Business ideas for 2018: Boxing

Boxing is escaping its underground image and emerging as a trendy way to keep fit and healthy – should you step into the ring in 2018?

After a year of high-profile boxing matches such as Anthony Joshua versus Wladimir Klitschko and Floyd Mayweather Jr. versus Conor McGregor, the Millenia old sport is seeing a resurgence in popularity.

Meanwhile, Olympic gold-winner Nicola Adams, and supermodels like Gigi Hadid are helping to win boxing a legion of new female followers.

James Reedman, owner of Inspire Fitness Centre, says boxing has changed its image in the public consciousness: “It is fighting its way out of the darkness as a somewhat underground barbaric sport to now be trendy and acceptable in modern society. Gone are the days of spit and sawdust gyms. The new brand is ultra-modern, sleek, accessible”.

Joshua recently put his name behind what claims to be the “world’s first high-end boxing gym” in Marylebone. BXR London has already attracted a number of major celebrity names including Victoria’s Secret models and Ellie Goulding.

After 2017 saw alternative fitness listed amongst the hottest business ideas, could you come out fighting in 2018 with a boxing-based business?

Starting a boxing business: Why it’s a good business idea

More and more fitness fans are discovering boxing as a fun way to stay lean, get strong, and keep healthy in 2018.

Boxing isn’t just two people knocking seven shades out of each other, it requires agility, stamina, and strength, making it a great all over body workout.

According to Reedman, you don’t have to set up a state-of-the-art gym to get into the boxing game – initial setup costs can be minimal: “All you need is a space. The rest is down to you. I know of people running boxing classes from their garage or local sports hall”. After that, as long as you have gloves and pads, you’re good to go.

The boxing club owner explains that funding is available from local government schemes, as well as from the lottery and the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBOFC). Reedman says that creating links with local communities and youth agencies is a good way to access this funding and generate a good return on investment.

Anna Samuels, co-founder of online boxing workout provider Boxx agrees that the boxing fitness boom is set to continue in 2018, simply “because people love it”. She also highlights the business opportunities for boxing to appeal to women: “Long gone are the days when boxing training was seen as just for men, it is now recognised as great for both men and women.”

Gavin Bannister, buyer at Sportsshoes.com, says that “customers are much more aware than ever before of the fitness benefits of combat training”, and events like White Collar Boxing – where men and women from white collar professions train for amateur, ticketed boxing bouts – “have really stirred up interest on a local level in the sport”.

Boxing business opportunities

A boxing business could range from a weekly class in a public space, to a small-scale boxing gym, or a fully-kitted out professional operation, meaning you could capitalise on the burgeoning trend no matter what your budget.

If you are intending to be a boxing coach or lead classes yourself instead of hiring, you should become a certified instructor. Qualifications can be earned from various organisations including England Boxing – which offers a number of different courses – The Hatton Academy and the BBBOFC. As a coach, you could teach boxing in schools, which you’ll need a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate for to check you are suitable to work with children.

A number of organisation have started to think outside the ring and combine boxing with other fitness trends to create novel and exciting activities that test your body in new and challenging ways.

Piloxing (pilates with boxing), Boxerina (boxing and barre), Box and Bell (boxing and kettle bells), and Box Fit (boxing and aerobics) are just some of the mash ups now available as classes. Why not come up with your own novel concept for a boxing hybrid class?

And taking advantage of the increasing prevalence of tech in fitness, now you don’t even have to leave your home to do a boxing class. Boxx allows you to have boxing workouts streamed directly to any internet-enabled device on flexible plans.

Wearable tech is also revolutionising the sport, with companies like Hykso developing wearable wrist sensors that measure punch speed, punch count, and striking intensity to monitor a fighter’s strengths and weaknesses. This is a little less accessible as a business opportunity, but if you have the know-how and the means, boxing tech looks set to become an increasingly lucrative market.

Insider opinion

Gary Logan, head of boxing at BXR London, comments: “It is no secret that exercise can significantly enhance mood and alleviate stress, however sometimes your local circuit session isn’t always enough of a distraction from the daily grind and can become monotonous.

“2018 will see many continuing to choose exercise as a stress-reliever, but will also see gym-goers turning to alternative forms of exercise which enable them to learn a skill at the same time; specifically boxing. Boxing teaches immense skill and discipline whilst helping to improve confidence levels and boost mood. Over the years it has attracted a growing constituency of fitness enthusiasts as it caters for all ages and abilities.

“Boxing helps individuals to create a positive outlet. Many of the mental skills that a person learns during boxing can effectively be used outside of the ring, in regards to knowing their opponent or the situation they are in, finding their ‘fighting’ style and mastering their defence, which can all be applied to everyday work and social situations.”