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Is PPV Killing Boxing?

Old 06-21-04, 02:39 AM
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Is PPV Killing Boxing?

I'm old enough to remember Ali as heavyweight champ; past his peak, but still at the height of his fame. I remember every kid wanted to be him and even though I wasn't a sports fan, I used to watch his fights. Now I live in Vegas, so boxing is kinda a big deal here, but in the rest of the country it seems to have really become an afterthought. I don't think any fighter has captured the public's attention since Tyson at his peak and fights haven't really been the major sporting and cultural events I remember in the days of Leanord-Hagler and Holmes-Cooney to name a few. Sure there are still big fights, but it seems that they are only of interest to those who follow (or bet on) the sport. There doesn't seem to be the interest in the general public that there was 20-25 years ago, let alone the golden era of boxing in the 50's and 60's.

Sure there are many reasons for this (especially corruption charges in the sport, shameless promoters and uninspiring or uncharismatic champs). I wonder though if perhaps a lot of that disinterest we see in non-fans has to do with PPV. When I was a kid, sure there were a few select fights that were so important that they were on closed-circuit TV, but most were broadcast on network TV. These days, you can barely see a live fight of any importance that you don't have to shell out a fortune for . Certainly there is the rare historic shocker (Tyson-Douglas, Lewis-Rahman) on HBO, but most important fights now are PPV and I think that's served to alienate non-fight fans and drive them away.

That's just my opinion. Any thoughts?
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Old 06-21-04, 03:43 AM
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I'm a big boxing fan. I don't really think PPV is hurting boxing. But there are a number of reasons why boxing isn't more widely accepted and recognized.

- Boxing is no longer carried by major TV stations except for Fox, ESPN, and HBO (pay channel).

- Little media coverage of fight results. The only time they cover it is after a mega-fight. Tennis, golf, nascar, etc. all get more coverage.

- Years of fixes have hurt the image of boxing.

- Corruption, scandal, and lawsuits around every corner.

- The sport doesn't cater to a wider fan base...which is mostly white middle class America. It focuses more on Hispanic and Black audiences.

- Disjunction and controversy in regards to relegated authority. Could you imagine what baseball would be like if there were 3 league offices with 3 different world series trophies?

- Years of Don King.
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Old 06-21-04, 03:56 AM
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Well, I dont like boxing, so maybe my opinion is worth something. (I would consider myself white middle class)


Too many titles/agencys: It seems like everyone is a champion. And there are so many different "leagues". Why not just have 1? Seems like it would be easier.


Matchups: I dont like how a "promoter" determines who fights. I think there should be 1 agency who makes the fights. Why let the boxers pick and choose? Just order them to fight based on rankings or something.


Judging/Referee: 3 judges doesnt appear to work accuratly. Why not have more judges? And does anyone know the rules about boxing? Seems like theres always screwups.


I could be wrong on all acounts. I dont follow boxing and dont know how the system works, but it appears completely disorganized, unlike other major sports like baseball, basketball, etc. Professional wrestling seems more organized for that matter.
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Old 06-21-04, 09:43 AM
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I remember the days of closed-circuit broadcasts to theaters and such.
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Old 06-21-04, 05:01 PM
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Originally posted by Red Dog
I remember the days of closed-circuit broadcasts to theaters and such.
Yeah, me too. PPV is certainly "better" (more accessible) than CCTV...

I remember back in the late '80s a friend of mine had tickets to a CC viewing of a Tyson fight. They paid like $50 or $75 a ticket. Tyson won in the first round, and we had a great time teasing my friend about the great "deal" he got.
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Old 06-21-04, 05:31 PM
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I remember Charles 'Sonny' Liston vs. Floyd Patterson - closed circuit. I was walking in to find my seat - the fight was over.

I also remember making a little money on that 'fight.' There were folks that just loved Floyd.
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Old 06-21-04, 05:56 PM
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Actually, NBC has been hosting saturday afternoon bouts for about a year now. So there's still proof that national TV doesn't have a grudge with the sport.
The fights they've aired haven't been sizzlers, but there have been some wicked KO's occuring. And non-fight fans would much rather see a knockout than a dull decision. So maybe that's why almost all of NBC's fights have matching olympic prospects with Journeymen.

As for PPV, well..I'll be honest and say that I can't remember purchasing a card where every fight left me satisfied. But like Decker said, you're bound to catch a more monumental scrap or a humongous upset on HBO than on PPV. HBO is where it's at these days. No comment on Showtime.
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Old 06-21-04, 06:27 PM
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Originally posted by classicman2
I remember Charles 'Sonny' Liston vs. Floyd Patterson - closed circuit. I was walking in to find my seat - the fight was over.

I also remember making a little money on that 'fight.' There were folks that just loved Floyd.
Liston v. Patterson. Now THAT'S old school.

Did you lose all that money by betting on Liston v Clay the next year?
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Old 06-22-04, 07:50 AM
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No, because I knew there was no money in Liston being champion any longer. Therefore, the results were pre-determined.
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Old 06-23-04, 04:03 PM
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The result of the last De la Hoya fight is a good example of what is wrong with the boxing industry.
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Old 06-23-04, 04:09 PM
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I didn't see the last De La Hoya fight, so I can't speak to the result.

On the flip-side, De La Hoya got supremely hosed in his fight with Trinidad. While I'll admit that he fought FAR to conservatively in the last 4-5 rounds, there is no possible way that Trinidad won that fight. But, because Trinidad was King's guy, he got the decision. After that fight, I've lost a lot of interest in any match not featuring Arturo Gatti.
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Old 06-23-04, 04:09 PM
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Originally posted by knuckles
The result of the last De la Hoya fight is a good example of what is wrong with the boxing industry.
i agree completely.. that was the worst excuse for judging i have ever seen.. and unanimous?! The judges should be kicked out of boxing.. i think a 12 year old could have done a better job.
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