Boxing News Featured

SOCIAL MEDIA – THE POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES FOR BOXING

We find ourselves nearing the end of our series of articles, but it has become increasingly clear over the last week that social media has played a huge roll in enabling our favourite fighters to become the stars they have today. Today see’s us heading over the Atlantic and speaking to a former World Champion for whom without social media may have struggled to build his own image In such a way that he has done.

Over the course of this week, we will be discovering how some of our most well-known boxers use social media to better engage with their fans but also deal with the ever-present effect of negative trolling. We will also be hearing from their fans, and learn how social media has altered how they follow the sport and their favourite stars.

The fourth instalment of the week sees us speaking to Former WBO World Boxing Champion, Former Undefeated 2 x World Champion Kick Boxer Chris Algierie. Our fans for the day are Tabatha and Adrian!

Algieri-Final-20training-141119-001a.jpg

Chris Algieri

(Twitter: @ChrisAlgieri)

Q1. I think most people would agree that social media platforms have created a far more open and visible relationship between fighters and their fans, but would you say that this is always a positive, and why?

Chris Algieri: Personally it has been quite positive for my career- especially in the early going. I was not a standout amateur star (in fact I had 0 amateur boxing fights), did not have a large promotional company to finance my development and to pick opponents to create an aura of a champion-quality record. I was a grassroots, homegrown prospect who sold tickets to my own fights. I was wildly popular in NY and especially in my hometown of LI and part of my appeal was my organic connection to my fans. Being a full-time college student through much of my career and working 2 jobs didn’t leave much time to personally connect with fans- in comes Facebook. I was able to interact with fans and even sell tickets through my social media following.

Q2. Do you feel that the pressure to engage with fans on social media can have an effect on how you train or recover from training? For example, in the day leading up to a fight would you feel pressurised to respond to messages instead of focussing and relaxing?

Chris Algieri: No. Not at all. At the end of the day, performance is the key to success. Your fans don’t fight for you and if you keep winning and performing your fan base will grow. A fighter is not a reality TV star. Engagement with fans is 100% dependent on the fighter’s availability and willingness. Otherwise, it is fake and quite detrimental to his/her fan base development.

Q3. Social media not only allows fans to pass on positive comments but also an unprecedented ability to troll a fighter with negativity. Have you ever felt that this has affected you in any way, how, and how do you deal with it?

Chris Algieri: Of course! No one in the spotlight is immune to the keyboard cowboys and internet tough guys. Conversely, I have rarely met anyone in person who has said anything negative to me- shows what cowards there are out there who are willing to spread their personal negative garbage on the web for others to see. I have incredibly thick skin and rarely ever respond to trolls- but when I do, I generally give them a massive public lashing. If you have never been punched in the face in front of millions of people while simultaneously having a team, a family, a hometown, a country, on your back depending on your performance…then shut the fuck up and enjoy the show.

Q4. We have seen an increasing number of fight negotiations being made public on social media platforms. Do you feel that this is good practice, and do you think it helps or hinders the negotiations process?

Chris Algieri: I think it is terrible. The best line ever in boxing is “You don’t know shit about boxing” by Roger Mayweather a number of years ago. People who “know” boxing don’t know shit about boxing. Here a piece of a negotiation process never tells anywhere near the whole story.

Q5. Finally, overall, would you prefer to have fought in an era that social media didn’t play such a pivotal role in boxing?

Chris Algieri: That’s hard to say. I always argued that I had the goods and I just needed the public to see me- social media allowed me to step outside of my hometown. But, if I were in an era of no SM, I would have been seen by those that mattered- and I’ve never been afraid to travel for training and fights. At the end of the day, it is always about the performance on fight night.

Our fourth and fifth boxing fan we speak to this week are Tabatha and Adrian…

(Twitter: @TabathaBewitch1 & @adehughes3)

Q1. I think most people would agree that social media platforms have created a far more open and visible relationship between fighters and their fans, but would you say that this is always a positive, and why?

Tabatha: I don’t think any form of social media is ALWAYS a positive thing. You have to take the good with the bad. When things are good, the social network can be powerful, however, it can be equally powerful when things are bad.

Adrian: I would say this is almost always a positive because a lot of fights get started through fans calling for the fights on social media and because it gives the fighter a higher profile and raising their profile to another level.

Q2. In your opinion, would the way a boxer interacts with their fans through social media influence your opinion of them? For example, are you more likely to follow closely a boxer who is more prevalent on a social media platform than not, regardless of any other factors?

Tabatha: For me personally, for sure, I love Boxing, but, it is important that I like their character, their interaction, and their banter that’s what encourages me to support and follow them.

Adrian: No for me, it that isn’t overly important.  I follow a fighter based on their talent.   Although if a fighter regularly makes bad statements on social media this does make me think negatively about them even though they do it for attention.

Q3. Social media not only allows fans to pass on positive comments but also an unprecedented ability to troll a fighter with negativity. At what point do you feel that a fans constructive criticism turns into blatant negative trolling or even bullying?

Tabatha: I don’t think a real “fan” would cross the line of encouragement to trolling, a troll is a troll they were never a fan, they are just lonely losers who get a kick out of trying to demoralise someone in order to make themselves feel better.

Adrian: I feel in this day and age it is acceptable for the public to judge a fighter based on their performance.   I feel you can take criticism but you don’t need to constantly do it as this doesn’t achieve anything.

Q4. When we look at the build-up to fights, social media has become instrumental in creating a hype to help sell the fight. Looking back at the super fights over the last 18 months, do you think it would have been possible to fill the likes of Wembley and Principality with 90,000 fans without the use of social media?

Tabatha: No, I don’t think it would have been possible. I only started following Boxing around 3 years ago. I understand that fans who have always been fans get annoyed with the “drama” as they feel it is degrading to the sport, however, this is what creates the buzz, atmosphere, increases ticket sales, good nights out and money for the fighters.

Adrian: I do think social media has helped in selling massive fights over the last few years and most definitely creates hype because the public buys into the fighter.   It is still possible though to fill huge arenas without social media as big fighters are advertised over the tv and platforms such as sky sports which helps to get the fight out the public

Q5. Imagine that you lived in a time without social media. Do you feel that you would follow the sport as closely as you do now? Do you think that your choice of favourite fighters would differ without the increased visibility that social media brings?

Tabatha: I wouldn’t no, we all have busy lives, having access to the Boxing industry from a phone, tv and podcasts etc enables you to keep up and stay keen.

Adrian: I loved boxing before social media took over and would do so without it.   My choice of favourite fighters is based on performance and talent and not how vocally active they are on platforms such as Twitter.   However social media is vitally important in getting casual fans into boxing.

Thank you to Chris, Tabatha and Adrian for allowing us this time! Tomorrow’s article see’s us talking to the big boss, long time boxing writer, and TopClassBocing.co.uk website creator, Paul Daley!

PART ONE, TWO AND THREE

1 comment on “SOCIAL MEDIA – THE POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES FOR BOXING

  1. Pingback: SOCIAL MEDIA – THE POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES OF BOXING – TOPCLASSBOXING

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: