Boxing: Ponce De Leon vs. Mares Should Be a Network TV Showcase

Kevin McRaeFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2013

Ponce de Leon is rarely boring.
Ponce de Leon is rarely boring.Josh Hedges/Getty Images

If you sat down to think about the type of fight you'd want to showcase for a network television audience, you'd have a hard time finding something better than the April 20 card put together by Golden Boy Promotions.

The main event will feature a WBC featherweight title match between champion Daniel Ponce de Leon (44-4, 35 KO) and Abner Mares (25-0-1, 13 KO), who will be moving up in weight for the bout.

Both fighters have styles that lead to tremendous action and could provide the type of fight that would attract new fans to the sport.

Ponce de Leon began his career as a one-dimensional slugger who ran into trouble against sharp boxers. But he has since adapted his game and become a much more dangerous all-around fighter.

Mares was considered by most to be, at worst, the second-best bantamweight in the world, behind only Nonito Donaire, and made the move after a bout with the Filipino could not be secured.

Putting it simply, this will be a fun fight to watch. 

Combine this with the co-featured welterweight clash between Marcos Maidana and Josesito Lopez, and you have the potential for one of the most exciting cards of the year.

There's just one problem. 

The card will be televised on Showtime and not on CBS. 

This seems like a tremendous missed opportunity, especially given Showtime's recent willingness to place fights on TV channels that don't require fans to pay a subscription fee for the right to watch.

When Amir Khan successfully returned to the ring Dec. 15 with a stoppage victory over Carlos Molina, Showtime teased that fight to the fans with Leo Santa Cruz's defense of his bantamweight title on CBS.

The fight, which was competitive and fun to watch, got great ratings and showcased a fighter whose style is built for getting people interested in the sport. 

In other words, it did everything boxing should be doing: showcasing solid talent, in good fights, to as many eyes as possible.

That's why Ponce de Leon vs. Mares is such a great opportunity.

And if not that, is there anyone who thinks that Marcos Maidana and Josesito Lopez will turn in 12 boring, uneventful rounds?

Good luck finding someone.

These are two fights that scream action, drama and entertainment. 

They feature four fighters who are going to give it their all, who have a lot on the line and always give the fans their money's worth. 

All of them love to fight and it shows.

It's a shame that Showtime, who recently made news by inking Floyd Mayweather to a reported record contract, is missing this opportunity.

Boxing has a long and storied history on network television. And a full commitment to return it there would be a boon to the sport and for the fans. 

But that means moving more of these types of fights off of cable and onto the networks. Showtime has said they want to do this.

It's time they prove it and stop squandering these opportunities.