by Aveline MacQuoid on September 2, 2020

in Extras


Make no mistake: there isn’t any other sport that matches up to boxing when it comes to being adapted for the silver screen.

This is evidenced by the amount of boxing-themed films which are present in IMDb’s top 50 sports movies. Boxing is responsible for 20% of the entire list. This number is all the more remarkable when you consider the extensive number of sports around.

These films are not just highly rated by critics and fans, either. Going back to the aforementioned top 50, these movies have received a total of ten Oscar wins or nominations in total – boxing is responsible for four of them. Rocky and Million Dollar Baby both received Best Picture, while the other prominent movie award, the Golden Globe, nominated Raging Bull for Best Motion Picture (Drama).

It’s personal

The personal aspect is what makes fistic warfare a knockout at the box office. As analysis from Betway reveals, here are the reasons why boxing is the ideal sport for cinema.

When you have a film that revolves around boxing, you typically follow the exploits of a single protagonist. This is a storytelling mechanic that, more often than not, works better than a sports film which follows an entire team.

By keeping it to one person, it’s easier for the viewer to develop a strong personal attachment to the film’s hero. From a movie producer’s point of view, it’s also a relatively simple task to flesh out the character. When a viewer knows more about their motivation and struggles, they’ll be more invested in watching the entire film.

It’s realistic

If someone is creating a boxing movie, they have to ensure it possesses a degree of realism. If the fight action doesn’t appear convincing, for example, this can quickly take the viewer out of the movie. The same can also be said for the story and structure of the in-ring action.

To implement that realism, various films – including Cinderella Man and The Fighter – are simply based on real-life events. If it has happened already, nobody can question if it’s an unrealistic plot!

It’s action-packed

By its nature, boxing is a sport which packs in more action than most. It’s also a sport which lends itself perfectly to ramping up the drama and excitement for a movie – without turning it into a parody. The best real-life fights are ones with momentum swings, knockdowns, and a feeling that anything could happen at any moment.

It’s a fight towards victory

Okay, two of the most prominent boxing movies of all time – Raging Bull and Million Dollar Baby – don’t end with victory or a happy ending. Yet as the Rocky, Creed, Cinderella Man, and various other films demonstrate, boxing is a great sport for finishing with some form of triumph.

It’s also a tried-and-tested formula that is sure to send the audience happy. When they have invested in a boxer’s journey, when they’ve seen their struggles and hardship, they want to see them ultimately succeed at the film’s culmination.

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