Boxing is one of the oldest and most pure forms of sporting competition out there. It is a beautiful art that pits one man against another in a purely one on one battle. It was (and still is) perhaps the most popular combat sport out there, and as a result, made quite a bit of money in its hayday. And when something makes a lot of money or is popluar in culture, you know TV executives can’t be far behind, and that is exactly what happened here.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the TV executives had an idea for a boxing television show. This show would pit former celebrities against each other in the sport of boxing. They would wear head gear and fight three rounds in front of an audience and judges, who would score the fight if it didn’t end via knockout.
The show finally aired and had its first episode on March 13th 2002. The episode featured such individuals as actor Danny Bonaduce, artist Vanilla Ice, former Senator Paula Jones and figure skated Tonya Harding. The second episode of Celebrity Boxing aired on May 22nd and featured such former stars as former NFL lineman William Perry, former NBA player Manute Bol, actor Dustin Diamond and the late former WWF star, Chyna. During these fights, you could tell most of those competing had no traditional, long term boxing training and barely knew what they were doing.
The show was pretty terrible in every sense of the word and was even named the 6th Worst Show of all time by TV Guide in 2002. So now that you know about this show and what happened on it, why was it so awful? Well, first of all, boxing takes years and years or training to become proficient at and requires months and months of learning techniques and whatnot before you should ever spar anybody. Sparring and fighting (even with headgear on) can be extremely dangerous and one punch has the possibility to alter someone’s life in a horrific way. Add that to the fact most of the individuals who participated were already older and thus, at a much higher risk for injury.
Also, there is a reason why these “stars” weren’t famous anymore. If people still wanted to watch them on TV or in movies, they would still be acting on TV and movies. The show only lasted two episodes and then was pulled from TV for unknown reasons, likely due to poor ratings and complaints to the network over the content.
Since the airing of this show, a few celebrity boxing matches have occurred throughout the world and follow similar formats to that drawn out by this show, using headgear and less rounds with accelerated clocks. However, people have thankfully learned this has no place as a show on network TV. Personally, I feel this should not happen anymore as boxing is one of the most dangerous sports out there if you don’t know the proper technique, head placement and movement, and could lead to some serious injuries.