By: Hans Themistode
The sport of boxing has a tendency to give all of the spotlight and attention to the big names that are associated with it. Fighters such as Errol Spence Jr, Tyson Fury, Canelo Alvarez and plenty more, all have a ton of star power.
The fame and recognition that they receive is well deserved, but it can become detrimental to the careers of younger fighters. Simply put, fighters who fly well below the radar aren’t afforded many, if any opportunities at all.
Helping change that statement is Philadelphia promoter Michelle Rosado, also known as Raging Babe.
For years now, she has taken up and coming prospects as well as fighters who aren’t exactly household names, and has given them a platform to showcase their skills. On March 27th, at the 2300 Arena, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Lightweight prospect Steven Ortiz and Damon Allen will headline “Philly Special.”
No you won’t find some of the bigger names in the sport on this card. You also won’t find any recognizable names either, but if you’re looking for an action packed card on a Saturday night, then you’ve come to the right place. To make things even better for every fighter on the card, they will also get the sort of attention that young fighters dream of thanks to a collaboration.
Raging Babe has partnered up with Impact Network to show her March 27th, card live. What makes this partnership so important? Well, Impact Network contains an audience of over 86 million.
“Impact found room in their schedule to bring Philly Special to its viewers,” said Michelle Rosado. “Lou [DiBella] brought them to the table. I’m grateful that he believed in the show so much. I’m also grateful that he believed in and went to bat for me, and felt so strongly enough it needed to be televised, to make this connection. I think it’s a mutually beneficial opportunity.”
To say that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for every fighter associated on this card would be putting it lightly. Occasions such as these don’t come around very often, but thanks to Raging Babe, it could become a more regular occurrence.
“For some time now, there have been no television platforms for local and regional promoters. Impact is changing that. Promoters and fighters who aren’t getting opportunities on the platforms dominated by big promotional companies will get a shot. They will now be seen in homes across the country. Stevie Ortiz vs. Damon Allen is a tremendous local match-up. Impact Network will give them a chance to show they can fight and move up boxing’s food chain. It’s a win-win for boxing’s middle-class promoters, the ones not supported by hedge funds or by billion dollar television rights fees or streaming services. This is just what boxing needs.”
It comes as no surprise to learn that Lou Di Bella had a helping hand in securing this card on network television. Much like Rosado, Di Bella believes that smaller club shows play a major part in the sport of boxing.
“Philly Special is classic, grassroots, hometown boxing, featuring competitive matchups and world class talent. It deserves a real platform. I’m thrilled that I was able to help secure Impact and its 86 million basic cable homes for my partner Raging Babe,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “It’s been great co-promoting with Michelle, and working with Russell Peltz. I’m thrilled that Steve Marcano and IMPACT shared our enthusiasm about Philly Special. I’m also thrilled that it will be available to virtually all US boxing fans on free TV.”
The excitement for this card stretches far beyond the Rosado, Di Bella, the fighters associated with the card and even the city of Philadelphia. The entire network over at Impact Network shares the same eagerness to get things started.
“What makes Impact special is that it’s so accessible to people,” said Impact Boxing Executive Producer Steven Marcano. ”When DAZN has a card, you have to have a credit card and account to watch. When Showtime has a card, you have to have premium cable to watch. All you need to watch boxing on Impact is the lowest tier cable package. We are in over 86 million homes. We’re making sure that everyone who has basic cable has access to good programming, good sports, and good boxing.”
There isn’t much that can be said or done to turn down the enthusiasm for this fight card. Yet, if there is one thing that Marcano won’t allow, it is the down playing of this event entirely. It may seem like a small card on the larger scale, but he isn’t buying that nonsense.
“I think calling a show a ‘club show’ is old school. If you take the same show and put it on Showtime, it’s no longer a club show. It’s just a Showtime show. Raging Babe has great fights and an excellent game plan. They just need a little more attention and a platform to showcase their events. It’s a smaller venue with limited distribution. Add television and it’s a sold out show in millions of homes, not a club show.”
Whether you consider it a club show or a full blown a major event, Rosado has seemingly done her job by bringing attention to her shows. If all goes well on March 27th, it seems as though this card be the start of a long standing relationship.
“We’re looking forward to working with Raging Babe on this and future cards. Michelle is thorough, and gets the job done.”