Ringside Boxing Cards Making a Comeback
By Nick Tylwalk
Boxing trading cards haven't made too much of a splash in the 21st Century (or for the last few decades of the previous one, to be honest), but I can tell you that being on hand at the National Sports Collectors Convention last summer, the 2010 debut of the Ringside Boxing set went over pretty well.
Now the company behind those cards, Creative Cardboard Concepts, is set to drop a follow-up series on August 3. Aptly called Ringside Boxing Round 2, this set looks a little leaner and meaner but still has all of the cool features we saw the first time around.
The base set (basically the "regular" cards for you non-collectors out there) consists of 100 cards featuring boxers past and present. The mix is an interesting one just like last year, ranging from active guys like Tomasz Adamek, Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver to relatively recent retirees like Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe to names from the sport's more distant past. Several subsets focus on things like weigh-ins and the Tale of the Tape from specific fights.
The real interest in Ringisde Boxing, though, comes from its extensive checklist of autographs and memorabilia cards (which contain small pieces of gear actually worn by boxers in their fights). Autograph signers for Round 2 include Roberto Duran, Evander Holyfield and Shane Mosley. The Cut Signature cards are the real head-turners, as they show off signatures cut from other kinds of documents from the likes of Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Sonny Liston and Sugar Ray Robinson. These cards are limited to just a single copy each and usually end up going for big money on the secondary market.
Memorabilia cards come in a variety of flavors, with the Ringisde Seat cards even holding actual tickets from famous bouts such as Tyson-Holyfield and Hagler-Hearns. The big name here is Muhammad Ali, who is featured in several of the memorabilia subsets.
CCC is calling the configuration of this year's set the Standing Eight Count because every box contains eight cards: three base cards, three Turkey Red insert cards, one autograph and one memorabilia or Ringside Seat ticket card. It's unclear exactly what the retail price will be - they won't be cheap, for sure - but the wait is a short one since the cards go live next week.
Even if you don't normally mess with sports cards, Ringisde Boxing is worth checking out if you are a fan of the sweet science. Certainly I'd expect the cards to have a heavy presence at this year's National in Chicago (and the set is timed to coincide with it), so make sure you look for them if you are going to the show. Otherwise, you can take a gander at them at the CCC site and check the internets for them soon.
Get more great boxing news, recaps and analysis over at Boxing Watchers.