Never Mind The Pay Per View Numbers – Boxing Is In A Good Place
By: Sean Crose
It’s been hard to argue against the notion that boxing has been in a terrible place in 2016. Ducking, marinating, tough talk with no back up, this year has indeed seen it all. Even though there’s been some bright spots – and make no mistake about it – there’s been some bright ones, it’s been the bad news that’s stuck with people. Canelo Alvarez giving up his belt rather than facing Gennady Golovkin. Billy Joe Saunders refusing to challenge himself. The entire sport going dark for the entire month of October…such things leave a bad taste in people’s mouths.
Fear not, though, my friends. Things have improved. Seriously. We have the best fight boxing could make going down this weekend. That’s right – Kovalev-Ward is even a bigger deal than Canelo-GGG. Why? Because no one really knows who is going to win this one. On the other hand, most people think Golovkin would mop the floor with Alvarez (whether or not that will actually happen will – hopefully – be learned soon enough). I know what you’re saying: Canelo-GGG would be a far, far bigger affair than the weekend’s throwdown, but that’s just thinking through the prism of pay per view buys.
Here’s a tip for everyone – myself included – we need to forget about how many pay per view numbers a particular fight brings in. The days of regular million-plus dollar buys are gone for the sport of boxing. What’s more, they’re going to remain gone until a new crop of stars emerge. Here’s the good news, though – things have been moving in the sport recently. Major fights are being made. And new stars – those who go on to become household names – emerge from major fights. Kovalev-Ward, Lomachecnko-Walters, Garcia-Thurman, these are the kinds of throwdowns legitimate pay per view stars might well emerge from.
Of course, there’s a catch to all this. The powers that be in boxing have not been interested in pleasing fans for ages – if ever. The UFC may be into that sort of thing, but boxing’s major players clearly think it’s beyond foolish. With Mayweather-Pacquiao sized events going on to break records every few years (while simultaneously disappointing fans), boxing’s big shots may well have little reason to engage in customer satisfaction on a regular basis. Yet now that big stars aren’t bringing in big money anymore, (hello Manny and Canelo), boxing’s board room guys might finally be forced to start playing nice.
One never knows, though, which is why it’s sound advice to enjoy this nice stretch of boxing while it lasts. The sport’s finally – if not temporarily – in a good place. Pay per view numbers should be the least of fan’s concerns. Just enjoy the boxing.