Despite Massive Growth Potential, Boxing Remains Contentedly Marginalized
By: Sean Cross
I hear that it’s summer a lot these days – and that boxing is just going to do piss poor – viewership wise – in the summer. Perhaps. But then I look around Google and see that the UFCs Conor McGregor-Nate Diaz pay per view rematch in a few weeks is going to bring in a massive haul. What’s more, barely a weekend goes by when U.S. Twitter trends aren’t dominated by some UFC event or other…even in the summer. So, what’s up? Customer satisfaction, that’s what’s up. The UFC gives fans what they want, and the powers behind boxing don’t. It’s that simple, really.
It would be impossible to imagine UFC honcho Dana White openly saying he would want to “marinate” a match in order to make the most out of it financially. Why? Because that would be bad for business. That’s why Diaz-McGregor II is appearing less than six months after Diaz-McGregor I while Canelo Alvarez will be fighting someone on Pay Per View most fans have never heard of this fall. Grand marinator Oscar De La Hoya essentially argues he wants to tease at least some of his paying customers. Dana White, on the other hand, wants his customers happy, satisfied and coming back for more. Which pay per view event do YOU think will be more successful: Diaz-McGregor II or Canelo-Opponent No One’s Heard Of (for the record, it’s the talented but most likely out of his depths Liam Smith)?
It’s really not even open for debate. Nor is the problem with much of boxing. When someone like De La Hoya is open and boastful about a practice which leads a large portion of his paying customers on, it’s little wonder boxing fans are tuning out. The biggest shame in all this is that boxing is having a good year for itself in 2016. Believe it. There’ve been some amazing fights and if you haven’t seen them you don’t know what you’re missing. I’ve no doubt the UFC is running some great cards right now, but fights like Santa Cruz-Frampton, Thurman-Porter and Salido-Vargas have more than hit this spot for many a fan – this one included.
The issue of course is that we fight fans don’t know when we’ll get more matches like them. If we were fed a steady stream of such bouts, boxing would be back on track to regaining some much needed popularity. The potential for it is there right now, believe it. Instead, though, it seems that the powers that be prefer to let ducking and marinating (its own form of ducking) rule the day. Too bad. The long term growth potential for boxing is huge at the moment. If only someone would realize it. It doesn’t have to be a visionary, either. Just someone with a clear line of vision.
One last thing: I’m a boxing freak who likes the sweet science far better than all other sports. Yet I won’t be watching Canelo on pay per view this fall. It’s just not worth it. Instead, I’ll be watching Diaz-McGregor II on pay per view this month. I may not know much about MMA, but I know when the fans are being catered to.
And that should be telling.