We are one episode into the next installment of HBO’s 24/7 and already fans are groaning about the lack of ingenuity and buzz. It's Manny Pacquiao versus Juan Manuel Marquez part four with the same characters returning and just as boring.
When the biggest controversy is trainer Nacho Beristain asking for several autographed gloves from Manny, you know its a yawn.
It makes fans wonder if 24/7 needs to be gotten rid of all together. Right now, the only time there seems to be any kind of buzz is when Floyd Mayweather Jr. appears, and even then that act is become a bit stale.
Part of the reason is because of the fighters that 24/7 features. Miguel Cotto, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have already been on the show three times apiece and their stories and acts have been well documented. In fact it you remove the Chavez Jr. vs. Martinez, the last 24/7 vehicle that did not mention Miguel, Manny or Floyd was Joe Calzaghe versus Roy Jones Jr., nearly FOUR years ago.
Part of that problem is that 24/7 has been a way to appease the two biggest promoters in the sport, Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions. The fact that all three men above are headlining a big pay-per-view fight gives added exposure without any cost from the promoters
At the time, 24/7 was a groundbreaking idea and gave boxing a shot in the arm as it featured Oscar De La Hoya versus Floyd Mayweather Jr. in an in-depth look into their lives.
But the problem is that all then men mentioned have become a bit overexposed and fans have grown tired of the story. Both Cotto and Pacquiao are low-key men who don’t talk trash, don’t engage in theatrics or live flashy lives. So unless Floyd is mixed in with them, once you see one episode, you have seen them all.
The good news is that there is a way for HBO and Ken Hershman to fix it. That is to include either the old HBO Countdown series, which was a one-shot episode, or to do a moderated version of 24/7 but feature new stars.
Part of the reason boxing in the United States has been in a tailspin is that they have been unable to replace the stars they had in the 2000-10 decade once they have retired or become past their prime. Since 2001, Felix Trinidad, De La Hoya, Arturo Gatti, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson and Shane Mosley are done fighting. While Pacquiao, Floyd and Cotto have stepped up, the heavyweight division was ignored due to the Klitschko's being based in Germany and no young group of stars taking the mantle.
That being said, it's time to start focusing the promotional vehicle on the new talent and to try to get the general public interested.
Young fighters such as Adrien Broner, Gennady Golvokin, Peter Quillin and Abner Mares are primed to break out. Andre Ward and Nonito Donaire are two men who have everything except for the hype train behind them. Feature them on Countdown shows or 24/7 rather than rehash Pacquiao versus Marquez.
One fight that would have benefited with the 24/7 vehicle would have been the Brandon Rios versus Mike Alvarado brawl, as both men had fascinating back stories, thrilling boxing styles and lives outside of boxing that television could have brought life to.
Unless they want to let 24/7 be something of the past, the boxing heads at HBO really care about boxing, they will start focusing on the future.
You can listen to Chris Connor every Friday night from 11 to 1 a.m. ET as the executive producer and host of LAST CALL radio show on Cyberstationusa.com.