Boxing promoter Lou DiBella has put together a very intriguing match-up between...
Boxing Is Still Alive!!
The Saul Alvarez-James Kirkland drew over 2 million viewers and was competitive with NBA basketball playoffs basketball Saturday May 9th, just one week after the big fight, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
Considering that this was one week after a fight was a major disappointment for many boxing fans, this was a good response. I have made a point that while boxing may not return to its past glory but it certainly can become a factor in the sporting world; this is just proves my point that boxing is not yet dead and least I forget, this fight outdrew a NHL hockey playoff games.
The week before Mayweather-Pacquiao; Wladimir Klitscho-Bryant Jennings drew nearly two million viewers and again, only the NBA playoffs outdrew this event. Premier Boxing Championship series has shown excellent ratings, with fights on NBC being comparable to Fox broadcast of UFC events. Even cable stations, Spike and Tru TV have shown strong ratings for their boxing cards.
Mayweather-Pacquiao set PPV records with over 4 million buys and no other boxing or even MMA events have gone over 3 million. (Note, UFC don’t release PPV buys for their events and their total are gleaned from industry insider. UFC are more estimates.)
The first big lesson is that when you produce great fights, fans take notice or when you feature stars, fans take notice. Alvarez-Kirkland is one example as while Alvarez was the heavy favorite, there was a very good chance that James Kirkland could stop Alvarez. There was drama in the fight and when Klitschko fought Jennings, this was Klitschko first appearance on American soil in over seven years and Jennings was undefeated. It didn’t hurt that Jennings put up a competitive fight despite the one-sided decision.
The Premier Boxing Championship series have produced intriguing match ups including Danny Garcia defeating Lamont Peterson in a close decision and Peter Quillin fighting a tough battle against Andy Lee which saw both fighters hit the canvas.
Andre Berto stopped Josesito Lopez in six rounds while Robert Guerrero attempted a spirited comeback over the final couple of rounds against up and coming star, Keith Thurman to add drama to a fight that was one-sided on the judges’ cards. This was one of those one-sided fights that despite Thurman dominating the fight; there was time that Guerrero nailed Thurman with shots of his own.
Premier Boxing Championship is now schedule to show Adrien Broner fighting Shawn Porter in a bout that will affect both fighters’ career. This is one of those bouts that has drama and excitement written all over it and you have a good boxer in Broner against an unorthodox slugger in Shawn Porter.
Boxing have often been its own enemy, but the one lesson that some in boxing are learning is that making boxing more available to fans will build excitement for future big events. Build up stars and you build up interest in the sport.
In golf and Tennis, the season is built around the majors but the other matches in between the majors builds up excitement toward the majors. In Tennis, the hardcourt season after Wimbledon is the prefect set up for the final major, the U.S. Open. Tennis has the hard court season in which players can win points and earn extra money if they win matches in the hard court season going into the Open.
For years, Showtime has its ShoBox, ESPN had it Friday Night fights and HBO featured Boxing After Dark; allowing boxing to build up stars but now boxing has now expanded upon this formula with the Premier Boxing Championship as existing stars are now competing in must win fights that will lead to bigger fights. Competitive fights means ratings and increase interest. And Saul Alvarez recent bout shows that if he can keep winning big bouts, he may be one of those future stars that can produce a future PPV event. Boxing has always depended upon big events to keep the excitement growing. Jackson-Jeffries, Dempsey-Tunney 1 and 2, Louis-Schmeling 2, Ali-Frazier, I, 2, and 3 as well as Tyson-Lewis and Tyson-Holyfield 1 and 2 are just some of those past big events that transcended the sport and put Boxing in the center of sporting world. Pacquiao-Mayweather is just the latest big fight that transcended the sport and there will be more in the future.