I don't actually have any printed article or statistical set, which is proof enough. I'm a passive boxing fan, I don't keep up with every fighter or every card. I rely on Sportscenter, SI, and The Sporting News to report things about the matches and fighters that will keep me interested in one of the truly great sports ever run into the ground by greed and corruption. But nobody's reporting! Sure, there's a blurb here and there in the boxing dedicated pages on these sites and in the magazines, but nothing more than win loss records and measurements. Take a second now and check the truth and rumors section on FanNation, boxing doesn't even have a section! C'mon.
I'm not going to give you all that rigamorole about how MMA and the UFC is overtaking boxing, because It's really not. Sure MMA is gaining popularity in strides as large as the President is losing it, but even changes that drastic aren't going to pierce the shell that MLB, NBA and NFL have erected around sporting public's collective pysce.
Despite my personal affection for MMA, and more specifically the UFC produced Ultimate Fighter TV shows on Spike TV, bloodsports just face too big a fight for attention these days. Not only do most people like the major sports leagues product better than what fighting can bring, most people don't HATE football, baseball, or basketball. Bloodsports have to deal with a public that is so divided on the sports themselves that just as many people pledge their support and money to pumping up what MMA is as do people that are so against the sport they'll pledge their time and support to killing the sport. The NFL has been in the headlines lately for not being strict enough on it's concussion policies, and not taking care of the retired players who quite literally gave their health, and sometimes their lives, to a sport that now flourishes. Football is a dangerous, violent sport. I've never once heard football called human dog fighting, or to a Roman era killing ground.
That's the stigma fighting sports have to contend with, and there's no way boxing can make it. If a sport isnt' popular enough to land pages or references in publications that SPECIFICALLY deal with sports, it's just not going to stay popular enough in the eye of the general public to remain a force in popular culture.
But what tips the scales is boxing's disregard for it's fans, and fans are what makes a sport go 'round. There's no mandate for fighters to actually fight, there's no "boss" there to make fights that fans want to see, and there's no central entity to control marketing of the product. I know that last bit about marketing may be alittle insulting to some, but marketing to fans can boost popularity faster than the actual product in the ring can. The NBA, NFL, and MLB have all use giant media marketing machines to turn niche American sports into worldwide brand names. Boxing has Don King. Don King could probably kill football, too.