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Boxing is not Popular in the Philippines

Discussion in 'Boxing Discussion' started by Boxer Rebellion, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. Boxer Rebellion Blue Belt

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    Correcting a misconception I see sometimes on the forum.

    I've spent many years in the Philippines and continue to go back for various personal and business reasons.

    Pacquiao is popular in the Philippines, but boxing itself is not.

    The truly popular sports in the Philippines are basketball, billiards and badminton. Hardly anyone participates in boxing. There are no community boxing clubs. The average person cannot name boxers other than Pacquiao. On the remote chance that he is familiar with anyone other than Pacquiao, the average person can name far more NBA players than boxers. Talking about guys like Donaire, Viloria, Sonsona, Bautista and Mayol with the average person will get you blank stare.

    There are boxing gyms like Red Corner and Elorde but relatively few people join. For all the hooplah over Pacquiao, boxing is still seen by the majority as an activity for the gutter class.

    Do you know what combat sport is truly becoming more popular in the Philippines?

    MMA.

    UFC PPVs are shown live for free on Philippine cable, and with half a days' delay is shown on regular free TV. TV ratings for MMA are very high - much higher than for comparable boxing shows like Blow by Blow. Recently 5,000 people showed up a Philippine mall just to watch Chuck Liddell work out for an hour.

    Local MMA shows, despite being poorly organized and having marginal talent, manage to draw several thousand attendees at a time. In contrast to local boxing shows, a lot of the attendees are middle and upper class, and fair proportion are women.

    In retrospect it's easy to explain why - boxing (aside from Pacquiao) has zero visibility, whereas Filipinos are exposed to Asian martial arts from a very early age.

    Arnis, the Filipino stickfighting art, is a staple physical education course from the 1st grade onwards, as are Judo and Karate. Aikido, Muay Thai, Yaw Yan, Wushu - while not part of the standard curriculum like the aforementioned three arts - have clubs in almost every school and community. Almost every Filipino kid owns a balisong - a Filipino folding knife - and knows a few knife tricks.

    Everytime someone talks about the decline of boxing in the US, someone inevitably says, "Well, it may be less popular in the US, but it's really popular around the world," and they point to places like the Philippines.

    Well as to the Philippines at least, from firsthand experience I can say that is not true. MMA is growing, boxing is not.

    This in turn makes me wonder how popular boxing is really in places like Easter Europe where supposedly people like the Klitschkos are reviving boxing. Could the situation be like that of the Philippines, where celebrated boxers temporarily gain tremendous popularity, while having almost zero impact on the growth of the sport itself?

    I have been following combat sports since I could tie my shoelaces. My first idols were Duran, Benny "the Jet" Urquidez and Superfoot Wallace. It is still very early in the game, but I sense a paradigm shift taking place, and I think the boxing community is sticking its head in the sand.
     
  2. decideonsuicide Blue Belt

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    its true. i got into mma because they shows all the ufc events every saturday when i lived in the philippines. they would show all the ufc's in order every saturday in a primetime slot. this was back in 2004. it was a pretty popular sports channel too. people like royce gracie and ken shamrock were big stars then. we got caught up recently in 2007 or something. now we have channels that show all the numbered ufc live and on tape delay. they would show it in the morning and night with commercials but who cares as long as it free. the tape delayed one the is shown on ppv here is not even on a cable channel but a normal one. there's a Friday's restaurant in a big mall that has a MMA fan meetup every time there's a event that's live in the morning. they have trivia contests there and other stuff before the event starts.

    i used to have classmates in college who said they were fans of wanderlei silva. also, ufc events were on saturdays in primetime, and on sunday, they would have pride events during primetime as well. they showed pride events in order too. like pride 24, then pride 25 the next week. i used to think nog was god during that time cause he beat bob sapp, but then the next week, i saw him beaten up by fedor.
     
  3. decideonsuicide Blue Belt

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    the only time people watch boxing is when pacman fights (which is like a holiday here, you will see no one on the street) or when there's an upcoming opponent for pac, and they show his past fights on tv like clottey vs judah, vs cotto. people also watch pbf fights here and they're on real primetime TV on the biggest channels too but nobody cares too much cause he's not exciting.
     
  4. fxpro888 Guest

    actually BJJ is growing fast or faster than most other sports including MMA in the Phils I am willing to bet. surely, MMA is becoming more and more popular, but I think more BJJ clubs have sprung up in the phils, most likely, than any other sport. Filipinos, bless their wonderful souls, are very soft-spoken, generally small in stature, easy going and tend to avoid aggressive conflict. I think they enjoy the technique and spirit of BJJ. Therefore, I think there are more BJJ clubs opening than any other sport.

    Mabuhay Pare!

    Pinoy Power!
     
  5. CoolManchu Blue Belt

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    Basketball is king in Philippines.

    Cockfighting is up there, too.
     
  6. xiion Brown Belt

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    PRIDE FC forever. UMADAWG
    Mabuhay Pare!

    Pinoy Power!

    War Filipinas!
     
  7. Boxer Rebellion Blue Belt

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    I agree with you on everything except the part in bold.

    Like most Asians Filipinos place extreme value on politeness, but like Latin Americans "machismo" is also very important. Once a scrap starts they don't hold back.

    In the US there seems to be a fear of litigation if you so much as push someone. In the Philippines the cops will laugh at a man who comes to the station to complain about a bruised lip.
     
  8. Boxer Rebellion Blue Belt

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    How could I forget cockfighting?

    In the mountains many an alliance is sealed with the gift of a fine rooster...
     
  9. evansusmc2 Red Belt

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    But Pacquiao trains in the Philippines right? Than who does he train with over there?
     
  10. XCuTioNeR Mundo Hispano FECARBOX Champion

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    TS, are you those white belt posters?
     
  11. TheRatman Brown Belt

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    They have cockfight all over New Mexico. They bust one up here in Santa Fe last week. I went to one a few years ago in Deming. I didn't find all that much fun, but most the people there were having a good time. To each his own I guess.

    I can see why they would be more into MMA they're if most of them start Martial Arts at a young age. I surprised they show the UFC PPV for free, given Dana's stand on illegal streams and stuff. Do they also show any of the boxing PPV for free or just Pacman's?
     
  12. deadpool H***an Chop!!

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    Cockfighting is shown on TV as much if not more than boxing in the Philippines.
     
  13. MeBig Brown Belt

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    Football is still the biggest thing in eastern Europe, but boxing is quite big. I can discuss fights with random people there, here in the US I have to resort to sherdog
     
  14. fil2007 Orange Belt

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    What you're saying is not entirely true bro, I grew up in the philippines and they show boxing PPV fights live for free on nationwide TV though with commercials. Among asian countries, Philippines also has had alot of world champions and it's cheaper to train in boxing rather than martial arts so how can boxing be not that Popular in the philippines when we produced alot of world champs in the lower weight classes?
     
  15. Tropics1020 Brown Belt

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    Yeah boxing isn't popular here in the U.S either, meeting real boxing fans in everyday life is pretty uncommon. Most people of course know who the popular fighters are like Pac and Floyd, but when it comes to guys like Sergio Martinez, David Haye or even Kelly Pavlik people aren't familiar with them. Most people here in the U.S don't even know that Klitschko is the heavyweight champ.
     
  16. The Fan Man Blue Belt

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    From what I've seen, people in America know the fighters from 24/7, the Klitschkos, and "The Giant Russian Guy".
     
  17. fil2007 Orange Belt

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    I remember watching the Pacman plying his trade in the mid 90's in the weekly boxing show in the philippines called blow by blow...that show may be gone now but there are other boxing shows in the philippines that are still being shown on national tv, Philippines has been a pugilistic country ever since Panco Villa(Franciso Guilledo) became the first asian boxer to win a world title back in the 1920's.
     
  18. Tropics1020 Brown Belt

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    Pretty much, boxing is considered a boring sport here. I'm sure that if people actually boxed themselves they would enjoy the sport more but kids would rather play other sports. MMA is more popular than boxing where i live.
     
  19. FreshPrince Banned Banned

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    Donaire fights get good ratings and his fight with Martinez filled up the Araneta Coliseum in Manila, which seats over 15,000.
     
  20. Fisticuffa Purple Belt

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    In a third world country, the "gutter class" is the majority and historically has produced most of the great fighters.

    Roberto Duran, Manny Pacquiao, Frazier, Arguello, Tyson all born in poverty.

    Only ultimate fightin' fans think that restricting your sport to suburban tapout wearing douchebags will bring out the best fighters.

    As mentioned, Donaire's fight with Martinez filled up a 15k stadium.

    Give us a news link to an MMA fight that managed to do that in the Philippines.

    MMA training is expensive and catered to middle and upper classes, that alone puts a dent in the sport's ability to compete with Boxing because the underclass or "gutter class" as you named them are the majority and produce most of the best fighters.

    One of the reasons why soccer is so popular is it's so accessible and easy to play, you don't want to drive up the price to participate in your sport (unless you are an ultimate fightin' fan I guess) but instead make it cheap and accessible to the common man and in almost every place Boxing training is simply cheaper and more accessible.

    And lol at comparing a UFC PPV with Blow by Blow, that's like me comparing a HBO Boxing show with Strikeforce or even Shine fights.
     

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