Last week I lamented in this column that we boxing fans have little to look forward to in the upcoming schedule. Thankfully, that has now changed. Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia both took to social media to announce that everything is set for the pair to reunite next year.
No official date or venue has been confirmed, although it has been revealed that the two will take part in separate regulation bouts in January. What’s interesting about the announcement is how the contestants put off both Garcia and Davis’ large social media followings — their accounts were the first to share the news.
According to reports — and tweets from executives at both companies — DAZN and Showtime have collaborated on what appears to be a joint PPV deal. It’s always cause for celebration when direct rivals, special broadcasters, can work together to create great fights.
It also looks like we’re headed for another great featherweight clash: Devin Haney vs. Vasyl Lomachenko. Top Rank CEO Bob Arum told BoxingScene that both parties are on board and negotiations are going well. He also talked about how he hopes to air the fight on ESPN rather than PPV.
“I hope to have as few fights as possible per review,” he said.
“I really believe that putting these fights on pay-per-view is not a smart thing to do. Now, other people may have difficulty with this. It’s not a wise thing to do because people don’t get paid per view. And it takes a lot of money to do that. Fighters don’t get guaranteed, but they hate you later because they don’t make money.”
He cited piracy and fewer people inviting groups of friends to watch PPVs together as the main reasons for declining viewership numbers for these shows. He refers to the US market, where a single PPV costs around $80.
It’s encouraging to hear such a powerful figure in the sport speak out against the ever-increasing number of PPV events held each year and how he hopes to bring the big fights to as wide an audience as possible.
Of course, we’ve heard it all before from various people in boxing. Obviously, there is a place for PPV events in boxing, but it is necessary to monitor how many shows are placed behind such a paywall each year.
All that said, it was great to see Artur Beterbiev defend his lightweight title against Anthony Yarde in London next year, with BT Sport refusing the fight on its PPV channel. This is both commendable and commendable.
In the current boxing climate, it wouldn’t be out of place for this fight to go on PPV – in fact, many expected it to. It feels a little weird to praise a major sports broadcaster for basically doing the bare minimum and not paying us extra for a fight that doesn’t warrant it, but here we are.
Unfortunately, it was another disappointing weekend from DAZN. The streaming service also had another YouTuber’s boxing card, which featured some offensive attempts at boxing (clips of which went viral), as well as the stoppage of Hasim Rahman Jnr by the 94kg mixed martial artist in the main event. more than that.
However, it was the main event on the different DAZN card that drew the most criticism. Jaime Munguia crushed Gonzalo Coria, a rough matchup, in three rounds, then called out Gennady Golovkin.
It was all a huge waste of time. Who signed this as the main event in DAZN? DAZN’s schedule has come under fire lately, and some of the criticism is a bit overblown – DAZN has put out some really good cards and has some interesting cards, but Munguia-Coria is indefensible.
There is no way this fight could headline a card on a major broadcaster. Golden Boy promoters also have questions to answer. Furthermore, while Munguia is an intriguing talent who continues to improve, he has been on a roll for some time. Fights like this do him and the fans a disservice.
Terence Crawford sat down with Max Kellerman for ESPN’s “Max On Boxing” to discuss his career and “legacy” in the sport. The 35-year-old has insisted that not fighting middleweight rival Errol Spence Jnr before he retires will not tarnish his legacy.
This is dubious at best. Crawford is a phenomenal talent and has achieved great things in boxing, but he doesn’t really have a defined victory in his career. While he’s conquered other divisions before, he can’t claim to be the best 147-pounder on the planet until he fights Spence.
Crawford didn’t try to downplay the importance of the Spence fight, but he cited other big fights that never happened. Kellerman cleverly countered that Crawford was involved in other mass fights besides the one Sugar Ray Leonard mentioned, including the one Sugar Ray Leonard passed.
What was troubling about Crawford’s comments was how conclusive they seemed. He sounded like a man who accepts he’ll never fight Spence, which would be a real shame for the sport, and also speaks to how inefficient the current systems in boxing really are when it comes to putting on the biggest fights.
Boxing in a box
Harlem Eubank-Tom Farrell
Coverage begins at 9 p.m
Dillian Whyte-Jermaine Franklin
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Zach Parker-John Ryder
BT Sport 1
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Regis Prograis-Jose Zepeda
Coverage begins at 2 p.m
Mikail Lawal-David Jamieson
Sky Sports Arena
Coverage begins at 3 p.m