Three Punch Combo: Notes on PPV, Instant Replay, and Cuban bomber Luis Ortiz

Three Punch Combo, A Unique PPV IdeaIn November, there are two major PPV cards on the schedule. Manny Pacquiao takes on Jessie Vargas on November 5th and Sergey Kovalev faces Andre Ward two weeks later. The fact that two PPV’s are taking place so close to each other will certainly not help either event. So I say to the promoters, why not work together instead of against each other to help both events?

The facts are that with both events taking place so close to each other that each will be negatively affected by this occurrence. There was a reason why HBO would not distribute the Pacquiao-Vargas fight on its PPV arm. HBO knows that it would take away from the buys for Kovalev-Ward and hoped by not getting involved the fight would take place at a different time.

My suggestion is very simple. Top Rank and Main Events/Roc Nation get together and offer a combination deal for fans. The typical ballpark price of a PPV boxing event is somewhere between $60 and $80. I say offer the fans both fights for $99.95. This will increase the overall buys for both events and I suspect increase the revenue as well. Otherwise, I see the buys being split between the events and thus each not doing as well as the promoters hoped as far as PPV buys are concerned.

To me, this is common sense. Main Events/Roc Nation are probably not very happy that Top Rank scheduled the Pacquiao-Vargas fight when they did. But it is what it is, and if the promoters get together to offer the fans a deal, the fans will respond. I know something like this has not been done before, but why couldn’t it occur? Everyone involved would come out better.

 

Three Punch Combo, Use of Instant Replay in Boxing – The issue of whether or not to use instant replay in boxing has come up many times through the years. I think it is about time the sport start using the same technology virtually all other major sports utilize.

When thinking about how replay would be used in boxing, I would look to how other sports utilize the technology. First, let’s keep it simple. During the course of a bout, there are two possible instances that could alter the result of a bout where errors can be made. One is whether or not a punch caused a cut and the other is whether or not a knockdown occurred. These would be the only two instances that replay could be utilized.

I would propose a system similar to the one used by the NFL and MLB. The lead cornerman would be allowed one challenge during a fight and if the challenge is ruled in their favor would be allowed one more. The corner man would have to decide to execute the challenge before the end of the round and would do so to the lead inspector in the corner. The final decision would then be rendered by the commission prior to the start of the next round. Further, like other sports the video evidence would have to be indisputable to overturn the ruling of the referee.

Here is an example of how I see this system working: In the fourth round of a 10-round fight, a boxer suffers a severe cut over his eye. The referee rules the cut by a punch, however that ruling is in question. The lead cornerman for the cut boxer asks for replay and the inspector motions to the commission to review as the round is still proceeding. A ruling is then made prior to the start of the next round and made clear by the referee to all involved.

We have the technology to get things right in this sport and need to start properly utilizing it so preventable mistakes do not occur. The simple replay system I have proposed would not only ensure correctable errors are fixed but also not stop the action in any way. It is about time boxing catches up with other sports in the regard on instant replay.

 

Three Punch Combo, Luis Ortiz – A few months ago, many in the sport were scratching their heads when Luis Ortiz turned down a decent payday and spotlight on a major PPV card. Ultimately, this would lead to Ortiz negotiating a buy- out with his promoter Golden Boy. This head scratching move at the time now appears to be a brilliant business decision by Ortiz as it was announced this week that he has signed with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.

With Golden Boy Promotions, Ortiz’s career was really limited. A fight with WBC Champion Deontay Wilder was not going to happen given Golden Boy’s hostile relationship with Wilder advisor Al Haymon. Likewise, fights with Anthony Joshua or Wladimir Klitschko seemed very unlikely given the high risk and low reward for either Joshua or Klitschko. Though highly skilled, Ortiz currently lacks the following needed to garner the big payday to entice any of the bigger names into a high stakes fight.

By signing with Matchroom, Ortiz will get a chance to build his career in Europe where boxing is thriving. He can gain a following and a name. And most importantly, Matchroom does business with most in the sport including Al Haymon which opens the door for many more possibilities for Ortiz.

Plus, the possibility of a super fight with Joshua now becomes almost a certainty. Joshua is also with Matchroom and matching the two at some point just became that much easier. Also, the risk reward for Matchroom is now mitigated with Ortiz now in their stable. Clearly Joshua is looked at as a star but if he were to lose to Ortiz the sting felt to Matchroom would not be as great as if Ortiz were still with Golden Boy.

In the end, Ortiz seems to have made a very wise long-term business decision leaving Golden Boy for Matchroom. This will open the door to the big fights and big opportunities for him down the road.

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