In a word: very. Boxing is the most successful Olympic sport in Ireland and it is home to not only professional fighters but a lot of young people enamored with the sport. Especially now when matches are live-streamed online, the new demand is making boxing in Ireland even more popular than it was.
Fights are now arranged not only to find out who will be the reigning champion in their respective category but also for charity and often just as an exhibition. And this very bright note has to do with 3 major factors:
- Boxing is seen as a competition, not a fight
- It is inclusive and welcoming
- Online income is making it lucrative
And the last factor should not be overlooked. With substantial funds coming to the sport through cooperation with online casino operators, there are now new opportunities and better conditions for upcoming fighters.
This is especially the case for many boxers who come from low-income, immigrant, or minority families and usually didn’t have the best conditions to train, especially if they needed to study or work as well. Now, this is all changing.
Finally, this outcome is reinvesting in itself. With better conditions and more accessibility, new fighters are emerging from the country. With them, the matches are becoming more frequent and more entertaining, pushing even more viewers to the online streams and betting operators.
A Tradition Old as Time
Boxing is one of the oldest sports known to man. The premise is at least 5000 years old with the last 27 centuries as an Olympic sport. While there was probably some form of boxing in Ireland even sooner, the current form was brought in by the Romans.
Here is where one of the misconceptions comes from with the alternative form of the sport known as bare-knuckle boxing. While some would describe the practice as brutal because of the more frequent injuries, this is not how it was envisioned.
In Roman times, boxing was done with gloves studded with metal studs. This made injury almost constant and fatal outcomes were very common. For this reason, many colonies used bare knuckles as a more humane way of both entertainment and settling disputes.
Now the practice is falling out of popularity not due to the fact that people are against it, as the rules are the same, but due to the rise of options for training for even non-professional teams and gyms that can advertise online.
Show or Athleticism and Entertainment
The stigma all martial arts sports have is the fact that many people don’t understand the difference between competitive fighting and violence. In a boxing match, the violent and hotheaded person will most often find himself on the floor quite quickly.
Boxing is all of the physical prowess and skill that riles up those lizard parts of our brain, without the aggression and pettiness that often goes with it. It is a noble sport where the goal isn’t just to outmatch your opponent but to outdo yourself from yesterday.
And this is why people worldwide are flocking to watch boxing online, with many of the fights not only including people of Irish descent in larger countries such as the USA, but also Irish citizens themselves.
Inclusion is another major reason why athletic challenges of this nature are so entertaining. With Ireland being very heterogeneous between the regions and new immigrants from the EU and further adding to that diversity, boxing is a great way to compete in a fair and good-natured way.
One of the biggest contributors to the culture is the Irish Traveler community that has a long tradition of boxing both officially and unofficially. They have produced some of the boxing world’s living legends such as Andy Lee and Tyson Fury.
Betting was Always Popular
Betting on boxing was always an integral part of the sport and one of the reasons why it used to be shunned by many other sporting communities. Because the market was impossible to regulate for a long time, ‘’fixing’’ matches became a huge source of illegitimate income.
But now, especially with the internet and international observers, taking a dive can tarnish your career and stop you from competing in more lucrative championships. And with such reintroduced transparency more people are betting, giving new monetary backing to the sport.
Every betting operator wants to organize bigger and better matches, with better fighters and greater steaks. And the fans are more than willing to pay both for the price of admission and the spread on their chances.
Exploded with the Internet
Many sports rose with the internet. For boxing, this is especially the case because it doesn’t have teams or multiple fights for the same night as some other types. Two people come in, one leaves a winner.
And in the past, you only had your local match to watch, which was often amateurish unless you live in a big city.
Now, everyone can jump online and watch the biggest matches in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, or even in China and Russia if they want. This means that the boxing fandom stopped being atomized and localized.
For Irish boxers, this means fans from all over the world who will watch every single match of their favorite, bet on him, and even buy things such as named trunks, which is becoming an increasingly growing business.