Jimmy Ford (left)


San Francisco, CA– The “business of boxing” is already hurting extensively. Some blame it on Manny Pacquiao’s erosion of skills, Floyd Mayweather alienating fans, Saul Alvarez’s refusal to fight somebody on a competitive level, you can say all of the above is of partial blame. But the real reason the business is hurting, especially at the club level, is that there is a lack of investment in the product. Meaning, there are no boxers being nurtured in the amateurs. The Golden Glove tournaments that once had so many participants that we used to fight twice in the same day, is now giving away titles to fighters who never laced up a glove or fought anyone in the tournament.


Couple that with the fact that there are so few men or women that really know how to teach a budding boxer, what you have is a dying sport, which means a dying business. Boxing is no different from the US economy. The people at the top of the food chain will always prosper, while those at the bottom will at the same time suffer greatly. The lack of boxing gyms, free when I was growing up, now can cost as much as $100 a month! Retired boxer Jimmy Ford has recently opened a gym in Brisbane, CA, a city located between the municipalities of San Francisco and South San Francisco. While the monthly membership fee for adults is $50, Jimmy allows poor kids to train for a lot less or totally free.


In the United Kingdom, most of Europe and Asia, the sport is thriving at both the amateur and club level. Boxing is the opposite of “trickle down” economics, meaning the fight game needs to thrive at the bottom (the amateur and club level) to thrive here in the United States. People tell me that American youth are too spoiled, playing video games or other sports and don’t have boxing on their radar. How could you when gym dues are $100 a month in many cities across the country.


In September, the aforementioned Saul Alvarez will face a dwarfed regular 140 lb. fighter in Josesito Lopez, this in defense of his WBC 154 lb. title. On paper, this appears to be such a mismatch that Lopez might be hurt. I am torn between the plus of boxing returning to Network TV and the fact that the main event is a horrible mismatch. While Alvarez might be a bit “green” still, his advantage in natural size over Lopez could result in nightmare. What I mean is what happens if Lopez is seriously hurt here?


People in boxing love taking shots at the UFC and their “face” Dana White. People from HBO, promoters big and small, they talk negatively about the UFC method of operation. Why then is there are almost 10,000 Mixed martial Arts gyms in the United States, while at the same time boxing gyms are shutting their doors? Because people are disgusted with boxing, the sport and the business. They are tired of watching the mismatches that HBO forces upon you. At one time HBO was the solution, now it is the problem.


Although Jimmy Ford doesn’t have an “S” on his chest, the Excelsior District figure probably should. Unfortunately, Ford is a Band Aid on a sport and business that is bleeding profusely. Unless we can install a Federal Boxing Commission to regulate pugilism, and get about 10,000 Jimmy Ford types across the country, the prediction of the late Hall of Fame writer Jack Fiske that the sport of boxing will be dead here in the United States by 2016 is coming to fruition.

Pedro Fernandez


  • I would love to have a Boxing gym in my home town, to get kids involved into it once again. There is nothing here for boxing, they have a couple MMA gyms and fitness gyms. I’m regulated to training kids for free out of my garage. I’m hoping within the next year to start one, but the money has to be there for youth programs.

  • On an additional note I want to give props to Jimmy Ford who was as bad as they came back in the day! Fantastic job Jimmy!! Keep up the GREAT work!! You’re doing your part to keep boxing alive here and we thank you! andy nance

  • As a former boxer and avid fan of boxing both now and in the 80’s, I used attend every Golden Gloves Tournement in San Francisco. I can attest to the fact that Pedro did in fact win 4 Titles as I saw him do it in person. andy nance, former ring magazine contender

  • Pedro Fernandez

    Jack Fiske wrote a huge article in the San Francisco Chronicle on it which was published here three years ago Bill to shut MF’s like tou up. Nobody in Nor Cal disputes that Bill.

  • Pedro Fernandez

    Bill, I won seven titles, 4 Golden Glove titles, one National title. where in the hell are you coming from jokester!

  • John Signorella

    Great piece. Valid points, however I never compare MMA to Boxing (as most do) simply because they are entirely different sports, in the same fashion that Football and Baseball are (e.g.) they both require a supreme amount of talent and athleticism, but offer a completely different product…anyhow what I’m getting at here is: so long as there are great moments in any sport that capture the public’s imagination or appreciation, that sport will survive. Unfortunately in regards to Boxing, those moments are usually televised on smaller outlets that show their product and (again) unfortunate that when it’s distributed on it’s largest stage (HBO) it seldom lives up to the hype or satisfies the masses. However, I feel the sport will always live on. Mainly because I, like most people I know; feel that when boxing is at it’s best, nothing can touch it because of the tension of two people persevering through adversity, the drama of someone getting floored and attempt to rise to their feet, the honest effort of hand to hand combat with no other option other to out punch someone or knock them out; typified by a never quit/never surrender attitude. Yes, Pedro: HBO needs to display all the aforementioned brilliance of Boxing that I just described and our sport will be fine…To our read and Ring Talk radio listeners: Check out ESPN Friday night Fights, Showtime’s ShoBox or Championship Boxing, Epix Network Championship Boxing, Fuel T.V.’s Prize Fighter Tournament, or Fox Sport’s Net’s cards…that’s where my sport has been at it’s best.

  • Guys like you are part of the problem, all you do is bash fighters. NJust because you never had the balls You always post that you were good, ut i cant find anyone that agrees with your asessment of your self

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