The Problem with Kickboxing is...
By IKF President Steve Fossum
Why isn't kickboxing the big money and fame sport boxing is?
It's more exciting by far, but why don't the champions get the money they deserve?
What makes boxing or kickboxing big? Sure fighters are EXTREMELY important. But there would be no events without promoters as well as there would be no events without fighters.
These two need each other so they should have mutual respect for each other, right? Are the fighters doing what they should be doing? YES, They are FIGHTING! Are "ALL" the promoters doing what they should be doing? Yes, many great promoters focus on PROMOTING. However, many more think for various reasons they should be their own kickboxing sanctioning bodies also. This is why kickboxing fails to grow to the greatness it deserves. What a mess. Instead of having a legit organization oversee their event, many promoters choose to create their own organization so they can put more money in their own pocket. Too many promoters are now sanctioning their OWN titles with their own hometown fighters. Bob vs his gym partner Joe for a World Title.
This alone has clearly DESTROYED kickboxing! Promoters trying to save a buck and not offer their fighters legit opportunities. Instead, we see fighters holding 10 different titles from 10 different organizations. It's a joke! How many of these titles are recognized? Where can you find their rankings? The IKF opportunities speak for themselves. If a fighter has no opportunities to grow, travel, make more money, become a TRUE, LEGIT World Champion, than what is he or she fighting for? Answer... just to help the promoter make money in most cases. They have a few fights, get used up and their careers are over. Becoming "Maybe" a big fish in a small pond known as their own hometown. The IKF believes that all fighters deserve opportunity, and thats exactly what they get when they fight on an IKF sanctioned event. When a promoter sanctions their own titles they are not creating opportunities for fighters, they are simply USING fighters. How many fighters get used by promoters across the globe every year? What do they have to show for it? A promoter choosing a worldwide organization such as the IKF proves he or she is also interested in the fighters future. Those who create their own local organization have done so because of reasons such as wanting to save more money for their own pockets or for their own egos.
This is why BOXING is where it is today and kickboxing is still playing catch-up. It's not that the sport is better, it's obvious that kickboxing and Muay Thai are far more exciting! But it seems that everyone holds a kickboxing title of some kind now days. There are nearly 100 small time, hometown organizations in the US today created by promoters for their own events? The real question is, what happened to the promoter, promoting "THE FIGHTERS" or "THE SPORT"!? Sure, some great promoters do, but the sad thing is that many promoters are only promoting for their own gains. People cry about boxing promoter Don King. He's this, he's that. But hey, lets talk true facts! He made boxing what it is today with all the million dollar purses we see. He made it this way because he promotes FIGHTERS! He doesn't promote Don King. Sure, he wants to grab the mike and talk all the time, but WHAT does he talk about? Boxing and THE FIGHTERS!
If his shows succeed, he succeeds, and he obviously has. He became famous from what he has created for boxing. Sure, he makes money, but we have yet to see a DON KING TITLE in boxing. Kickboxers and the promoters out there need to think bigger as a whole. Not just think of their own hometown, their own state. Where do they want the sport to go? It's obvious where the IKF wants the sport to go and we want to help everyone get there. Fighters, promoters & trainers so they can get what they deserve! Big paydays and worldwide recognition. It's obvious WORLDWIDE what the IKF has done and continues to do for everyone through our web site and worldwide sanctioning. We promote the promoters events before and after their events.
The IKF doesn't promote events, we sanction them. So why are so many promoters sanctioning their own fights? Gee fighters... Something to think about isn't it.... Maybe next time before you say yes to any promoter, ask them who is sanctioning their event. You need to look out for yourself because no one else has been doing it for you. The IKF hopes to help you as much as possible. We take and return ALL phone calls, e-mails and faxes no matter who you are. From fighters asking advice, info etc. to a 14 year old boy looking for a kickboxing school in Iowa. We try to help everyone interested in kickboxing. The IKF IS HERE FOR YOU as a true Sanctioning body SHOULD BE!
We are here to help and oversee the sport. Know any others who are doing this? If so, stick with them. If not, question why not? Your career as a fighter won't last forever. Get what you deserve while here instead of making a self centered promoter rich. If you succeed, he will too. But if he's cutting corners by creating his own organization, maybe you should ask WHY? Hopefully, the promoters will start to look at kickboxing and the BIG PICTURE. What the sport truly can be. If so, we will see an explosion like never before. But we all need to question those not helping the sport as a whole. They are only hurting the sport. It's not a money thing. The IKF makes sanctioning affordable to every promoter out there unlike some high dollar organizations.
And again, go ahead... Compare what we are doing for the sport with any other organization. We want to help the sport grow for everyone! As long as we all do what we do best, it will. If we try to be a jack of all trades... we will continue to falter. Lets all look at the big picture. What kickboxing truly can be. The greatest one on one sport in the world!
Back To Main OPINION PAGE, Click HERE!
Back To IKF HOME PAGE, Click HERE!