar on Wed May 20, 2015 12:47 pm

TeamJohnPerretti wrote:
iforgotmypassword wrote:Lol Canelo and Klits did over 2 million on premium HBO. MMAGAY barely does that on FOX.



On Saturday, HBO ended a spectacular five-week run of fights.

4/17 Matthysse-Provodnikov: 1.47 million viewers

4/25 Klitschko-Jennings: 1.74 million viewers

5/2 Mayweather-Pacquiao: 4.4 million* PPV viewers

5/9 Alvarez-Kirkland: 2.3 million viewers

5/16 Golovkin-Monroe: 1.47 million viewers


* All time PPV record.



http://www.fightnews.com/Boxing/hbo-ends-torrid-5-week-run-291425

Does HBO air in Asia?

As far as I know, boxing was never popular in Asia, except maybe Japan. A little bit. Thanks to Hajime no Ippo.
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Re: In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by kayneoTheRisingWarrior on Wed May 20, 2015 1:30 pm

Hamilcar wrote:
TeamJohnPerretti wrote:
iforgotmypassword wrote:Lol Canelo and Klits did over 2 million on premium HBO. MMAGAY barely does that on FOX.

Does HBO air in Asia?

As far as I know, boxing was never popular in Asia, except maybe Japan.  A little bit.  Thanks to Hajime no Ippo.
Philippines,Thai,other

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Re: In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by nodogoshi on Wed May 20, 2015 9:45 pm

I've seen HBO level fights on live TV in China.

Not just the Macao fights either. U.S. Fights

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Re: In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by Hamilcar on Wed May 20, 2015 9:50 pm

I just always thought that those HBO numbers are U.S only.

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Re: In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by InfinityLens on Sun May 24, 2015 8:43 pm

@I forgot my password

You spend your day bashing mma on an mma website and other people need to get a life?

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Re: In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by NorthWestMex on Sun May 24, 2015 11:44 pm

ONE will not do 24 events this year. 10 shows in China?? Lol they announce dates & then the event doesn't even happen.
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Re: In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by iforgotmypassword on Mon May 25, 2015 12:02 am

InfinityLens wrote:@I forgot my password

You spend your day bashing mma on an mma website and other people need to get a life?

Coward posting on a fake account. Might want to check where the fuck you're posting.


"combat sports" this isnt fucking sherdog.

This article started out bashing boxing with ZERO facts. Boxing, Kickboxing still bigger than MMA in asia. And always will be.

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Re: In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by iforgotmypassword on Mon May 25, 2015 12:07 am

And lol at a post made a week ago that literally took 45 seconds to type = me bashing mma all day. But I guess the 10 page long thread BASHING kunlun that went on FOR days is okay with you?

Coward log on to your real account next time. No way my post offended you and the KUNLUN thread was fine. Your a previously banned member with a axe to grind.

If you have any factual evidence of mma being larger than boxing please post it. I posted my facts and not one person has refuted them.

Same with the bullshit KUNLUN bashing thread that got shut the fuck down by anyone with a 2nd grade reading level.


The admin actually DELETED the mma section and merged the kick boxing section with this section. I am a kick boxing fan first and will call out delusional MMA fan boys.

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Re: In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by iforgotmypassword on Mon May 25, 2015 12:23 am

Dont bother responding to me. I've already sniffed you out troller. I also have a real good idia who exactly you are "Jim"

So you decide to make new accounts on sherdog and global-mma within a month of each other?



Now that would make sense if you just got into mma and decided to start posting. But what new mma fan starts posting on obscure mma forums and the lesser parts of sherdog?

What really is going on is your a troller hiding your identity and have something against me from long ago. What a coward. Cant even post on his real account. I done you coward.

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Re: In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by God of Thunder on Mon May 25, 2015 5:10 am

Can´t we all just get along.. No need to get personal.
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Re: In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by InfinityLens on Mon May 25, 2015 3:28 pm

I didn't start posting because I wanted to discuss MMA, I posted because I wanted to get at you!

Sure IFMP, the world revolves around you.

Seriously, get a life.

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Re: In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by 1millionwoolongs on Tue May 26, 2015 6:46 am

Golden Age wrote:Can´t we all just get along.. No need to get personal.


Infinitylens started attacking me out of the blue. never talked to him in my life. Yeah ban me, but let 10 pages of KUNLUN bashing stand. Fucking terrible site. I also reported you and your server hosting company. to zuffa for copyright infringement for hosting streams. Enjoy jail time.

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Re: In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by God of Thunder on Tue May 26, 2015 9:57 am

1millionwoolongs wrote:
Golden Age wrote:Can´t we all just get along.. No need to get personal.


Infinitylens started attacking me out of the blue. never talked to him in my life. Yeah ban me, but let 10 pages of KUNLUN bashing stand. Fucking terrible site. I also reported you and your server hosting company. to zuffa  for copyright infringement for hosting streams. Enjoy jail time.
PRIDE4EVER banned you without telling anyone. I unbanned you.
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Re: In Asia, mixed martial arts squeezing boxing out of popularity

Post by InfinityLens on Tue May 26, 2015 11:44 am

So I made a comment about IFMP because he was attacking someone else and he flipped. Who is 1millionwoolongs, I never he mentioned this person.

Im honestly confused.

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