The history of boxing extends further back than ancient Roman times.
Back then, slave fighters, wrapped with leather thongs around their hands and wrists – brawled to the death in front of packed ampitheatres as a means of entertainment.
As time progressed, and due to it’s excessive violence – boxing took a backseat the the age of the Gladiator.
Today, there are 5 boxing gyms alone in London – a testament that boxing, at least in the Forest City is far from irrelevant.
Lawrence Boom, of Boomerz Boxing Club has seen all of the ups and downs of boxing within the course of his life.
“It was very corrupt in the 50’s, with the mafia paying everyone off,” Boom stated. “Then Muhammad Ali came along, and he couldn’t be bought.”
Boom points at today’s top boxers of a key example of boxing’s peaks and valleys.
“You look at Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Manny Pacquiao – and the money they make from one fight – it’s a crazy amount of money, but that’s the difference between boxing and say UFC.”
Boom elaborated on his slight disdain for UFC by explaining his feelings towards its rules and history.
“I don’t want to slam mixed martial arts,” Boom said, “But when you’ve got a guy down on his back, and his opponent is on top dropping elbows on his head? To me, it’s a blood sport.”
Boom says it all comes down to a lack of consistency with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
“Everybody’s the best that’s ever been, and then they lose, and then the next guy is the best, and it goes on like that because the fighter’s can’t stay healthy,” Boom said. “UFC is about making money for themselves – not their fighters – their fighters don’t get paid well; and that disturbs me.”
With a record of 9-and-0, Pagcaliwangan has credited boxing for helping shape him into the person he is today.
“Mentally, and just as a person I just know what I can handle,” Pagcaliwangan said. “Physically, and mentally I know what I’m capable of because I’ve experienced it from boxing.”
El Gwapo pointed out that UFC’s popularity can be explained by the fact that fans enjoy the primal aspect of it. He added it’s that same reasoning why he has such a strong passion for boxing.
“Outside, I’m a quiet, soft spoken, young man but once I step into the ring – I am a whole different person – and it changes me and I love that,” Pagcaliwangan said.
“To me, the best part about boxing is just stepping into the ring, giving all you’ve got and having your arms raised when you win.”