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Can MySpace Save Boxing?

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Mixed martial arts events like the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and the slick and savvy World Wrestling Entertainment bouts, draw more attention from the younger male fanbase than boxing does.

Boxing writer and podcaster Eddie Goldman posted that boxing is stuck in the past. “Most of boxing is still in an era of ink-stained, cigarette-smoking, fedora-wearing drunks banging away on manual typewriters,” he wrote.

The kids aren’t going backward, but forward. Social media and networking are all the rage, with MySpace receiving plenty of press for its growth and role in that arena. It’s with this in mind that Goldman approached boxing promoter Lou DiBella after the Ike Quartey/Vernon Forrest junior middleweight bout, which DiBella’s fighter Quartey lost by decision in ten rounds.

Goldman wrote that he asked DiBella, “Why don’t you get on MySpace?” Quite a few boxers have made their online homes on the site, and after some back and forth DiBella agreed to get a profile on the site for his company.

DiBella knows plenty about the power of promotion, considering his eleven-year run at HBO Sports. During that time boxing became a big draw for the cable network, as did HBO’s lucrative pay-per-view programming.

His profile is picking up friends on MySpace from among boxers and fight fans. It’s a small number right now, with no limits or guarantees on how far it can rise. Any fans boxing can gain will be welcome in the sport.

Growing fanbases can lend some competitiveness outside of the ring. With DiBella’s “Broadway Boxing” coming up later in September, and a pair of his fighters on the card, the ideal viral marketing result would come from fans spreading the word themselves about the junior welterweights and their opponents.

Of course boxing still has to do its part, by developing more fighters like middleweight champ Jermain Taylor who younger fans will want to follow. Just like websites that need quality content to keep their visitors coming back, DiBella and other promoters have to offer that too.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Can MySpace Save Boxing?
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