By: William Holmes
Much has been written about in the past several months about the arrival of streaming as a viable platform for boxing promoters. Top Rank has aligned themselves with ESPN+, which is available to subscribers for $5 dollars a month. Golden Boy Promotions and Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing have aligned themselves with DAZN, which is available to subscribers for $10 dollars a month.
Both platforms seem intent on convincing promoters to abandon the traditional Pay Per View(PPV) model in favor of the newer streaming model.
Photo Credit: Stephen Espinoza Twitter Account (@StephenEspinoza)
However, there’s still one major player in the sport of boxing that isn’t aligned with any streaming service, and they appear to be focused on their relationship with Fox Sports and Showtime with an eye towards PPV for their bigger fights.
That player is Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).
HBO’s retreat from the Pay Per View Boxing business left a hole that the PBC appears to be more than ready to fill. On Saturday December 1st they’ll put on Heavyweight Title Fight on PPV between undefeated Tyson Fury and undefeated champion Deontay Wilder.
The Heavyweight division was considered to be boxing’s golden division in the Pay-Per-View business before Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. came along, and it is still the division that attracts casuals to the sport with its propensity for knockouts.
But the undercard for December’s heavyweight pay per view attraction shows the PBC’s serious commitment to PPV.
There appears to be at least nine different fights which showcase a boxer who has previously headlined a big event, holds a world title, or is line for a future title shot.
Jarrett Hurd will be defending his junior middleweight title in the co-main event with a possible shot against one of the Charlo brothers hanging in the balance. Luis Ortiz is looking for another title shot and will be facing Travis Kauffman in the heavyweight division. Anthony Yarde and Joe Joyce are two boxers who have been making a name for themselves in the United Kingdom and will be fighting stateside on December 1st in separate bouts. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is still a big name that carries a lot of attention, and he’ll be facing the always tough and former title challenger Alfredo Angulo.
Wait, there’s more…
Mark Barriga and Carlos Licona are also fighting on the undercard for the vacant IBF Strawweight Title. Chris Arreola is still a big name in the heavyweight division, and he’s facing Maurenzo Smith. Former world titlist Robert Guerrero is coming out of retirement to make his return in the welterweight division.
There’s a lot of fights and fighters on this card that are capable of headlining their own card on Showtime or Fox Sports that will be featured on this PPV. A card stacked with this much talent shows PBC’s commitment to the PPV model.
But, their PPV commitment doesn’t stop at the heavyweight division.
The PBC is expected to announce an upcoming PPV fight with Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner. Pacquiao, a long time client of Top Rank Promotions, is still a big pay per view draw if he is matched up with the right opponent. The only viable pay per view opponent Pacquiao had with Top Rank was Terence Crawford. Even though Crawford’s skills as a boxer and undeniable and he would probably be considered a favorite if he fought Pacquiao, he hasn’t shown that he has the name recognition to sell pay per view.
Broner is just one of many fascinating matchups that the PBC has for Pacquiao. Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter, and even Mikey Garcia are all possible opponents for Pacquiao that could eventually wind up on pay per view.
Most importantly, a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a more realistic possibility now that Pacquiao has signed with the PBC.
The PBC has also announced a PPV fight between Errol Spence Jr. and Mikey Garcia. Garcia brings the loyalty of the Mexican boxing fan base into play when it comes to pay per view buys and Spence is considered by many to be one of the top pound for pound talents in the sport today. It’s a good fight worthy of pay per view, but probably won’t sell as well as most Pacquiao or Mayweather PPVs.
What about the Charlo brothers? They’re highly entertaining and have engaging personalities. They’re two other highly talented boxers on the PBC roster with PPV potential, provided they can find quality opponents.
The co-main event of December 1st features one such opponent, IBF/WBA Junior Middleweight Champion Jarret Hurd.
The talent that the PBC has on their roster is undeniable. Can they turn that talent into PPV success? Wilder vs. Fury and the signing of Manny Pacquiao shows they’re certainly going to try.