Boxing Memorabilia

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Boxing memorabilia remains in hot demand, even now that the sport's so-called Golden Age is long past. Fight fans continually decry the abysmal state of boxing. In their view, there will never be another Muhammad Ali, Jack Dempsey, or Joe Louis, but instead just a long line of palookas looking to take their fight purses and run. Fighters like Ali, they reason, were more than just great sportsmen; they were colorful personalities.

By that logic, boxing today should be more alive than ever before, the fall of Mike Tyson notwithstanding. So long as promoters such as Don King and Bob Arum are associated with the sport, its profile is in no immediate peril. What these purists are truly railing against is the demise of great heavyweights, a complaint that is considerably more justified.

Why Boxing Memorabilia Has Survived

One primary reason for boxing memorabilia's strength is the discrete nature of the sport. "The Rumble in the Jungle" and "The Thrilla in Manila" were landmark events, one-of-a-kind contests for all the marbles, not single matchups within a long protracted season. It's much harder to market a baseball game when it's one of any 162 in a given season. Even football, which enjoys 16 separate calendar marks each season, is much harder to promote, unless, of course, you're dealing with the playoffs or Super Bowl.

The prominence of boxing memorabilia is also tied to the essential nature of the sport, which pits man versus man in an all-out slugfest. The element of spectacle has thus driven the market for things like gloves and robes in addition to signed plaques and ticket stubs. In spite of its solid growth, the boxing memorabilia trade lags behind its counterparts in other more-popular sports, and it is this very underexposure that largely appeals to boxing fans.

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