THE BLOG

Someone's '0' Has Got to Go: Why Staying Unbeaten In Boxing Isn't the Be All and End All

12/10/2015 17:42 BST | Updated 12/10/2016 10:12 BST

We're about a month removed from Floyd Mayweather's (allegedly) final fight of his career, where the unbeaten American as it stands, has retired undefeated on a perfect career record of 49-0. However, there's a change in the boxing tide taking place at the moment, where someone's '0' has got to go.

It seems in recent times in 2015, compelling big fights are getting made left right and center, where promoters are now once again not afraid to put their unbeaten clients in the ring with other unblemished combatants, in some cases early on into their professional careers too

And rightly so.

I'm a big fan of looking at long-term trends (always have been) and if you look at the landscape of boxing, the sport has no choice but to put on the fights that the fans want, due to increasing competition from the likes of mixed martial arts giants UFC - who consistently put on matches where their top tier warriors face the best year in, year out.

Their model has been based around this predominately, and rarely do you see a mixed martial arts athlete in their organisation staying unbeaten for a long period of time, and certainly not retiring undefeated before taking a loss.

That dreaded 'L' in the past in boxing was seen by handlers of fighters as an unwelcome addition to the marketing of a pro boxer early on, where staying unbeaten and building a padded record in many cases of up to 20-0 (against very limited opposition) was seen as the right way to do things.

How wrong it was though.

You only have to look at some fighters down through the years who employed this strategy with their teams, who were once touted as future superstars only to fall victim to brutal reality checks when they stepped up in level after a prolonged period of fighting tomato cans to keep their records intact.

With the 2015 season in boxing coming into it's peak activity at the moment and as the year draws to an end, fights like Anthony Joshua vs Dillian Whyte in the UK are further proof of promoters being more willing to take a punt early on into prospects' careers, in terms of pitting them in with other dangerous young contenders.

This is the only way the sport will continue to grow - which it certainly is doing at the moment.

Big fights that are genuinely 50-50 affairs, where both men may (or may not) be undefeated, looking to put things on the line and capture glory, getting made on a regular basis.

After all, isn't that how boxing used to be?

Like many sports, boxing appears to be one that comes in cycles, where you see big fights and golden eras come at different times and at the moment, the trend looks exhibit ample positive setiment for the next era of young champions coming through after the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

Taking a loss shouldn't be the end of the world for any boxer, nor a stumbling block to making a big match happen that the sporting public want to see.

Another massive fight between two undefeated protagonists that could perpetuate this positive movement is a matchup between unbeaten super bantamweight world champions Scott Quigg and Carl Frampton which according to latest reports, is close to getting made.

The old saying in the sport of someone's '0' has got to go appears to be on it's way back on a more consistent basis than previous years, with the shift in mindset and perception of the professional boxing world waking up once again to what the fans really want to see - good competitive fights.

Simple.