Box office hit sparks boxing frenzy

Poster for
[Photo from web]

A new film featuring an overweight woman who regains her self-esteem after taking up boxing has sparked a wave of interest in the sport all over the country, especially among women.

In the film YOLO, short for You Only Live Once, protagonist Du Le­ying achieves fitness and rebuilds her confidence by taking up boxing. Off screen, Jia Ling, the director of the film who also played the role of Du, made headlines by losing about 50 kilograms over the course of filming.

YOLO topped China”s box office during the Spring Festival holiday and has so far grossed over 3 billion yuan ($420 million), with both Du’s and Jia’s physical and psychological transformation trending on social media platforms.

Since the movie premiered on Feb 10, online searches related to “boxing” have increased 388.4 percent year-on-year, and the major review platform Dianping saw a 337.53 percent increase in comments, data from e-commerce platform Meituan shows.

Keyword searches for “adult boxing”, “boxing experience course” and “girls’ boxing” have spiked in cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen in Guangdong province, Chengdu in Sichuan province, and Hangzhou in Zhejiang province.

Meituan data shows that women accounted for 67 percent of those searches on its platform.

Qu Zhongyuan, head of a Hurricane Fight Club boxing gym branch in Beijing’s Chaoyang district, said the number of women coming to his gym wanting to learn boxing has soared lately.

“Most of them have been inspired by Jia. They have a strong desire to lose weight,” Qu said. “Boxing stands out as the fastest calorie-burning exercise among all sports.”

The 35-year-old coach started to learn boxing when he was 9, and has worked in the field for 11 years. He said that although more women have been seeking his advice about the sport thanks to the movie, women outnumbered men at his gym even before the film premiered.

Since his gym opened in 2022, women have accounted for about 60 percent of his boxing students.

“Most of these women learn boxing for self-defense or stress relief,” Qu said, adding that normally, the initial goals are met after training for more than a year.

“One of the reasons boxing is so popular among women is that it helps get rid of pent-up stress through all that punching, and it aligns with the human urge to vent frustration through physical activity,” he said.

Kong Li, ages 7, has been learning to box for about half a year. She pesters her parents to get her to the boxing gym on time and sometimes practices at home with her father.

“She usually shouts as she punches, and I can feel her sense of power,” said her father, Kong De­jian, a lecturer at China University of Political Science and Law.

Kong said that although he knows about the film, it is not the reason he wanted his daughter to try the sport. In reality, boxing training is primarily driven by interest rather than inspirational…

- Advertisement -

Read More: Box office hit sparks boxing frenzy 2024-02-21 15:01:00

- Advertisement -

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments