Boxing and Pop Culture: The Sport’s Influence on Music, Film, and Fashion

Boxing and Pop Culture: The Sport's Influence on Music, Film, and Fashion
Boxing and Pop Culture: The Sport’s Influence on Music, Film, and Fashion

Boxing and Pop Culture, being the most popular martial art, is nearly everywhere in modern culture. Many products and pieces of art are related to it since it’s quite influential. The effect the sport had on modern mass media can’t be overestimated; only a few other sports, such as soccer, can compete with boxing in that regard.

This article will provide information about movies, games, films, fashion, and music that boxing inspired. We will take a look at the most famous ones and describe them, as well as how big of a role the sport plays.

But before we begin, here’s a disclaimer: this article won’t include any information about betting on boxing matches, even though the sport is trendy among punters and doesn’t reach the levels of UFC in that regard. If you want to learn how to place bets on the sport, you can try reading other articles. For example, there’s a good one covering Helabet’s app download process.


Let’s start with films. The audiovisual nature of this medium allows the viewers to get an immersive experience by seeing realistic fights. There’s also a lot of room for drama and complex plots. Being quite a thrilling sport, Boxing is one of the best choices to adapt to the big screen.


“Rocky, “an Oscar-winning movie, likely the most famous film about boxing, an all-time classic, and a critically acclaimed masterpiece, is a motion picture everybody knows. Starring Sylvester Stallone, who also wrote the script, the movie essentially launched his career to the next level. The plot is relatively simple: Creed, a famous boxer, has not fought since his scheduled opponent suffered an injury, and other potential partners have no time to do so. Here, a local contender, Rocky Balboa, comes into the picture. Although you’ve likely already seen the movie, we won’t spoil the rest, but what comes next is the classic of sports films.

Million Dollar Baby

This movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, who also stars as one of the main characters, has quite an unconventional approach to a sports-fighting motion picture. Having a female protagonist is the first and most obvious thing to mention since most martial arts movies focus on men. Moreover, the movie takes quite an unexpected turn later on, becoming more about a character study and a film about moral choices instead of being a straightforward sports movie.


A spin-off of the “Rocky” franchise, “Creed” was a movie to bring new life into it after decades of stalling. The movie centers around Donnie, a son of Apollo Creed, the main antagonist in the first two “Rocky” movies and one of the franchise’s most important characters. Sylvester Stallone reprises his role as Rocky, now the main character’s trainer. The movie covers the protagonist’s rise to success.


A Michael Mann masterpiece, this movie covers the life of a legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali, whose real name was Cassius Clay. The movie is a large-scale biopic covering various aspects of his life. The film was successful among critics and won some accolades, but it wasn’t well-received at the box office.

Video Games

Boxing also affected the world of video games. Unfortunately, its influence was quite minor. Especially when compared to sports like MMA, football, and various automobile racing. Nevertheless, there was at least one successful series of video games related to boxing, and we will cover it in the next paragraph.

The Fight Night Series

The only title in our “Video Games” section, this series includes five titles focused on the sport. None of them are available for PC, but the games exist on iOS, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, and 3. The games featured a relatively realistic visual style and ground-breaking controls, allowing players to direct a punch more precisely using a gamepad.

The series ended with a “Fight Night Champion” game, which was well-received critically and financially, with many praising its darker and grittier style. There’s not much known about the reasons why the series ended, the reason is likely that boxing was getting less popular in the early 2010s compared to MMA.


Boxing has enough visual appeal to be attractive to music video directors. Some songs also don’t avoid such aesthetics. Let’s take a look at some of the hit songs that have a certain relation to boxing or became associated with it.

Ed Sheeran – Shape of You

One of the most viewed YouTube videos, Shape of You by Ed Sheeran, includes several shots of the main character doing boxing training. While the song or the music video didn’t exactly become something to represent the sport, it’s still likely the most popular music video that features this sport. 

Maroon 5 – One More Night

Another popular song with many views on YouTube currently exceeds 1 billion. This time, the video fully centers around the life of a boxer, played by Adam Levine, the band’s lead vocalist. It starts showing a seemingly idyllic family life and preparation for a big fight, but things take a darker turn.

Imagine Dragons – Believer

One of the most famous songs by this already popular band, “Believer,” has many views on YouTube. In fact, over two and a half billion. The video doesn’t have that deep of a plot, it simply centers on a boxing fight that happens inside of the world with quirky visuals. The style slightly resembles the “Tron” movie with its retrofuturistic vibes.


Unsurprisingly and similarly to many other sports, boxing influenced fashion, mainly affecting streetwear and sportswear. It changed both men’s and women’s fashion and appeared in the trends from time to time. Shorts and gloves also had some influences on the sport, as well as women’s tops.


With the huge popularity of boxing and how thrilling the sport is, it would be strange if various media didn’t use the sport as a driving force for drama. Boxing hugely influences the film industry, but that’s not where it ends. The sport had an effect on many other things in modern culture.

In this article, we provided examples of how exactly boxing influenced various media and fashion. The verdict is obvious: the sport had much to offer modern culture, so it’s not surprising to see it prominently featured across different types of entertainment.


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