Sports fans have been predicting the demise of boxing for years, but lovers of the sport say that trope is played out. Boxing may be controversial, but its fans love the heated rivalries and public feuds that make the headlines, and they're willing to pay for ringside seats.
Latinos are one of the consumer groups driving this craze that often goes unnoticed. While boxing may be declining in popularity among other demographics, it's thriving with Hispanics thanks to the likes of former boxer turned promoter Oscar De La Hoya and the new generation of boxing's elite, like Javier Fortuna, Ryan Garcia, and Canelo Alvarez. Boxing is the ticket to a better life for some Latinos, and for others, it is a cherished tradition passed down from generation to generation, as families gather to watch the fights and cheer for their heroes.
The fandom is paying off for some networks. Of the 25 largest pay-per-view events, 14 featured Hispanic fighters. Spanish-language networks Telemundo and Univision broadcast boxing regularly, while English-dominant networks can't seem to commit. Boxing has proven to be a viable and accessible medium for brands interested in reaching Hispanic audiences.
Roberto Andrade, a feature writer at ESPN, joins us on The New Mainstream podcast for a casual conversation about Hispanics and boxing and why pairing the two just make sense.