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KO Magazine KO Magazine ('The Knockout Boxing Magazine,' as it was billed) was a boxing publication that at one time rivalled The Ring, the longtime stately 'Bible of Boxing,' for readership. It first appeared in 1980 as a monthly publication when pro boxing was experiencing a renaissance. KO quickly captured the attention of boxing fans with its well written stories, lengthy interviews--and especially its color centerfolds of prominent fighters. Its annual award issue was often filled with laugh-provoking absurdities. (One such kudo targetting TV's irritating boxing announcers was the Howard Cosell Talks A Lot But Says Nothing Award. The shortest TV fight of the year was given the Don't Get Up To Get A Beer Award.) Steve Farhood, who now writes excellent boxing pieces for Sports Illustrated, got his start at KO. KO eventually became a victim of boxing's declining popularity. It was eventually acquired by The Ring and absorbed into the latter. The last distinct issue of KO was published in 2006. Heavyweight champion Larry Holmes is shown on the cover of this issue from 1982.
Tags: boxing  magazine  KO 
Added: 12th July 2011
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Posted By: Lava1964
Posted by: AngoraSox on 2011-07-12 
KO sounds like a well rounded magazine. I was surprised to read, During the 1980s, KO Magazine, nicknamed The knockout boxing magazine, ran some popular features, such as a round-by-round section where the most important fights were described punch by punch. Wow. Punch by punch descriptions. I like that sort of detail.
I spent some time at a boxing club working out when I got tired of the same old workout routines at my regular gym. That was the nicest bunch of people!
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2011-07-13 
It was a good read, AngoraSox. I subscribed to both KO and The Ring and read them both religiously. The Ring was good for historical stuff and results from all over the world. KO catered more to the contemporary TV fan. I once won a year's subscription to KO by winning a trivia contest. I loved boxing in those days! KO's centerfolds of prominent fighters decorated my bedroom walls for a few years.
Posted by: Pfc on 2011-07-13 
Do you think the decline is because of the lack of talent that appeals to the masses or are there more things to capture people's attention like cage fighting?
Posted by: eric1957 on 2011-07-13 
One reason for boxing's decline is the different boxing organizations (WBA,WBO,IBF, WBC) and the lack of boxers that don't pique the interest of fans.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2011-07-14 
To anser Pfc's question, as someone who went from a rabid boxing fan to someone who barely follows it now, I attribute the decline of pro boxing to a number of factors. These are my top four:

1. The proliferation of governing bodies. It does the sport no good when five different fighters are walking around with title belts claiming to be world lightweight champion, for example.

2. The absence of quality fights on free TV. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, there was harldy a weekend without a quality fight on ABC, CBS or NBC. Greed put all the big fights on pay-per-view. A generation of potential new fans was lost.

3. Reducing title fights from 15 to 12 rounds. The best way to alienate longtime fans is to start messing with tradition. Ironically, this reduction in rounds was largely done so title fights could better fit into one-hour network TV time slots, which pretty much vanished within a decade.

4. The lack of marketable American fighters. Boxing was at its peak when appealing American fighters dominated. The early 1980s had Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, the Spinks brothers, Larry Holmes, Ray Mancini, and several others who could generate attention. Americans want to see homegrown sports heroes. Rightly or wrongly, foreigners never have and never will garner the same attention from American sports fans.
Posted by: Classico on 2011-07-18 
Another reason why boxing isn't as popular today is because they matches are held almost exclusively in elite venues such as Los Vegas or Mohegan Lounge. In the old days there were plenty of good matches at Yankee Stadium, Soldier Field, Ebbets Field. All of these were outdoors and while many of the seats weren't too close to the action, they were affordable for the average working guy.

There were also a great many matches at affordable prices in great indoor venues such as Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY and at the old St Nick in Manhattan. My dad was a rabid boxing fan (and former club fighter) and he loved to hang out at both venues. Affordability and ready access to good venues popularized boxing in those days. Unfortunately, we do not have that any longer.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2011-07-18 
Yes, very true, Classico. Only casinos and resorts seem to host boxing cards now. Recently MMA was legalized in my part of Canada, which will probably kill what little is left of pro boxing altogether.

MMA has no appeal to me. Zero.
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