Opinion

Panel: What is the biggest challenge that boxing faces over the next 12 months?

boxing
A panel of boxing experts answers the big question

Richie Woodhall
Former WBC super-middleweight champ
Getting the crowds back. I know we’re all facing problems and we’re all in this together but boxing needs crowds more than any other sport. I’m all for boxing behind closed doors just to get it back up and running but, long term, getting those crowds back is crucial.

Mike Costello
BBC commentator and journalist
To stay relevant and competitive at a time when audiences and spectators will be more selective about what they are prepared to pay for, across the entertainment spectrum. Crowds are the lifeblood of the sport and while behind closed doors action has to be welcomed, the novelty value will soon wear thin.

Andy Ayling
Queensberry Promotions
The lack of an audience. It impacts on every single area of the sport from the financials behind the scenes to the boxers’ performances in the ring. All sports need those crowds and boxers in particular need to draw from that energy and use that atmosphere to drive them when the going gets tough.

Ronnie Davies
Leading boxing trainer
Inactivity for the boxers, they’re not fighting and they’re not getting paid. I’m not a huge believer in sparring too much but they can’t even do that at the moment. They shouldn’t be tempted to over-compensate in other areas of training. The key is to tick over but that’s hard without a fight date.

Read our feature on Top Rank’s plan to bring boxing back here

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