Top 5 Songs About Boxing


Many songs about boxing highlight its physical and psychological toll. One such tune is LL Cool J’s hit track “Mama Said Knock You Out,” which is used as the entrance music by several professional boxers.

Simon & Garfunkel are known for their captivating storytelling abilities, and this track is no different.

Count Basie’s “King Joe, Part 1”

In the 1930s and ’40s, Count Basie led one of the greatest jazz bands of all time, serving as an immense influence upon other bandleaders while pioneering a new form of orchestral jazz known as swing. His rhythm section included Jo Jones, an exceptional drummer capable of keeping time on high-hat cymbals while accenting all four beats of the bass drum. Basie himself preferred an improvised approach when playing chord changes; his piano playing may have been sparse, but he had an excellent understanding of stride piano techniques.

Jazz was another way out of poverty for some people, helping people express themselves and reaching the masses in America, especially within a segregated environment. Boxing’s significance to black America can be seen through songs like Memphis Minnie’s rendition of “King Joe,” honoring Joe Louis. She sang about his arms being “like kickin’ from Texas mule” or even more striking, “dy-nee-mite!” She sang this hit record by Memphis Minnie in 1935 – her seductive chanteuse sang about “King Joe,” glorifying boxer Joe Louis through lyrics about him being like Texas mule kickin’ or an arm entire of “dy-nee mite.”

Jazz and boxing were two immensely popular American pastimes at that time, with millions of people tuning in to radio broadcasts to listen to announcers describe fights. Naturally, people also wanted to hear music that captured these exciting matches!

By the time this song was released, Count Basie had already been an influential bandleader for nearly 50 years. A charismatic figure, his concerts often attracted large, cheering audiences. His Decca recordings, such as “One O’Clock Jump,” “Jumpin’ at Woodside,” and “Swingin’ the Blues,” became hits; by 1940, he had formed his ensemble called the Count Basie Orchestra; its recordings, such as “April in Paris” are considered among the finest examples of swing era swing.

The Count Basie Orchestra maintained its momentum through World War II. Recording bands and music rationing to the military had an adverse impact on big bands’ output, yet afterward, the orchestra continued to flourish, with players like Lester Young, Herschel Evans, Buck Clayton, Charlie Dixon, Freddie Green, and Walter Page taking part. They even had great arrangers like Quincy Jones on board who could write for them!

Mark Knopfler’s “Song for Sonny Liston”

Mark Knopfler found himself expanding his musical horizons during his distinguished career with Dire Straits. On his 2004 album Shangri-La, he composed a bluesy narrative ballad dedicated to Sonny Liston – an influential fighter who overtook Muhammad Ali for heavyweight glory during the early 1960s – honoring poverty, abuse, and fame while exploring societal prejudice against this powerful and vulnerable individual.

Knopfler’s composition offers listeners a glimpse into the life of one of boxing’s legendary figures, featuring smooth vocals and lush instrumentation that transport them directly into his life. His use of country, Americana, and skiffle music only heightens this powerful work’s appeal; its memorable melodies and captivating lyrics provoke thoughts about power, vulnerability, and redemption in their own lives.

Many artists have performed covers of this song, including Bill Conti, who originally composed it, and Survivor, who performed their hit version for Rocky III. With its powerful beats and positive message, its motivational nature has made this a favorite motivational track among both athletes and spectators alike.

Knopfler’s song not only pays homage to Liston but also highlights how many of his personal and professional struggles parallel those of people throughout our society. Knopfler uses Liston’s account of addiction, drugs, and violence as a starting point for a more universal conversation about facing challenges head-on and overcoming them.

Knopfler has not only established himself with Dire Straits but has also excelled at working as a composer for several films and releasing solo albums as an artist. His 2012 release Privateering featured songs that explored his interest in country, Americana, and roots music while lending his iconic voice to movie soundtracks Wag the Dog and Metroland soundtracks – garnering him global acclaim! His vast array of genres and musical styles has amassed him an extensive international following.

Bob Dylan’s “Hurricane Carter”

Bob Dylan has immortalized two prize fighters throughout his legendary career. These include American featherweight Davey Moore (deceased after an unsuccessful title bout in Los Angeles in 1963) and Rubin Carter, wrongfully accused of murdering three white people at a bar in Paterson, New Jersey, and sentenced to 19 years of jail time due to an unfair conviction.

Dylan had written extensively about other subjects before, such as the brutal killing of American civil rights activist Medgar Evers; however, Carter’s case touched upon issues dear to Dylan’s heart. A frequent visitor to prisons himself, Dylan was outraged by what he perceived to be abuses of the justice system and attempts at covering up police corruption that he saw occurring there.

“Hurricane,” co-written with Jacques Levy for Dylan’s 1975 album Desire, served as an effective protest piece that helped raise awareness about Carter’s situation and eventually led to two charity concerts held for him: Hurricane Night at Madison Square Garden in August 1975 and Hurricane II at Houston Astrodome in January 1976. Dylan visited Carter in prison, where they found someone with similar views of life – someone they could connect with who saw things differently from Dylan himself.

Its lyrics are powerful and moving, and it remains one of the best protest songs ever written. One could easily imagine that had someone else written them; they may well be considered among their most acclaimed work.

Dylan was also known for his many civil and human rights achievements, particularly gay rights. He became one of the first supporters of homosexual rights, with his song about it reaching number one on the US charts in 1972. Additionally, Dylan attended some of Muhammad Ali’s fights, including their iconic matchup against Joe Frazier, known as ‘Fight of the Century,’ which marked Ali’s first professional defeat as heavyweight champion.

Lupe Fiasco’s “The Champ Is Here”

Lupe Fiasco’s braggadocious rap anthem features poetic metaphors and wordplay to display his impressive lyrical skills, likening himself to an emperor while his competitors are mere pawns, also referring to the mathematical concept of MC-squared to emphasize his prowess as a rapper. While this track may sound boastful, its lyrics contain an essential message about violence in society – its title, “Knockin’ at the Door,” refers to home invasions, which suggests individuals should prepare themselves by keeping their homes secure – as well as discussing gangs that commit these attacks who know their targets well and organized teams that target individuals within these communities – yet its lyrics also cover this aspect with regards to these attacks as gangs are well organized and know their targets well enough!