Here in America we love our sports. Especially boxing. We believe our boxers are the best and that the best boxing is in the U.S. However we do accept Mexico and the U.K. as our pugilistic rivals. Although boxing is quite popular in these places there are so many other corners of the globe where the sweet science is the sport of choice. Here are just a few to chew on.
The land of the rising sun is known for its martial arts culture. Karate, MMA, Kickboxing and even Professional Wrestling are huge in Japan. However we must not forget the huge contributions they have made to the sport of boxing as well. From recent fighters such as Naoya Inoue and Toshiaki Nishioka to legends like Fighting Harada or Jiro Watanbe. Boxing is hugely popular in Japan. There are even Manga (japanese comics) dedicated to boxing. Two of the most popular are Ashita no Joe and Hajime no Ippo. Starting with the “father” of japanese boxing Yujiro Watanabe Japan has produced over 100 world champions. When mentioning boxing popularity we must include Japan.
Coming as a suprise to even myself. Africa has a hugely successful and popular boxing market. When thinking of Africa many things come to mind boxing isn’t one of them. However it should. With such legends as the great Azumah Nelson, Dick Tiger and Ike Quartey along with many other success stories. Corrie Sanders, John Mugabi, Phillip N’Dou and so many more. Jim Lampley once suggested that South Africa was hidden treasure in boxing and we should start broadcasting more shows there. I believe he was on to something.
Thailand is mainly known for there combat sport of choice. Muay Thai or the science of eight limbs. Combining punching with kicks, elbows and knees. Although many fighters have enjoyed success in both arenas. The most well known of whom was Khaosai Galaxy. Galaxy was a talented Muay Thai fighter who made the jump to pro boxing and was a major success. Winning the WBA Super Flyweight title and defending it 19 times. With 16 coming by way of knockout. Samart Payakaroon is another one of those success stories. Samart is considered by many to be the greatest Muay Thai fighter of all time. He also made the jump to boxing. With his greatest accolade being winning the WBC Junior Featherweight title by knocking out Lupe Pintor. With the need for a solid boxing game becoming more apparent in other combat sports. Many fighters are travelling to Thailand to sharpen their technique.
There are so many other places where boxing is a premier sport. Australia, Canada and Ireland are just a few more examples that show the globlization of the sweet science.