Will boxing cards ever work?

24 02 2008

Man, I just watched a dull heavyweight championship boxing fight. It was 12 rounds with very little action between both fighters except for occasional spurts here and then. Oh by the way, I LOVED IT! Yes, while I do blog like a madman about baseball and baseball cards, no other sport gets me the way boxing does. It truly is a “sweet science”, unlike mixed martial arts, which is just street fighting with the occasional wrestling hold here and there.

While there has never been a shortage of baseball cards, it seems like boxing has never quite taken off in the sports card world, in a market where even wrestling cards have begun to catch fire. Why is that? Who wouldn’t want to pull a Mike Tyson event-worn boxing glove, a Rocky Marciano cut autograph, or a Muhammad Ali fight-worn robe? While there have been instances where boxing cards were released nationally, today it is a dead medium, much like the sport itself. Luckily, the very brand that brought me back into collecting after a decade, Topps Co-Signers, is planning to do something about it by releasing what almost looks like a co-sport 2008 release. You can check out the preview, which I wrote about two months ago.

I for one can’t wait. I might even do two boxes instead of my usual one for this product. I just hope none of the cards look anything close to this monstrosity, released two years before my birth by Guiness, the same people who keep track of all the world’s freaks of nature. Someone actually has the card on eBay, which you can keep a track of by going here.

P.S – whoever created this piece of art should find a new career.


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5 responses

24 02 2008
cardjunk

There’s not really a big enough market for boxing cards today. Part of the problem is there are no huge stars like Tyson or Ali, and the good boxers out there aren’t marketed properly. The sport has gotten caught up in “Charge $50 for a pay per view” and don’t back it up with regular matches on TV for everyone to watch so they can get interested in the sport. Plus the big names fight maybe once or twice a year to maintain their big paydays. Back in the 70’s I remember hearing about big matches on TV all the time, now I don’t know of any channel that even shows boxing other than maybe ESPN 2.

It’s all greedy promoters trying to get the biggest slice of the pie they can to the detriment of the sport in my opinion. If boxing marketed themselves like WWE and UFC do, they’d be relevant again and could support a card set or two.

24 02 2008
whatthehellme

Donruss is getting into the mix with a new set of UFC cards.
I think the only way boxing cards could work is if they had inserts in the UFC set because there are only a few boxers that people care about or have even heard of (De La Hoya, Mayweather, Klitshko).
Producing a set of boxing cards would basically be producing a set of common cards, unfortunately.

24 02 2008
chemgod

Actually UFC might be one of the worst marketed companies. Can you think of one UFC product you can get in stores? Can you even get Xyience Drink in stores? If they were marketed well (ie/ get on ESPN networks or ABC/CBS/NBC or Fox they would be bigger than they are today. How about UFC cards would you buy them? Boxing is a dead sport and until they bring it back to the people like the 70s and 80s or get US fighters that aren’t ex convicts, there just won’t be any interest in the sport.

24 02 2008
whatthehellme

They sell Xience in grocery stores and convenient stores.
Plus UFC basically owns Spike TV. They hold free Pay Per Views every few months with title bouts, The Ultimate Fighter series is huge and that culminates in a live Fight Night finale and has earned spots on MSN sports announcing winners of title fights.
Blockbuster and Hollywood carry all of the newest UFC DVDs and UFC started re-releasing all of the original UFC events.
Dana White (UFC president) bought UFC a few years ago for 2 million dollars and it is now over a billion dollar industry and has obviously caught the attention of sports card manufacturers-Quentin “Rampage” Jackson, UFC light heavyweight champion has multiple cards available in the 2007 Sportkings set and now Donruss is producing a set dedicated to UFC fighters.
UFC is HUGE and to say it doesn’t market itself well is crazy.
I wouldn’t mind having a set of those new Donruss cards.

25 02 2008
Ryan Cracknell

Unless it goes down the nostalgia road, a boxing set would never fly today. There might be a small niche of collectors out there, but the interest in the sport has dwindled since Tyson went all Britney Spears while she was still in diapers.

It’s best served like Topps Co-Signers is doing it – as an insert set. There’s been several boxers in Allen & Ginter sets in 2006 and 2007. The 2006 set even had a Tyson autograph.

As far as a MMA set, I think it’s only a matter of time. I know Topps had plans for an IFL set. Not sure what came of it as it was supposed to come out a few months ago. Maybe it’s delayed, maybe it’s gone. Again, for now it’ll be as subsets and inserts like in the upcoming Americana II and with Randy Couture in A&G.

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