Exhibition fights are among the biggest sports events with a growing fan base around the globe. They aren’t part of any competition and were initially carried out to showcase players’ skills.
For this reason, exhibition fights now involve various MMA and UFC world champions and, more recently, popular celebrities. Some of the events that took the industry by storm include Mike Tyson Vs Roy Jones in 2020. Floyd Mayweather Vs Logan Paul in 2021 and Oscar De La Hoya Vs Shaquille O’Neal in 2009, among others.
Undoubtedly, exhibition fights focus more on entertainment, paper views, and the audience. This makes them different from professional events that aim for titles. Here’s all the information you need to know about exhibition fights and celebrities’ involvement in them.
Rise of Celebrities in Exhibition fights
As we said, many former and current boxing champions and celebrities have embraced exhibition fights. They occasionally participate in various events, increasing their popularity in the exhibition fighting world. Some of the famous names in these fights are, amongst others, Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, Logan and Jake Paul SKi and many others.
However, one of the top reasons for attracting legendary fighters and celebrities to exhibition fights is the excellent earning potential. The events are a booming goldmine, as quoted by Marca, because boxers walk away with millions of dollars from each fight.
This cash overflow has attracted several boxing legends to come back to the ring even after retirement. For example, in 2020, Mike Tyson walked away with around $11 million from his exhibition fight with Roy Jones. Floyd Mayweather earned over $10 million from his fight with Logan Paul in 2021 at Hard Rock Stadium.
And guess what? The involvement of celebrities in exhibition fights has increased the popularity of events worldwide. YouTubers like Logan Paul, Deji, Tanner Fox, and KSI have attracted a large audience and many bets on the fights.
With that said, many bookmakers that seek to get ahead are offering betting markets for such events. The good news is that you can find the best NonGamstop UKCasino bonus of up to 400% and take advantage of it. Taking advantage of such bonuses is extremely important, particularly for exhibition fights, as they are part of a large debate.
Factors contributing to the rise of exhibition fights and celebrities
Social media is one of the many factors that have boosted the popularity of exhibition fights. The social media industry plays a golden role in both promoting fights and consumption, as fans are eager to see their favourite celebrities fighting in a major event.
On top of that, the involvement of YouTube stars like Logan Paul and KSI in exhibition fights increased the demand for fights between Youtubers. Not only that, but they also influenced TikTokers to join the trend like:
- Nate Wyatt
- Tayler Holder
- Ben Azelart
- Cale Saurage
- Vinnie Hacker
- Ryland Storms
Boxing exhibitions, however, are a fantastic chance for fans to witness their favourite boxer enter the ring once again and reignite their passion for the sport.
Exhibition events have deeply won the hearts of some boxing fans because of the increasing demand for more fights between former and current champions. Other fans also look forward to matches between boxing legends and celebrities.
Floyd Mayweather has responded with great news. He used his Instagram account to promise 5 exhibitions in 9 months. The events will occur in 5 countries, including Germany, Australia, Japan, and South Korea.
Controversies surrounding exhibition fights and celebrities
Although it has a sizable fan following and includes numerous well-known martial artists and celebrities, the current developments are viewed by many as questionable. Exhibition fights have several controversies surrounding them.
Many people think some matches are fixed, affecting the fights’ credibility. For example, some boxing fans still wonder how it took Mayweather 8 rounds to beat Logan Paul.
According to fans, the fight would have lasted only a few rounds because the celebrity was an amateur player. Sadly, some referred to the fight as degrading the boxing integrity that legends like Mohamed Ali had maintained.
Many consider exhibition fights between a fighter and a non-fighter stain on the sport. Wondering why? It is unfair to put a boxing legend in the ring with someone who lacks amateur boxing skills, and this puts the non-skilled fighter’s life in danger, and it’s seen as violence by the audience.
On top of that, a match featuring an all-time great boxer and an amateur well-shaped celebrity can be easily fixed. Since the professional fighter isn’t going after any title and accepts the fight only for the money, he has no motive to win.
On the other hand, a celebrity who wins in such a competition gets a huge bump both in his social media and the press. Many mainstream and established media are going to seize the chance to comment on the result, and thus benefiting both parties with publicity.
In contrast, people are okay with exhibition fights between all-time great boxers or amateurs. For example:
- The Tyson Vs Jones match is said to have been fair as it involved 2 great fighters.
- The Nate Robinson Vs Jake Paul exhibition fight also made sense, and it was between two celebrities who were relatively unskilled boxers.
Many boxing fans are against legends participating in fights with celebrities or amateur players, and they refer to it as a disgrace to boxing. Some UK fans shunned Mayweather’s exhibition fight with Aaron Chalmers, and the O2 Arena was largely empty due to fans boycotting the event.
The Future of Exhibition Fights and Celebrities in entertainment
Exhibition fights were originally for displaying player skills. But this has dramatically changed with the involvement of retired legendary boxers and celebrities. The fights are an excellent milestone for the entertainment industry because it earns millions of dollars from them. But is trend deemed to fall due to unfairness and criticism.
Many professional boxers are against exhibition fights with celebrities as they undermine the values of the sport. However, despite all the criticisms, celebrities and legendary fighters still go ahead with them as long as there is a demand from the fans.
Exhibition fights are an excellent alternative for many fans and retired fighters. But they need to be balanced to earn credibility. A top fighter should play with another experienced boxer, not an amateur player.
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