This business of paying good money for bad exhibitions disguised as prizefights has gotten out of hand. The whole notion of pay-per-view made a little sense (albeit begrudging sense) when it first began, as it lent as air of something special, for want of a better word, to that which we’d grown accustomed to seeing for free. Not that the fans didn’t feel ripped-off they did and do but they understood that PPV was the way of the future and, like most ways of the future, it was going to happen without our consultation, but with lots of dread in its place.
With the recent slew of third-rate pay-per-view extravaganzas Taylor-Hopkins II, the Tarver-Jones III, those drab heavyweight cards the PPV experiment needs to be reassessed, or declared a failure.
Those behind this phenomenon will find more excuses than Taylor and Hopkins threw punches to help us explain away that gnawing feeling inside. We can almost hear the doubletalk now: styles make fights; it’s boxing and anything, pro or con, can happen; the game isn’t what it used to be; the talent pool is so thin as to keep making consistently meaningful fights next to impossible; it’s Bernard’s fault. (Feel free to insert the excuse of your choice at the end of this graph to defend an indefensible business model.)
We know the cable giants are bottom line businesses where profit is God and everything else is atheistic. That’s fine, they’re not alone, it’s the way of the world, but the time will come has come for those who love the fights and respect the fighters to stop forking it over in the vain hope we’ll be entertained and not bored out of our minds.
Because democracy in boxing is as illusory as democracy in Iraq, and often as bloody, we have no other choice but to make our voices heard by voting with our pocketbooks. Maybe if no one tunes into this nonsense they’ll stop foisting this selfsame nonsense on a public that should know better. Maybe profiting from gullibility is just another word for that’s the way it is; and if that’s the way it is, well, a pox on all their houses. But for the fight game to suffer and for the fans to feel had is the sort of madness worth fighting against.
If you agree with the above statement keep your money to yourselves. If you disagree, enjoy Taylor-Hopkins III.