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Canelo vs. Kovalev: About that Hour and a Half Wait


By: Sean Crose

It may well have been smart business for the DAZN streaming service to make paying customers wait half an eternity to watch this weekend’s Canelo Alvarez -Sergey Kovalev fight. It might also make sense for restaurants to first serve patrons who pull up in the most expensive looking vehicles, no matter how long less lucrative seeming clientele have been waiting. Business is business, after all, and no one says a business has to pay an ounce of respect to those who purchase its product. People are free to spend their money elsewhere.


Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions Twitter Account

Yet it appears DAZN doesn’t believe boxing fans will take their business elsewhere. Either that or the service already feels its foray into boxing is a dud and it’s time to use its resources to appeal to fans of other sports. Regardless, DAZNs decision to wait until a UFC fight ended before airing one of the top boxing events of the year has made clear what it thinks of boxing fans.

And that isn’t much.

Even UFC kingpin Dana White seemed stunned at it all, so blatant was DAZN’s ass kissing of the UFC fans it hoped to lure in to watch a late night boxing match. He was right to seem stunned. It was stunning stuff, so stunning that pictures of Canelo and Kovalev lounging about until the UFC card concluded made their way across the internet.

Not that DAZN had seemed to care. Rather than apologize or make nice with subscribers, the service reportedly boasted afterwards that putting the main event on freeze for ninety minutes paid off. Needles to say, an email to DAZN has yet to be returned (Boxinginsider will notify readers if DAZN responds).

In the meantime, boxing nuts shouldn’t be surprised if DAZN pulls a similar stunt again in the near future. Again, a business isn’t required to respect its customers. And, as things stand, DAZN is apparently feeling its act of what was essentially poor customer service paid off. Besides, sometimes you can see the writing on the wall. It was obvious for a while, for instance, that HBO had tired of boxing.In this case, it certainly doesn’t seem like the folks at DAZN are in love with boxing’s core fanbase.

On the bright side, the Canelo-Kovalev fight proved to be a success. Kovalev, the bigger man and defending WBO light heavyweight champion, flustered Canelo for round after round until the Mexican star caught his man and ended things abruptly late in the fight. Impressive stuff. If only fans got to watch the match sooner.

Much, much sooner.

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Tampa’s A La Carte Event Pavilion Hosts Its Final Boxing Card Friday


By: Sean Crose

Friday night will see the final fight card go down in the arena on Dana Shores Drive in Tampa, Florida. Once known as the Egypt Shrine Temple, the A La Carte Event Pavilion will be hosting its 99th and last evening of boxing this evening. According to All Star Boxing, Inc, the promotional entity behind the night’s bouts, “the main event Friday will be a ten-round super bantamweight bout between Daniel Lozano (14-4, 11 KOs) from Bowling Green, Florida against Ricardo Rodriguez (16-4, 5 KOs) from Mexico City, Mexico now residing in Los Angeles, California.” Tuto Zabala, President of All Star Boxing, Inc, has clear memories of the arena’s boxing history.

“Many promoters have done shows in this building,” he says. “I remember when Brad Jacobs back in the 80’s was doing boxing shows in that I building.” Needless to say, Zabala is pleased to be a part of this evening’s card. “I feel privileged and honored,” he says, “for All Star Boxing, Inc and the Telemundo Network to bid farewell to such an iconic building for boxing fans in Tampa, Florida.” The list of known fighters who have plied their trade in the arena at one time or other is quite impressive.

One particularly memorable fight went down in August of 1984, “when future world champion John ‘The Beast’ Mugabi won by TKO against Frank “The Animal” Fletcher.” Yet there were far more big names than just Mugabi who stepped inside the arena’s ring over the years. Former heavyweight champion James “Bonecrusher” Smith fought there. Former light welterweight kingpin Frankie Randall fought there. What’s more, super featherweight Ender Cherry fought the first fifteen bouts of his career there, as well. Perhaps most notable to modern fans, however, current welterweight star Keith “One Time” Thurman made his professional debut at the arena in 2007.

All Star Boxing, Inc itself has had a notable history at the arena. For the entity “promoted it’s first show at A La Carte in 2010 and Friday’s event will be it’s 19th there.” According to a press release: “Egypt Shrine Temple hosted it’s first of twenty-seven boxing events on October 24, 1982 and the last on November 13, 1998. The first of seventy one boxing events under the present name of A La Carte Event Pavilion took place on April 13, 2002.” That’s a lot of boxing to be held in a place many fight fans unfortunately may have never heard of.

The A La Carte Event Pavilion “was recently sold and faces December demolition.”

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