James Figg in 1719 was the first boxer in history to be recognized as a heavyweight champion. In 1976, Sega released the first boxing video game – ‘Heavyweight Champ.’

This year boxing fans have been blessed with the power to manage, train, and promote fresh fighting prospects across all weight divisions. From the comfort of your mobile phone or tablet, whether at work, at home, or on the train, you can turn a dream into a reality!

With an iced coffee by my side and a sleepy dog on my lap, here’s what I thought of the brand-new Boxing Manager video game for IOS.

A detailed, carefully crafted app allows boxing fanatics to take a walk in the shoes of an Eddie Hearn or a Freddie Roach – it’s boxing’s equivalent of Football Manager! Players can talent spot from a pool of over 3,000 boxers with an in-depth attribute system and benefit from extraordinary detail that allows for contracts to be negotiated and gyms to be built.

To begin an exciting new chapter in your virtual life, you must first start by creating a promotion capable of competing with Matchroom or Top Rank! The first stage (as echoed and explained in the 24 page manual provided) consists of making things personal. To become a household name in the sport, you must first choose one. Connecting with this app starts here. Selecting a gym location and signing hand-picked fighters, from the beginning this is an investment of time, but little energy.

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The game’s objective is clear – scout talent, build on the foundations provided and be successful.

Once underway and presented with an office space, the layout is simple to navigate. Presented with eight sub-sections, users can explore gym development, world rankings, titleholders, upcoming bouts, finances, local news, and the talent that they now have under their wings. The final ‘Lobby’ tab takes you back to the home page. A frustrating difficulty that I found was that once back in the lobby, you can tend on occasion to lose the progress that has been made. A bit like when leaving a game without saving.

Development in Boxing Manager works as follows – you sign boxers up to the gyms developed, negotiate their contracts, and promote their fights. The more matchups made, the greater the bank balance and the amount of revenue available when further developing facilities that will attract the best athletes to sign with you.

What impressed me most was the level of detail the developers have included. You can compete for three separate world titles (together with five regional rankings in each weight category) and you can bet in-game on the result/outcome of a fixture. The software can generate odds and forecast profit from contests. Judges’ scorecards are revealed, the thoughts of the trainer shared, and the boxer energy levels converted to a percentage at the end of each round. You can even control the speed of the commentary. During each bout, you are able to manage your fighter via a fantastic in-play simulation which allows you to strategize their fighting style after each round with thorough in-game statistical detail.

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Boxing Manager has impressed me more than I thought it would and having delved into the game’s Facebook group and the forum throughout the week I have been playing, I would urge anyone interested in buying the game to bypass the cover and judge the book.

I remember watching Rocky for the first time and desperately aspiring to be just like the Italian Stallion. In this game, you can be both the ‘People’s Champion’ and Mickey. Unfortunately, however, where I would play Football Manager to take my local Sunday League side into the Premier League, Boxing Manager is hypothetical.

Whilst personal preference comes into play, I feel as though fictional characters slightly take away from the experience and are difficult to connect with. Instead of rocketing a young personality such as Ryan Garcia or Cheavon Clarke to the top, you must make do with a ‘Carl Ali’ or ‘Stuart Hayes’, the background of whom we know very little about. The non-existent in-game rivalries and personal features are an example of a brilliant idea that could be developed further.

As any legendary trainer will tell you – listening is key. This new release is the sequel to the highly acclaimed, top 10-rated Apple Store game World Title Boxing Manager. Averaging a rating of 4.4/5 stars from almost 7,000 reviews. The feedback from WTBM has been crucial in developing the latest talking point on the market – Boxing Manager.

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Responsible for keeping me gripped to my phone this week is Alex Deacon, Boxing Manager’s founder, and creator. A product design expert who helped create Championship Manager 2 and 3.

Deacon’s passion for the sport shines through in his new project:

“Boxing Manager has been created by a boxing fan for boxing fans,” he said.

“The goal has always been to produce the ultimate boxing management experience and to build a simulator series for boxing that rivals the quality and user experience of similar style games for other sports. It’s the game fight fans, and simulation gamers, have been waiting for.”

Abrahams’ Rating Out of Five

A complex and detailed boxing experience designed by creators who have their audience’s interest at heart. This game will only improve on its weaknesses and continue to strengthen with updates as more feedback is taken on board. A unique way to enjoy the sport, Boxing Manager will grow on you instantly and is a must-try adventure for any boxing fan!

What Boxing Manager has to offer makes the £4.99 / $4.99 it costs to download undoubtedly worth every penny.

My rating: 4.5/5

To buy Boxing Manager, click here.

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