Greetings and salutations boxing fans. I return to the boxing spectrum to put the finishing touches on my state of the ring address.
I have many beefs with the sports current administration and I outlined some of these problems in the first article of my comprehensive look at the termites that are eating the soft under belly of the sport.
I wish to point out before we turn the ignition on this latest work that all three of my points I made last week were realized in some fashion in the subsequent days. The Staples Center was rockin' last Saturday night a nice respite from the dead late arriving casino crowd.
The case is closed on last week’s argument that big venues serve as a structural emissary to the mainstream sports fan. The point that got the most reaction with out question is my view on the crime wave called the “interim champion”.
Just a few days after writing that the interim champion was decaying boxing the WBO set up a purse bid for an interim cruiserweight title bout when the WBO cruiserweight title was already vacant.
So what they are going to do is set up two different bouts to crown two different champions that can coexist together while both claiming the mantle of champion…..what a sham...organized bally hoo.
MMA this past weekend had two cards that I know of and let me point out that it was only ONE card last weekend that had everyone talking. For some reason I could not seem to find a quote from Dana White concerning the fact that his PPV card was out-performed by a free cable network television event. Ahh it feels good to be right.
Now that we have completed our review let’s move forward with the second half of my state of the union. Two last questions I will answer as we enter what looks to be an earthquake-sized year in the boxing world.
4.When will network television come back into the fold?
That is the question that has plagued boxing in recent years. The biggest absolute purest draw that any sport can ask for is open source network television. 100 million people watched Eli’s Giants slay the mighty undefeated Pats in last years super bowl.
The No. 1 way that boxing could tap the mainstream would be to stage Sat night fights on an ABC or NBC platform. The exposure would be with out limits when compared to the subscription-based viewership.
I watched an old Mike Tyson fight broadcast on ABC and while primitive in its presentation the concept gave it power. The power it possesses is the power of precedence. The people who run boxing can’t say that network television would never work because it HAS worked and has been implemented.
The next problem is where does the money come from. Boxing does not have a union or players association that could negotiate an exclusive deal with any given network. The only way it could work would be for the brass at the networks to get involved in purse bids for B level cards and then to assure high octane cards secure 2 or three dates a year with the major promotional companies.
HBO could still be HBO with this infrastructure and at the same time Joe the plumber would still have the chance to catch quality prize fighting on his kitchen TV. The other upside to this prospective model is the automatic mandate by sports fans to feature expansive venues.
The domino effect would lead to a throw back time in the sport where Sports Illustrated covers and cereal commercials are the norm
5. Who are the people who are hurting boxing with their actions?
Many names come to mind for this stanza fans so I will try to list the prominent ones with haste. Don King should not serve as a surprise lead off to this topic. His business practices are hurting the games mainstream image while hurting the fighters he promotes as well.
I was watching ESPN and I was excited to see “boxing” on the side bar because it was a rare moment when boxing was tapping the mainstream. The story ended being about don king and how he didn’t pay Unified lightweight champion Nate Cam a dime after his most recent fight because the OTHER guy did not make weight.
The story went on to also chronicle the fact that Don has a high profile card on HBO Feb 14th and it was not until LAST week that he had a site. This is the type of thing that keeps boxing in neutral.
I will not say their names but the two Heavyweight Brothers are killing boxing. The glamour position in all of sports is the world’s heavyweight champion (by definition that is a unified champion). The brothers have three of the four belts, but understandably won’t fight each other, and seem to be basking in the fact that there is no one really to stop them.
Vitali makes me sick with his repeated overtures to a retired comfortable Lennox Lewis. It is clear he is trying to take advantage of the fact that Lewis is done and he really comes off as that whiny girlfriend that wont let the relationship go.
Wald, to his credit is slightly more tight lipped but the conundrum remains. As long as these two jointly occupy sports most coveted position the sport will continue suffer due to the vacuum left by an irrelevant heavyweight division.
One person who is indirectly hurting boxing is Floyd Mayweather Jr. From what I can tell Floyd got so fed up with people questioning his eventual legacy that he said f&&k it and quit. In Floyd's mind we should be happy just too witness his mastery over the sport let alone question it.
To Floyd, his talent is a privilege and right now we are not entitled to it. No matter what these idiots say on my message boards no one sells like FMJ. When he fights America re sets the dial.
He is mad at the media and now we are all suffering because we cant see the intrigue of a FMJ promotion. Mark it down when he returns to the ring it will be a mainstream event. The problem is when. Boxing needs as many “events” as possible at this point.
-You got to be sh&&&&& me…. I know that Sugar is not eyeing a unification with Josh Clot as his cash-in fight right?....This must be a game of chicken to annoy FMJ, because it has been reported that Golden Boy reached out to Floyd's camp on Monday…they must not have liked the number he threw out.
-The people that keep sensationalizing these Holyfield/Tyson rumors should be ashamed of themselves writers included,
-Margacheato's Manager Francisco Espinoza has come out and given an official statement on handwrap-gate:
the “plaster-like” substances in question were actually gauzes that had been prepared two weeks before the fight with a wet cloth that caused the gauze to become humid and then hard.
Are you buyin that? I’m not, that comment will only fuel the skeptics
- I love you Paul will but the time has come to stop reading your own press clippings....your comments are going from confident and clever to off the reservation
Whew! Fans thank you for tuning in for Part two of my state of the union. I want to wish all my fellow writers the best and I will be in touch.