Baseball, horse racing and prizefighting were both famous sports in America for decades in the 20th century, yet I know very few people in 2016 who follow any of those.
When I was a kid, my parents watched boxing on prime time TV. The last fights of Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Robert Duran, Thomas Hearns, Larry Holmes, etc. – these were all men we watched compete on prime time TV in the late 70s and early 80s, before the proliferation of cable and pay-for-TV.
My grandpa was an amateur boxer, and competed in the navy championships during WW2 (we never learned if he won or not). I think in those times, boxing was a part of many boys’ childhood. A burly adult, there is a picture of him as a young man in boxing gloves where he was toned and lithe…
There is a great book about boxing called Serenity. I love that book, and love boxing although I cannot watch it anymore, as I’m not able to watch someone damage their brain that way.