Pay Per View, Boxing and the Damage Done

I came home the evening of February 15, 1978 to find my stepfather in front of the TV, cackling like a keeper of crypts. He was a Vietnam vet, and the thing that was bringing him joy was there on national television. Leon Spinks was beating Muhammad Ali. Just walking in on the event, I asked him what was happening.

“Spinks is about to beat that draft dodging son of a bitch!” he squealed.

“Oh no!” I replied.

I suppose I can point out now I never did like my stepfather very much, but that’s a story for another time.

As fight fans already know, Spinks did take the bout in a split decision in one of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport. I went to bed brokenhearted that night—Ali has always been a hero of mine. Little did I know, that the saddest thing that happened that evening wasn’t Ali’s loss (he would avenge the defeat just seven months later). No, the thing that hurts the most now is knowing that will never happen again. I now know I will never walk through the door of my home and again find a boxing match of any significance on regular television. As unfortunate as that truth may be for me, it has been much worse for the sport I grew up on and still love to this day.

I may have just recently entered my middle ages, but when it comes to loving the art of fisticuffs, I already feel like a dinosaur. I have literally one friend in my life whom I can talk to about boxing and know he is up on current events. To all my other sports loving friends, I am a fringe dweller. Hell, I know more people who follow the Tour de France than boxing nowadays. Think about that, Americans getting excited about a bunch of guys riding a bike through the mountains, en francais no less, instead of one of the most compelling and immediate sports ever invented. Don’t Americans hate the French anyway?

There is a reason boxing has been relegated to a lower tier sport. It’s not because of the corruption, the bad judging, the porous state of the heavyweight division (I know, I know, it’s not the Klitschko’s fault), or even fights like Mayweather-Pacquiao never happening. Sure, all those issues are of genuine concern, but it pales in comparison to one simple fact. The casual fan has no access to the premier fights in the sport without coming out of pocket in a way no other major sport asks you to do.

The first boxing match to broadcast through PPV was Ali-Frazier 3, the “Thrilla in Manilla” in 1975. It wasn’t until the early 80’s that PPV really started to take over the most significant matches in the fight game. Duran/Leonard and Leonard/Hearns were so successful that the practice became the norm throughout the decade and the use of PPV is now the accepted standard.

The reason for this is clear.

Money.

A lot of it. Mike Tyson vs. Lennox Lewis brought in nearly $107 million in 2002 and Mayweather/de la Hoya topped $120 million. That’s like, real money. Not only for the fighters, but for the various promoters too. It is not however, good for the sport.

It’s hard to create new fans when the best fighters in the game are seldom accessible unless their tune-up fight is against a lower level opponent. In the case of someone like Mayweather or Pac, that doesn’t even happen. People become fans of a sport through regular access to the best the game has to offer. That simply doesn’t happen with boxing. Not only has the sport lost an entire generation to the short term PPV benefit of fast money, but over the last decade, MMA has become a legitimate competitor in the field of combat sports. Of course, the UFC is now entering the PPV arena with regularity as well, chasing boxing down the same rabbit hole.

Obviously, those cleaning up on PPV (the promoters, the various alphabet orgs, and a select few fighters) have the control over the pervasiveness of its use, and anyone who knows anything about boxing knows we are stuck with this system. It is a painfully shortsighted business plan though. Much like the United States economy, too great a percentage of the income and power is held by too few and those happy few have no interest in the long term health of the venture. It’s all “I got mine, screw you.” In case you’re wondering, that “you” is probably the you reading this right now.

As it stands now, there are essentially three tiers levels of boxing on television. PPV for the marquee fights. Showtime/HBO for the tier level just below that, and finally ESPN and the fledgling Fox, CBS, and NBC cable sports networks for the lower rung fights. The days of the major networks showing any fights at all are long gone. So, the only way to see a boxing match on television is to have at least basic cable. And even then you’ll be stuck with journeymen and—if you’re lucky—up and comers on Friday Night Fights, while Teddy Atlas waxes less than poetically, using analogies that both puzzle and amuse. Otherwise, you need an upgraded package to include HBO or Showtime for the better fights and then come off even more money to see the best contests. Much like trickle-down economics, this makes it hard on the middle class and blue collar types to take an interest in an endeavor they just might enjoy, should they ever be able to view it.

This all but ensures that the sport will continue to decline in popularity and be left with nothing but aging die-hards—like, gulp, me—as fans. To be honest, I’m not so sure we aren’t already there. Oh sure, there will be some exceptions—there always are—and there will be a bottom to the decline. But as long as people will have to pay $75 to watch Floyd Mayweather fight an all too carefully matched opponent with a lousy undercard preceding his bout, boxing will remain on the outer limits, and even those die-hards like me will start wondering what else could have been done with that money. 75 bucks is three oil changes, 5 six packs of my favorite craft beer, a couple of nice dinners, et cetera, et cetera. If those thoughts already cross my mind, what do you think is going through the minds of those who are not already initiated into our extraordinary sport? I can answer that for you. Anything but boxing.

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COMMENTS

-michigan400 :

I used to buy almost every PPV fight plus had the HBO/Showtime package on the dish. Long story short, got rid of the dish due to financial reasons (in 2008) and have never seriously considered getting it back. I was paying, on average, over $100 per month just to get my boxing fix. That's $1200 plus a year!! TO WATCH TV. No thanks. I just settle for live updates online and then try and find a uploaded version of the fight after it's been on and everyone knows who won already. Takes some of the fun out of it but so did paying over $1200 a year. I love boxing and wish I could still see these big fights as they happen but the hands in my pockets were too much. The PPV's are not even that great nowdays. The downside for getting rid of them though, could be "corporate sponsored" fighters being the only ones with free tv dates. Please welcome to the ring Floyd "Preperation H" Mayweatherrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!! LOL!! Seriously though,,,,, it could happen.


-The Shadow :

Well, for those of you who dislike Al 'Django' Haymon, he's actually actively trying to get rid of these exorbitant PPV costs. Shoot, the guy is PAYING MONEY to bring the sport to what fans have been clamoring for years, a return to network TV, a bigger platform, yet people still downplay it and call it bad for boxing. I mean, come on. Really starting to lose faith here. Like Radam says, we may see the biggest draw fight on CBS in the highest rated fight ever.


-Froggy :

When I was a kid, in the 50's, my father bought our first TV, the only reason he bought one was for the Friday Night Fights ! I would think many households in the 50's got their first TV for the same reason, times have definitely changed for the worse for boxing ! If tsAH, helps bring back boxing to regular TV, I will be quite happy about it, and boxing would benefit greatly !


-The Commish :

When I was a kid, in the 50's, my father bought our first TV, the only reason he bought one was for the Friday Night Fights ! I would think many households in the 50's got their first TV for the same reason, times have definitely changed for the worse for boxing ! If tsAH, helps bring back boxing to regular TV, I will be quite happy about it, and boxing would benefit greatly !
Sure, television accounted for the rise in boxing's popularity, and perhaps, in part, for its decline by over-exposing the sport. In the 1980's, boxing was on all three major TV networks (ABC, CBS and NBC), as well as on HBO, USA Network, ESPN, the MSG Network, SportsChannel, the Sunshine Network and dozens of other networks around the USA. Then, the major networks shut down their coverage of boxing. So did USA. So did MSG. Then came more ratings organizations, more weight divisions and more championships. There are more champions now in every division than there are legitimate contenders. Their are World Champions and Super World Champions. There are Silver Champions and Interim Champions. There are Intercontinental and International Champions. Geez, in a recent fight, one guy was defending his Super World Title against an Interim Champion for the right to face the World Champion. WTF is that all about? Didn't Ruslan Chagaev recently beat Fres Oquendo for the WBA Heavyweight Championship? He sure did. But wait! Isn't Wladimir Klitschko the holder of the WBA Heavyweight Title, along with the IBF, IBO and WBO belts? Yes, he is. However, his WBA belt is for the Super World Heavyweight Title. Chagaev's is just for the WBA "regular" heavyweight title. Isn't one heavyweight title belt enough? Not to a sanctioning body, which can pick up another sanctioning fee for each title. So, they get richer as they water down the product. And, you watch. If Shannon Briggs--who has been on a one man P.R. mission to fight Klitschko--should be given a title shot against Wladimir, the other organizations may not recognize the winner, and vacate the title, leaving three of the four belts open. Think, then we can have five heavyweight champions, plus some "regular" heavyweight champions and Silver heavyweight champions thrown in. With International and Intercontinental and Interim belts also thrown in, the Top-25 heavyweights can all be champion. It's not just PPV which did this, fellas. It's the Good 'ol Boys of the Alphabet Soup orgs, too. Let me see, if $$$May can fight GGG at a catchweight for the... -Randy G.


-Froggy :

You will get no argument from me Randy G, about anything you just posted, but don't you feel that a return to Network Television would have to help the sport !


-The Commish :

You will get no argument from me Randy G, about anything you just posted, but don't you feel that a return to Network Television would have to help the sport !
There is no question in my mind that a return to network television--let's go as far as saying on network television on a weekend afternoon--will increase boxing's popularity. But right now, that's a stretch. I loved the fact that Kovalev-Hopkins was not on PPV. It gave a chance for so many of our friends, relatives, neighbors and colleagues to watch the fight on HBO, when the normally would not have viewed it had it been on PPV. A majority of them came away saying they enjoyed watching the fight, and would, without question, watch another boxing event which featured either Kovalev or Hopkins. Boxing rose to prominence decades ago with massive TV exposure, then slowly sunk, partially because of the same medium, which over-exposed it. Now, ironically, the medium which helped introduce the sport to millions and helped build it, then eventually send the sport into Intensive Care, may once again play a part in boxing's growth and revival. My guess is, as the promtional landscape in boxing chamges and as more promoters become involved and as more television stations and cable providers step back into the industry, boxing will experience another wave of success. My guess is also this: The wave of popularity that's headed towards boxing is going to be its biggest yet. I'm hoping it's going to be more than a wave. I'm hoping for a tsunami of popularity! -Randy G.


-Pazuzu :

The Commish is right on regarding the proliferation of alphabet titles and their detrimental effect on the sport, but I give the most recent PPVs about as much attention as I do the most recent Michael Bay blockbuster (which is to say: none). Mayweather vs Maidana II? Pacquiao vs Bradley II? Please. If I buy Pacquiao - Algieri at all, it will be to watch the Lomachenko fight. Golden Boy is promoting Canelo as the next PPV star, but its all he's hardly worth it. It's all about marketing and dollars, which is fine. If folks want to shell out money to watch that stuff, let 'em. I'll watch it a week later on my regular HBO/Showtime subscription without paying an extra dime. The best fights I've seen in the past few years have all been non-pay per view anyway. Golovkin, B-Hop, Kovalev, Nicholas Walters, V-Lo? I'll watch those dudes all day long and never have to shell out for a PPV bout. So, I guess I'd have to disagree with David Phillips's lament about the damage done by PPVs, because I don't think the best fights today are on PPV anyway. Yeah, I miss watching Iron Mike and Marvelous Marvin on the Wide World of Sports with my old man, but honestly, I don't have to wait for a network broadcast now anyway. As a kid in central Illinois back in the 80's, if I had wanted to watch the Thrilla in Manilla? Forget about it. No chance. Someone had it locked away in a vault. It was the stuff of legends. Today, any fight ever recorded is on YouTube. My cup runneth over. If next week's PPV stinks, I'll go online, pull up some classic bout I've never seen before, see a great fight, and learn more about the history of the sport. Forget about PPV's. The sanctioning bodies, exclusive network deals, certain promoters/managers, and bad judges do much more to damage the sport. But for anyone who wants to see great boxing and is willing to go a little bit beneath the surface, we're living in a golden age.


-sumopop :

As a person who's already a fan, Pazuzu, your point makes sense. In terms of growing the sport, PPV is a problem. If you want to make casual fans hardcore or even attract casual ones in the first place, you have to create easier access. Pay cable and PPV do not do that.


-The Commish :

As a person who's already a fan, Pazuzu, your point makes sense. In terms of growing the sport, PPV is a problem. If you want to make casual fans hardcore or even attract casual ones in the first place, you have to create easier access. Pay cable and PPV do not do that.
I am not sure what Al Haymon has planned, but he says he will be implementing a plan very soon which will eventually make PPV obsolete and increase the increase the exposure fighters are now getting. I also believe The Fight Channel is a huge step in the right direction...which our own Michael Woods is part of. -Randy G.


-The Shadow :

The Commish is right on regarding the proliferation of alphabet titles and their detrimental effect on the sport, but I give the most recent PPVs about as much attention as I do the most recent Michael Bay blockbuster (which is to say: none). Mayweather vs Maidana II? Pacquiao vs Bradley II? Please. If I buy Pacquiao - Algieri at all, it will be to watch the Lomachenko fight. Golden Boy is promoting Canelo as the next PPV star, but its all he's hardly worth it. It's all about marketing and dollars, which is fine. If folks want to shell out money to watch that stuff, let 'em. I'll watch it a week later on my regular HBO/Showtime subscription without paying an extra dime. The best fights I've seen in the past few years have all been non-pay per view anyway. Golovkin, B-Hop, Kovalev, Nicholas Walters, V-Lo? I'll watch those dudes all day long and never have to shell out for a PPV bout. So, I guess I'd have to disagree with David Phillips's lament about the damage done by PPVs, because I don't think the best fights today are on PPV anyway. Yeah, I miss watching Iron Mike and Marvelous Marvin on the Wide World of Sports with my old man, but honestly, I don't have to wait for a network broadcast now anyway. As a kid in central Illinois back in the 80's, if I had wanted to watch the Thrilla in Manilla? Forget about it. No chance. Someone had it locked away in a vault. It was the stuff of legends.
Today, any fight ever recorded is on YouTube. My cup runneth over. If next week's PPV stinks, I'll go online, pull up some classic bout I've never seen before, see a great fight, and learn more about the history of the sport. Forget about PPV's. The sanctioning bodies, exclusive network deals, certain promoters/managers, and bad judges do much more to damage the sport. But for anyone who wants to see great boxing and is willing to go a little bit beneath the surface, we're living in a golden age.
Chart-worthy post right here. Roast, don't be a Tom Kaczmaroast! People whine far too much about being cheated out of fights. What's with this disgusting entitlement? Where I grew up, we didn't even have fights broadcast really outside of local Mogens Palle shows. I learned about fights by reading and memorizing fight reports from the '70s and '80s and trying to visualize them in my head. That's how I "watched" fights. As I got older, I would either buy a sh*tload of overpriced VHS tapes imported from London or record a VHS from another recorded VHS of a German broadcast. Then I "graduated" to buying bootleg fight DVDs from New York and picking up documentaries. I remember in December of 1995, they were broadcasting a five-part documentary on Muhammad Ali. I missed the last episode because I was moving in with my dad and he wouldn't let me stay up late to watch it. That was the part with Larry Holmes, footage that was nowhere to be found. I remember being P*SSED about that for YEARS because it was impossible to track down the part with Holmes. I didn't get to see that till YouTube. With YouTube, we can do just as you say. There's plenty to go around. "The cup runneth over." Plus, these old a$$ promoters are not taking advantage of their catalogs and different innovative ways to deliver content. For instance, when there's a slow weekend of fights, why not throw together a "card" with some of your best welterweights bouts and distribute it on a special, say, Top Rank app? To be frank, Pazuzu, I don't believe in that excuse about being "cheated out of fights." It's just a convenient cop-out excuse/outlet for irrational hate from losers to winners. That's all that is. For a brief stretch, people were really clamoring for Lucas Matthysse to face off against Danny Garcia in a matchup between the absolute best at 140 squaring off. People said Danny would duck! He would run! The Lamont Peterson destruction put fear in his heart! Al Haymon won't allow it! Yet it happened. And guess what. People didn't give a damn after it was over. You know how I know they didn't give a damn? Because they went right back to complaining. They went right back to criticizing the dude who not only took the fight -- but WON the fight -- everyone said he would avoid. Less than a year later, he has become the 2014 poster boy for easy fights even though everyone's darling is feasting on corpses, as the Good Doctor pointed out. I asked on a thread for a reason why people disliked him and not the other, the best response I got was that Garcia's dad was annoying and that Garcia thanked his manager. Seriously. All in all, there are plenty of great fights being shown and even if there are not, there are plenty to find. And speaking of YouTube, ironically, one of the very first videos I remember YouTube allowing over 10 minutes in length was this fight. Next time anyone wants to "whinge and moan," as Carl Froch would say, simply sit back, relax and have a look at this fight gem, an encounter described best by the announcer, "This isn't artistic! But it is slugging -- the way the public wants it!" Enjoy:


-the Roast :

Again trying to influence the judge. Gotta take two points away this time. Two points, two points, two points. One more time and you get DQed the Shadow, one more time and I run you. Do you understand?


-The Shadow :

LOL alright, alright. My bad, ref. Just ridin' for Pazuzu, showing the new cat sum luv. I'll keep it clean.


-the Roast :

I had to go Mills Lane on your asss right there. Don't worry about anybody else's post. Let's say I give the new guy 1st prize. Then everybody else out there is thinking "whoa the Roast did what the Shadow told him to do, the Roast is a piece of ****!" After a slow first week the last few days have seen a slew of great posts pop up. I got 10 great ones and only 3 prizes. Luckily the Roast strikes like a hammer and the correct calls will be made. Alone I will bear the burden of the disappointed ones. Alone with my keyboard soaked with tears.


-The Shadow :

I had to go Mills Lane on your asss right there. Don't worry about anybody else's post. Let's say I give the new guy 1st prize. Then everybody else out there is thinking "whoa the Roast did what the Shadow told him to do, the Roast is a piece of ****!" After a slow first week the last few days have seen a slew of great posts pop up. I got 10 great ones and only 3 prizes. Luckily the Roast strikes like a hammer and the correct calls will be made. Alone I will bear the burden of the disappointed ones. Alone with my keyboard soaked with tears.
No worries, I'll FedEx some Kleenex. Then we can virtually weep together.


-The Commish :

The announcer on the call of that incredible George Foreman v Ron Lyle slugfest was none other than the inimitable Howard Cosell. I just watched it three more times! -Randy G.


-Pazuzu :

The announcer on the call of that incredible George Foreman v Ron Lyle slugfest was none other than the inimitable Howard Cosell. I just watched it three more times! -Randy G.
"Inimitable" is a great Howard Cosell word... Shadow, that's exactly the kind of fight I was talking about. What a chin on Foreman! Nobody fights like that any more... But it just goes to show we don't need PPVs or even premium cable to see incredible fights these days. Separate question for the Commish: AJ Liebling blamed televised boxing for decline of club fights. With the proliferation of boxing available on all kinds of different media platforms now, what's your sense of grass roots interest in the sport? Is it picking up?


-Yogo :

Whoa!! Two of my pick of the years posts from Pazuzu and Shadow right there. Since the advent of Youtube, every xmas, me and the boys in the family watch all the F'sOTY, then chose an oldie. Every year its been George v Ron. I watch my substriction of Sky Sport's with Slick Eddie Hearn's gang. (Nice stable don't you think guys?) And then Sunday evenings catch up with maybe half a dozen from around the globe. My cuppeth it overfloweth and i love it. Going back to the 'damage done'. The powers that be figure there's more bread to be made excluding the masses. Strange quirk of Capitalism. It ain't gonna change.


-Kid Blast :

Good stuff. informational. Thank you. Speaking of which, why don't the authors of these articles ever engage the posters?


-The Commish :

"Inimitable" is a great Howard Cosell word... Shadow, that's exactly the kind of fight I was talking about. What a chin on Foreman! Nobody fights like that any more... But it just goes to show we don't need PPVs or even premium cable to see incredible fights these days. Separate question for the Commish: AJ Liebling blamed televised boxing for decline of club fights. With the proliferation of boxing available on all kinds of different media platforms now, what's your sense of grass roots interest in the sport? Is it picking up?
I have no real way of knowing if boxing is gaining in popularity or not. Although I do a boxing show on SiriusXM Radio, I am not privvy to what our listening audience is. However, I do know this: At SiriusXM, shows which do not get favorable numbers are cut rather quickly by "the suits" within the company. Those "suits" came to me and Gerry Cooney a year ago and told us they'd like us to do a second show. Then they started giving us "Boxing Specials," shows commemorating the anniversary of a boxing event or the death of a boxing celebrity. In the last few months alone, we have done "Specials" on the death of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter and on the 40th anniversary of the "Rumble in the Jungle." We were just told that next Saturday, at 1:00a.m. (ET), we will be doing an "Algieri-Pacquiao Post-Fight Special," where we break down and talk about what we just watched, as well as take phone calls from around the world. IZf boxing wasn't popular, nobody would be listening. Cooney and I would not have a show. Boxing IS popular. The listeners are there and the audience IS growing. For that reason, SiriusXM's execs keep throwing more shows at us. Boxing's growing popularity translates to how many people are heading to boxing gyms and health clubs, looking to lace on the gloves. With clients of all ages, gyms are increasing in business. Most noticeable is the amount of how many new clients are trying their hand at the sweet science. Many just use the sport as a great workout, while others are taking it a few notches higher by hiring a boxing trainer, working out several days a week and engaging in sparring sessions. Television built boxing, television nearly killed it and now the groundswell of televised boxing is bringing the sport back to prominence. It will take time, and while boxing will never surpass the popularity of the NFL, individual events--such as Chris Algieri v Manny Pacquiao--capture the imagination and transcend the sport to where even those who watch little to no boxing become interested. The other night, while out to dinner with my wife, we overheard three couples at the next table talking about Algieri-Pacquiao. We heard one of them say he was making plans to throw a party at his house on the night of the fight. Naturally, I had to become involved in their conversation. Within the next 10 minutes, my wife and I had been invited to their party. Given that I will be on the air with the Algieri-Pacquiao Post Fight Special," I had to decline their offer. The one whose house the party is over said they have a SiriusXM radio, and will be tuned into my special at 1:00a.m. Grass roots? Those are six people who never watch or listen to boxing. Those are six new fans of the sport. The three women among them all seemed to be genuinely excited about watching the fight. I sure hope they get to see a good fight. I believe boxing is well on its way back to popularity. With the heavyweight division poised for lots of big fights in 2015, boxing's popularity will rise even more. -Randy G.


-Kid Blast :

Whatever is being done is being done to make the most money. That is the nature of business. Haymon will not do us nay favors unless there is something in it for him. Sounds like a corporate plan that will help the employees just before they are Riffed. The only way to bring PPV prices down is not to pay for them. It's called the laws of elasticity or price determination based on supply and demand.


-Pazuzu :

I have no real way of knowing if boxing is gaining in popularity or not. Although I do a boxing show on SiriusXM Radio, I am not privvy to what our listening audience is. However, I do know this: At SiriusXM, shows which do not get favorable numbers are cut rather quickly by "the suits" within the company. Those "suits" came to me and Gerry Cooney a year ago and told us they'd like us to do a second show. Then they started giving us "Boxing Specials," shows commemorating the anniversary of a boxing event or the death of a boxing celebrity. In the last few months alone, we have done "Specials" on the death of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter and on the 40th anniversary of the "Rumble in the Jungle." We were just told that next Saturday, at 1:00a.m. (ET), we will be doing an "Algieri-Pacquiao Post-Fight Special," where we break down and talk about what we just watched, as well as take phone calls from around the world. IZf boxing wasn't popular, nobody would be listening. Cooney and I would not have a show. Boxing IS popular. The listeners are there and the audience IS growing. For that reason, SiriusXM's execs keep throwing more shows at us. Boxing's growing popularity translates to how many people are heading to boxing gyms and health clubs, looking to lace on the gloves. With clients of all ages, gyms are increasing in business. Most noticeable is the amount of how many new clients are trying their hand at the sweet science. Many just use the sport as a great workout, while others are taking it a few notches higher by hiring a boxing trainer, working out several days a week and engaging in sparring sessions. Television built boxing, television nearly killed it and now the groundswell of televised boxing is bringing the sport back to prominence. It will take time, and while boxing will never surpass the popularity of the NFL, individual events--such as Chris Algieri v Manny Pacquiao--capture the imagination and transcend the sport to where even those who watch little to no boxing become interested. The other night, while out to dinner with my wife, we overheard three couples at the next table talking about Algieri-Pacquiao. We heard one of them say he was making plans to throw a party at his house on the night of the fight. Naturally, I had to become involved in their conversation. Within the next 10 minutes, my wife and I had been invited to their party. Given that I will be on the air with the Algieri-Pacquiao Post Fight Special," I had to decline their offer. The one whose house the party is over said they have a SiriusXM radio, and will be tuned into my special at 1:00a.m. Grass roots? Those are six people who never watch or listen to boxing. Those are six new fans of the sport. The three women among them all seemed to be genuinely excited about watching the fight. I sure hope they get to see a good fight. I believe boxing is well on its way back to popularity. With the heavyweight division poised for lots of big fights in 2015, boxing's popularity will rise even more. -Randy G.
Interesting point about the all the new boxing gyms and health clubs. Boxing gyms sprouted all over my area in the past few years. Some good fights in boxing's glamour division would be something else too. We're also seeing a new crop of exciting fighters from 147 to 175 pounds really come into their own. The old guard, personified by Mayweather, Pacquiao and Clinchko will be on their way out soon. The new guns are eager make their mark, and like to bang. We'll see some great fights in the next two years that should get some mainstream attention.


-Hammer Hands :

What if PPV is actually the savior of boxing? What if generating large amounts of cash ensured that the sport stayed alive? What if PPV allowed the highest paid athlete in the world to be a boxer? I know boxing is here to stay because it generates large amounts of money through PPV. People don't let revenue streams like that die. Where there is money, there are people looking to get rich, and that is what keeps boxing alive. Where there are opportunities to get rich, you will find the best competition fighting for that money. "Prize fighting" thrives on the size of the prize. Fighters today get to fight for fame and fortune. You have to fight for fame on the networks and cable, and then for fortune if you earn a PPV. A Lamborghini is the PPV of cars, its just an overpriced sports car. The rich person wants it because the commoners can't have it. After the rich person gets the Lamborghini, the commoner's think the Lamborghini is something quite special, and forget that its actually just an over priced sports car. You can say Lamborghini is like the PPV, and Hyundai is the network. One is actually attained by the masses, and the other by only a few. Hyundai reaches many more buyers, but Lamborghini sparks much more desire. Boxing without big PPV events is like the NFL without the Superbowl, if there aren't any overpriced and overhyped events, then it loses its importance and becomes too attainable.


-Skibbz :

What if PPV is actually the savior of boxing? What if generating large amounts of cash ensured that the sport stayed alive? What if PPV allowed the highest paid athlete in the world to be a boxer? I know boxing is here to stay because it generates large amounts of money through PPV. People don't let revenue streams like that die. Where there is money, there are people looking to get rich, and that is what keeps boxing alive. Where there are opportunities to get rich, you will find the best competition fighting for that money. "Prize fighting" thrives on the size of the prize. Fighters today get to fight for fame and fortune. You have to fight for fame on the networks and cable, and then for fortune if you earn a PPV. A Lamborghini is the PPV of cars, its just an overpriced sports car. The rich person wants it because the commoners can't have it. After the rich person gets the Lamborghini, the commoner's think the Lamborghini is something quite special, and forget that its actually just an over priced sports car. You can say Lamborghini is like the PPV, and Hyundai is the network. One is actually attained by the masses, and the other by only a few. Hyundai reaches many more buyers, but Lamborghini sparks much more desire. Boxing without big PPV events is like the NFL without the Superbowl, if there aren't any overpriced and overhyped events, then it loses its importance and becomes too attainable.
And what of the glory? Coming up through the ranks, fighting for your first area title, national title, continental title and then your first world title. All memories no doubt sweeter than a PPV event. The first time you become the undisputed champion of your division must surely be the prize to aim for. Attaining those heights would bring the wealth and fame you speak of but as an added bonus and reward for reaching those elite levels. I think it's the best fighting the best that brings the most intrigue to the table, followed by grudge matches between two guys who really have a strong dislike for eachother. PPV events are a way to tell the fans, you're going to witness a special event and it's not going to come cheap. Over the last few years in my opinion theyve rarely with a few exceptions met the hyped up billing. That's just my opinion.


-Skibbz :

What if PPV is actually the savior of boxing? What if generating large amounts of cash ensured that the sport stayed alive? What if PPV allowed the highest paid athlete in the world to be a boxer? I know boxing is here to stay because it generates large amounts of money through PPV. People don't let revenue streams like that die. Where there is money, there are people looking to get rich, and that is what keeps boxing alive. Where there are opportunities to get rich, you will find the best competition fighting for that money. "Prize fighting" thrives on the size of the prize. Fighters today get to fight for fame and fortune. You have to fight for fame on the networks and cable, and then for fortune if you earn a PPV. A Lamborghini is the PPV of cars, its just an overpriced sports car. The rich person wants it because the commoners can't have it. After the rich person gets the Lamborghini, the commoner's think the Lamborghini is something quite special, and forget that its actually just an over priced sports car. You can say Lamborghini is like the PPV, and Hyundai is the network. One is actually attained by the masses, and the other by only a few. Hyundai reaches many more buyers, but Lamborghini sparks much more desire. Boxing without big PPV events is like the NFL without the Superbowl, if there aren't any overpriced and overhyped events, then it loses its importance and becomes too attainable.
And what of the glory? Coming up through the ranks, fighting for your first area title, national title, continental title and then your first world title. All memories no doubt sweeter than a PPV event. The first time you become the undisputed champion of your division must surely be the prize to aim for. Attaining those heights would bring the wealth and fame you speak of but as an added bonus and reward for reaching those elite levels. I think it's the best fighting the best that brings the most intrigue to the table, followed by grudge matches between two guys who really have a strong dislike for eachother. PPV events are a way to tell the fans, you're going to witness a special event and it's not going to come cheap. Over the last few years in my opinion theyve rarely with a few exceptions met the hyped up billing. That's just my opinion.


-The Shadow :

What if PPV is actually the savior of boxing? What if generating large amounts of cash ensured that the sport stayed alive? What if PPV allowed the highest paid athlete in the world to be a boxer? I know boxing is here to stay because it generates large amounts of money through PPV. People don't let revenue streams like that die. Where there is money, there are people looking to get rich, and that is what keeps boxing alive. Where there are opportunities to get rich, you will find the best competition fighting for that money. "Prize fighting" thrives on the size of the prize. Fighters today get to fight for fame and fortune. You have to fight for fame on the networks and cable, and then for fortune if you earn a PPV. A Lamborghini is the PPV of cars, its just an overpriced sports car. The rich person wants it because the commoners can't have it. After the rich person gets the Lamborghini, the commoner's think the Lamborghini is something quite special, and forget that its actually just an over priced sports car. You can say Lamborghini is like the PPV, and Hyundai is the network. One is actually attained by the masses, and the other by only a few. Hyundai reaches many more buyers, but Lamborghini sparks much more desire. Boxing without big PPV events is like the NFL without the Superbowl, if there aren't any overpriced and overhyped events, then it loses its importance and becomes too attainable.
Strong post, man. Welcome to the Forum!


-deepwater2 :

Whatever is being done is being done to make the most money. That is the nature of business. Haymon will not do us nay favors unless there is something in it for him. Sounds like a corporate plan that will help the employees just before they are Riffed. The only way to bring PPV prices down is not to pay for them. It's called the laws of elasticity or price determination based on supply and demand.
I have to agree. I also agree that with the glory comes the money. Nowadays some boxers want the money before the glory and it always seems to backfire on them. It's a condition that certain boxers catch. I thinks it's called Haymonitis. The effected boxers usually suffer from symptoms of inflated ego, delusional thoughts, followed by long periods of inactivity. Not much is known about this condition because the individual that created it, does not give interviews and is a recluse.some people think he does exist and is just a myth,a tale to scare young boxers at night. Quillin,Garcia,Stevenson,Broner have had this condition. Boxing fans will always demand the best fights, it has nothing to do with being entitled, it has to do with being a true fan of the sport.In every sport the fans look forward to the best taking on the best. Most sports have a method for that to happen like the playoffs or tournament. Boxing doesn't have too much of that so it's all about demand from the fans. Will the fans pay ? That is why fans demand fights.


-The Commish :

Strong post, man. Welcome to the Forum!
Ditto to Hammer Hands. That was some Hammerin' first post! -Randy G.


-Hammer Hands :

Strong post, man. Welcome to the Forum!
Thank you! As others (and the OP) point out, there are certainly some bad aspects of the PPV also. As the Devil's advocate, I'd also like to look at the "best need to fight the best", or the boxing "needs a tournament" argument. As fight fans, wouldn't it be great to see a tournament for each division, and know once and for all who the best was? I Don't think so, I think it would really hurt the sport and the fans. Boxing is like Christmas. Children love Christmas because of the anticipation and mystery. Kids don't know what they will get, and they have to wait an eternity to open those presents. In the process of whining to open presents early, and asking for things they will never get - kids actually become fans of Christmas. Boxing is the Christmas of sports, we hate the wait, and we often feel let down after our presents are opened, but we never stop believing and hoping. The biggest fights are the culmination of this anticipation, and we as fans stay glued to the sport because of it. The super middleweight division is dead right now because the best fought the best in a tournament, and a winner was declared. We opened our present early, the anticipation died, and now the gift we got (Andre Ward) has lost its magic. People can say what they want about Ward, but I believe the tournament ruined him because we pulled off all the wrapping paper, and threw him in the toy box and went back to shake presents that were still under the tree. Ward isn't the biggest present under the tree anymore, and he suffered from fans no longer building anticipation for his next fight.. Golovkin and Kovalev are the presents we are opening right now, and boxing fans are going crazy with anticipation to find out how good they really are. The only way Ward gets any attention is because we want to see how these new presents stack up against him, not because we wonder how good Ward is, but because we wonder how good the new toys are. Tournaments would determine the best fighters right away, but then we would have to wait too long for a new talent to show up and get us excited again. Mayweather has really figured out how to be the Santa Claus of the sport. He keeps the anticipation of his biggest present (Paq fight) fully wrapped up, and we fans keep shaking that box trying to guess whats inside, and hoping we can open it early. As maddening as that is, you can't deny that its going to create the biggest, most publicized and lucrative event possible for the sport.


-Hammer Hands :

Ditto to Hammer Hands. That was some Hammerin' first post! -Randy G.
Thank you, I'm glad to be welcomed here! I'm really impressed at the knowledge and maturity of the posters here, the good seem to really outnumber the bad.