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A History of Boxing Part III: The Digital Revolution of Boxing (21st Century)

Updated: Jun 27, 2023


Unorthodoxx concludes its account of boxing’s history by looking at the impact boxing impact of new technologies and media.

The Digital Revolution of Boxing

In 2014, the spectacle of George Groves v Carl Froch 2: ‘Unfinished Business’ attracted 80,000 spectators at Wembley Stadium - the largest post-war gate recorded in Britain. The match also secured Sky and Matchroom an extension of their exclusive partnership until 2025. Coupled with the success and growth of the Team GB’s Boxing Squad at Beijing’s 2008 and London 2012’s Olympics a fresh generation of elite boxers soon signed professional contracts with leading promotion stables. A new era of British boxing had begun.

Commenting on the growth in appeal of Boxing, Adam Smith, Chief of Boxing at Sky Sports, stated:

“At its best boxing is one of the sports that truly appeals and excites, not just to the loyal trade audience but to the casual fan too”.

In 2015, the highly anticipated Mayweather-Pacquiao boxing match broke all previous Pay-per-view records by generating $400 million in domestic Revenue. PPV helped many top-level boxers, especially those with large and engaged fanbases, become very wealthy and successful at a worldwide level. However, with an increasing number of boxers and promotors signing exclusive broadcasting deals it was becoming increasingly harder for fights to be signed and delivered.

In May 2018, Matchroom Boxing and Perform announced a $1 Billion venture with a DAZN, a new Over-The-Top streaming service. This deal triggered the remaining leading boxing promoters to arrange exclusive partnerships with other leading broadcasters and their respective streaming or OTT services.

Boxing has become highly influential and integrated within modern society and is prominent in both sport and mainstream culture. Supporting the growth of boxing and the commercial commodity of boxers has been rapid development in technology and emerging media.

From high engagement on social media to the digital library of YouTube’s vast collection of historic boxing matches, boxing has benefitted from a whole new paradigm of content available for fans to indulge in. For example, in 2018 Instagram had over 18 million accounts following the single hashtag for ‘boxing’. On YouTube, a video titled “Top 10 Mike Tyson Best Knockouts HD”, has received over 47 million views since being posted four years prior to the time of writing. On Facebook and Twitter, Boxing also has high engagement and following; with ‘Showtime Boxing’ Facebook page receiving over 1.9 million likes and Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather’s Twitter account receiving a following of 7.9 million.

Boxing remains a phenomenon that continues to capture the heart and imagination of spectators and participants. With growing numbers of participation and representation in the UK, boxing has yet again shown resilience and determination to remain relevant and influential.

The characteristic of Boxing Fans was summarised in an article as summarised in an article on Forbes:

“Boxing fans seem to be the most resilient of all sports fans. They are willing to follow with no questions asked, as the sport evolves. Maybe it's the sport itself. Maybe it's what boxing teaches us about life. Maybe it's how everyone to a certain extent identifies with being a fighter in life ”


Unorthodoxx hopes that you have enjoyed our three-part history of boxing. We will continue exploring relevant and related topics either exploring boxing or women’s boxing and the fascinating journey of our sport.

About Unorthodoxx and our Women's Boxing Gloves

Unorthodoxx is the UK’s first Women’s Boxing brand that has been created purely for women and has exclusively designed women’s boxing gloves and women’s boxing clothing. Our products and equipment are designed to offer the ultimate fit, protection and durability for female boxers and combat sport fighters. From novice beginners to elite competition Unorthodoxx fight gear offers the best women’s boxing gloves, clothing and equipment.

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