By Matt Andrzejewski
The Future of PBC
There has been a lot written the past few weeks about the lack of scheduled PBC cards. As of this writing, there are currently no PBC shows on the boxing calendar. Many are theorizing that this is the beginning of the end of PBC. But I tend to think that something else may be occurring.
Before I get into my theory, I will say that when the PBC began I was very hopeful that it would succeed. I love the sport and was very excited about all the televised cards that were on the horizon. With that said, I was also very quick to criticize when mismatches were made. As we all know, there were some bad ones, but PBC also gave us some very high quality fights.
One of the things we all need to keep in mind regarding PBC is that other than its mastermind, Al Haymon, none of us know the plan. Without knowing the plan, how can anyone know if PBC is falling apart as some are speculating? I think anyone writing it off entirely at this point is doing so prematurely.
Al Haymon is a very smart businessman. My belief is Haymon bought time on all these networks hoping that one would pan out with a long term commitment. It is the art of diversification in business.
Could it be that PBC is going quiet now because Haymon is working on something big in 2017? I think it is entirely possible one of these networks is hammering out a long term deal with him and that is why we are seeing the barren calendar at the moment.
Something else to keep in mind as the PBC calendar has gone barren. And that is how many fighters have left Haymon or have had something critical to say about him in the last few months? I have not heard of any boxer leaving Haymon or having said something negative about him. If there was nothing on the horizon, we would certainly be hearing chatter by now of fighter’s getting antsy.
We don’t know much about Al Haymon, but one thing that is certain is that he is always thinking long term. It’s hard for me to see the PBC venture going out entirely after just two years. There is something in the works and we should have a better idea in the coming months.
There are way too many times in this sport that we see a corner allow their fighter to take an unnecessary beating. It happens too much and we as fans rightfully jump all over the corner for allowing their fighter to absorb the beating. But there are times when a corner does their job and needs to be praised for making the right call.
Pulling the plug is not an easy thing for a corner to do. First of all, there is often a lot of time spent with that fighter developing their career and hoping for big things. A loss is a big step back and the journey back is often a long road. Plus, the cornerman who pulls the plug will have to face the fighter later to explain the decision. The fighter could be unhappy and choose to find someone else. The easy thing often for the corner to do is to just let the fight go on and wait for the referee to call a halt to take themselves off the hook.
On Friday night, Michael Perez was absorbing a beating from Petr Petrov through six rounds of their scheduled twelve round fight. Petrov was relentless in his attack, winning most of not all of the first six rounds while landing flush shots throughout. Perez had his spots, but it was clear to anyone watching that Petrov was breaking him down and that whatever punches Perez did manage to throw back had little zip behind them.
Perez’s trainer and chief second Robert Garcia (pictured) calculated the odds of Perez winning after the sixth were slim and he could see that Petrov was just pouring on relentless pressure that would only mean many more punches absorbed by his fighter. Though Perez was still fighting back and having his spots, Garcia rightfully pulled the plug.
This is a case example of exactly how a corner should work a fight. Perez was still in the fight but the odds were very long for him to win. Even if he could pull it out, the punishment he would have to take to do so was not worth it. Garcia deserves credit for stopping the fight at just the right time. Many others in his shoes would not have done so.
Mike Lee’s Future
Mike Lee recorded the best win of his career scoring a ten round unanimous decision against veteran Chris Traietti on Friday night, Sept. 30. The win earned Lee a minor title belt as well as a future top 15 ranking from one of the sanctioning bodies.
Lee is very well known in the United States from his advertising deal with Subway. A fan friendly fighter, he has fought on television frequently though not against anyone of note. He is aggressive as well as defensively challenged so his fights are typically action-packed even against lower level opposition.
Due to his style, popularity and limitations, Lee needs to be matched very carefully. There is a perfect opportunity forthcoming to make a great fan friendly fight in what would be a great environment. Top Rank is planning a show in New York on St. Patrick’s Day 2017 and a main event featuring Lee facing Sean Monaghan would be quite a draw.
Much like Lee, Monaghan is an aggressive fan friendly fighter who is defensively limited. He is promoted by Top Rank who would certainly put him on the card they are planning as Monaghan is a good draw in New York. Why not match him with Lee? Boxing fans would certainly welcome the match.
A fight with Monaghan on St. Patrick’s Day would be what I would be pushing for if I were moving Lee’s career. Win or lose, he would make a nice payday and no doubt open the door to more opportunities down the line. Hopefully we will see it this March.