On Saturday, the unfortunate economic reality of professional boxing as we know it will be on display. Evander Holyfield, 44 ½ years old, will look to rumble his way past Lou Savarese, on his way to attempting to regain a heavyweight title for the fifth time since he turned professional back in 1984.
The fight, to be held in El Paso, Texas, will be available to the curious on a pay-per-view basis, so that means that 100,000 or so of you will have to shell out $29.95 of your take home pay to the cable company for the privilege of seeing what the two old-in-boxing-years fellas have left.
I’m of course not interested in diminishing the returns for Main Events, and wouldn’t suggest that you not splurge for the event, but I will inform TSS readers that I will be the Sonny Corleone for you.
I will take the bullet, in the form of the PPV charge, and pony up for the event, and will report on the action on Saturday evening.
I say I will be your Sonny because I have taken a parcel of bullets over the years now, and like Sonny on the causeway, have the wounds (in the form of bloated monthly cable bills) to prove my dedication to this craft.
It would be nice if it weren’t so, and some of these sort of semi-interesting but not-completely-compelling events were offered to us on broadcast TV, or regular cable, or even premium cable, at least.
But the economic reality is, if an HBO or Showtime isn’t willing to put up money to buy a fight, then promoters have to go this PPV route to make it worth the fighters’ while. Holyfield still commands Holyfield money, and that money must come from somewhere.
Compare boxing, our alluring and demanding mistress, to UFC. Watch a UFC show, and note that the logos of mainstream firms like Microsoft, the maker of Xbox, and Burger King, pay to have their logos stamped on the floor of the Octagon. On your typical PPV boxing card, I see logos of companies that I have never heard of stamped on the canvas. Freethefan.com is I’m sure a wonderful outfit, but can they toss around money like Bill Gates can? Maybe one day, but not now.
So call me Sonny, for now, and check in with us Saturday night to get the lowdown on the status of Evanders’ improbable quest.
Hey, there was an interesting interview with Holy in the NY Daily News today that you might have missed.
He talked with columnist Vic Ziegel, one of the very best in that arena, and he was talking about his fight with Seamus McDonagh, in 1990.
“I asked myself, ‘What did they do to this guy? Did they blow air into him?” Holyfield said, as he remembered McDonagh as a skinnier lad, in the neighborhood of 180 pounds. McDonagh weighed 211 for their encounter.
“But he (McDonagh) had zits all over him. He had to be on something,” Holyfield said to Ziegel.
That’s an interesting recollection and charge to make, considering Real Deal has that whole steroids cloud hanging over his head. Does that make you think that he’s clean and serene, and that the steroids charge fired by Sports Illustrated in February is, as he’s said, erroneous?
McDonagh is currently acting in Bobby Cassidy’s play in NYC, playing a character based on Cassidy’s dad. The play, “Kid Shamrock,” plays tonight and tomorrow at the Producers Club, 358 W. 44th Street in Manhattan. If you’re going, you might wanna broach the subject, if you’re feeling all Jim Gray, with McDonagh. Tix to the Cassidy play can be obtained by calling TheaterMania at 212-352-3101.