It’s amazing how close fans can get to their favorite fighters with the help of modern-day Internet.
Curious about a fighter’s favorite music and movies? Add him as a friend on Facebook. Want to know what a fighter is up to every waking minute of the day? Follow him on Twitter. Interested in seeing a fighter hit the mitts in training camp? Just type his name in on YouTube.
If you’re lucky, you’ll even be able to interact with fighters through these sites on a daily basis. The new age of boxing fandom is here.
But fight aficionados aren’t the only ones to benefit from today’s surge in web technology. In fact, they’re probably far less grateful for the added exposure than the fighters themselves, who are now able to have their fights regularly televised, both live and on-demand, on the Net.
Live bouts online are the coolest new feature the Internet offers the boxing world. Far less often do fans have to miss their favorite pug’s bouts, and fighters can now showcase their talent to the entire world.
Several video-streaming sites have taken advantage of the countless fights that aren’t traditionally televised by assembling camera and broadcasting crews to show bouts exclusively online. Gofightlive.tv has been the clear vanguard of this group, showing hundreds of live boxing and MMA fights on its site since 2007. The site began by broadcasting fights rather infrequently but has upped its combat coverage significantly over the past year, now showing up to two full fight cards a week.
The success of Internet-broadcasted fights is regularly breeding more media outlets dedicated to showing boxing online. Some Web sites are digging their niche even deeper by broadcasting strictly provincial cards.
Peter Czymbor, a Brockton, Massachusetts-based radio host and boxing nut, has been studying the impact of Internet boxing broadcasts since he produced the John Duddy-Charles Howe card in June of 2008 for SecondsOut.com and BoxingHerald.com. The three fights he put online have accumulated over 100,000 views on YouTube since they were posted. That success, coupled with Czymbor’s die-hard love for the sport, led him to launch his own video-streaming site, Nesportstv.com, in April.
Czymbor hopes that Nesportstv, short for New England Sports Television, will help fill the void of untelevised boxing in New England that not even Go Fight Live can cover alone. Although the site will also feature coverage of popular New England sports teams, Czymbor believes that its fight broadcasts will be its biggest hit because of the region’s desire to see local pugs swap leather.
“Our first broadcast was boxing, and New England has pretty good prospects like Edwin Rodriguez and Danny O’Connor,” said Czymbor. “People will want to see those guys fight.”
Like Gofightlive, Nesportstv will show fights both live and on-demand so fans don’t miss a single punch. And as a fan, Czymbor feels that’s the way it should be.
“A few years ago Peter Manfredo fought against Sherwin Davis and I couldn’t attend the fight live,” said Czymbor. “And the fact that it wasn’t on TV blew me away. I said to myself, ‘This just isn’t right. I’m not the only one who wants to see this fight. The lack of [traditional] coverage is unfair to boxing.’”
But the unfairness of televised fighting has made a 180-degree turn, and the future looks even brighter. With the entire world adjusting to faster Internet speeds and more sites looking to showcase matches, fans can expect to see all of their favorite boxer’s fights, no matter where, when, or how significant. It’s amazing how close fans can get to their favorite fighters with the help of modern-day Internet.
GoFightLive.Tv’s bouts, both scheduled and archived, can be found at http://www.gofightlive.tv/priv/showFightCatalog.do;jsessionid=941BF424465EAFB81230AE152BF1E9DD. NeSportsTv.com will broadcast the Brian Minto-Donnell Holmes fight Friday night live on pay-per-view.