Bernard Hopkins took part of the light heavyweight belt from Antonio Tarver in a one-sided defeat in Atlantic City. Hopkins proves once again that he is one of the best fighters in boxing history.
That same night, Miguel Cotto defeated Paul Malignaghi to retain his share of the belt in the junior welterweight division in a hard fought bout at Madison Square Garden in New York.
a question. How many people know that these seizures have occurred? How many people watched this live broadcast? In general, not much.
Boxing is a sport that usually costs little to watch live. Tickets often range from $30 or $40 to $2,500 higher. Thus, most people are pushed outside and watched on television.
To make matters worse, most “non-pay” TV networks like ABC or CBS have essentially stopped showing boxing. Cable channels like ESPN, HBO or Showtime stepped in and became the biggest providers of boxing today. HBO in particular is legendary in the boxing community. The network has shown and continues to show the biggest fights year after year. This has helped the sport because HBO is the largest pay network. However, nothing like “free” TV.
Unfortunately, another creature got in on it. It is known as “Pay Per View”.
Of course, “pay-per-view” was a concept that would promote the best of everything. That’s how it started. People were putting their hard-earned dollars towards the “premium” events. As always, time is always on the Eagles side and the quality of these events today is anywhere from mediocre to disastrous. The Hopkins-Tarver fight was $50. The Cotto-Malinaggi fight was $40. too much.
Even worse, many promoters have called people “morons” for buying events that didn’t work out so well. Guys like promoters Bob Arum and Don King just shrug when people complain they’re being taken.
PPV events are very clever in that they build up the main event and put less and less on the undercard which is a huge problem for any true boxing fan. Therefore, less money is paid to lower card fighters and more goes into the pockets of the promoter. fans? Yes, I messed up again. The undercard often featured understudy fighters or a sideshow such as the “Butterbean” who was (was) the “King of the Four Rounds”. Female fights are sometimes thrown into the PPV craze due to the fact that female fighters, with rare exception, make less money than their male counterparts. In some cases, the title fight will be between men from a very low weight class because they get paid less. Such fighters can “knock your head off” on the street and you will have no idea who they are.
Obviously money is being made. But at what cost? Fewer and fewer people are exposed to boxing because of PPV. Basically, the powerful propeller is throwing more and more. And only a few make bucks from this concept. Tons of unknown fighters as many of the big fights will go to PPV. Again, no shows from CBS, ABC, or FOX. Anyway, how many boxers fight on PPV? Not much.
HBO is now very involved with the PPV concept. Basically, they show the main event from a PPV telecast on their channel the following week, but without a low card. So, it seems like a lot of people are waiting for the next week to see the event.
Boxing was once among the elite in all sports. Now it has undoubtedly become a “niche” sport. Bad promotions, limited access to major networks, high costs, and now, pay-per-view limited his exposure to mass audiences. Too bad because on a good night it could rival any other sport in the world in terms of excitement, drama, and ferocity. We hope PPV will slowly return to its original intentions – great main events with a solid undercard at an affordable cost. $50? I’ll see you later.