By Gerardo Granados: Professional Boxing has never been easy to handle and is as complex as any industry that brings multimillion dollar earnings per year worldwide. Once there were many Boxing Promoters that you could relate to major events such as Don King, Top Rank, Duva Promotions, Main Events, Frank Warren, Lou Di Bella, Cedric Kushner and others; and somehow those promoters found a way to work together. It is known by all concern citizens that competition makes every industry grow and the boxing industry is no exception.
The big Television Networks are really influential in professional sports and professional boxing is no exception. I suspect that the media can be able to maneuver fighters to stardom by constant hype, proper matchmaking against tailor made opponents even if the boxer lacks the skills to support such hype. Also if a boxing Big Name is contracted to X network you can bet it will not be easy to see him engage a top fighter signed by the competition Y network. For instance the Mike Tyson vs Lennox Lewis bout took too long to be arranged.
Recently the Cold War between two major boxing promoters Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank Promotions came to an end but the damage done to fight fans around the world can’t be compensated with ease. This cold war didn’t allow us fight fans to enjoy many potential fights due the dispute between promoters.
If you add that on times if a fighter disagrees with his promoter he could end up choosing to stay inactive for a really long time hoping to break free from a contract or do what he is told to do. Andre Ward is practically retired; Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Mickey Garcia have been inactive too.
To avoid dangerous lions isn’t new at all and the veteran boxing fans must remember a lot of examples from past and present boxing stars who have waited on fellow Champions or top Contenders until they are ripe to pick. I believe many young fight fans aren’t aware that Pernell Whitaker refused to fight at lightweight and then waited on Julio Cesar Chavez Sr to slow down for six years until fighting him to a controversial draw at the welterweight division.
Rankings are quite bogus and it is really hard to understand why a C level fighter is placed so high and a great boxer so low. Maybe it is because that way an organization champion can pick from a top ten list that include easy fights for him to take as a title defense. The casual fans won’t notice much difference in the rankings and will be glad to pay to see a fight that they believe is truly competitive.
If the mandatory challenger can take a step aside deal then what is the use of it. It is really disappointing to see how boxers like Peter Quillin vacated his middleweight belt to avoid the mandatory challenger and then is able to immediately fight for the middleweight WBO strap when the contender took a step aside agreement to allow Quillin to get a shot at a belt that he refuse to defend. The step aside agreements make rankings null and the mandatory challenger becomes only a fancy name to tag a fighter with.
When any organization champion who vacates a title in order to avoid the mandatory challenger or an unification bout the immediate consequence should be to strip him off the belt and not be allowed to fight for any major organization belt in at least a full calendar year.
The business side of boxing operations is primordial for all the involved but on times it takes the competitiveness out, resulting in great mismatches instead of forcing the top contenders in a weight division to fight each other. How can the reader force Miguel Cotto to fight Gennady Golovkin?
Now there is a situation that could lead to the control of boxing “big names” in the hands of a single manager who has denied a boxer from his own stable to take a fight he thinks isn’t interesting for fight fans even though fans have criticize him and mock him for not fighting one of the most avoided fighters in his weight division.
Can you control the match making thru the monopolization of big names by weight division?
Do this means that if a promoter or manager doesn’t approve a fight then that fight might never happen?
What will happen to the smaller boxing promoters who spent time and money developing fighters? If the main Television Networks don’t give exposure to the fighters of the smaller promoters then how will we be able to get to know them and to enjoy great fights without the need to pay high pay per view charges?
If there is a fight that boxing fans want to see then we should beg that not only the fighters will agree to sign a contract but also the manager, the promoter and TV networks to get it done. It is not enough for a fighter to want to fight an opponent if his promoter or manager doesn’t agree to do so, even worst if the TV network thinks such fight isn’t profitable enough to bring the numbers needed.
I guess this time a couple of beers won’t be enough to let it go.
Do the readers think that the monopolization of the Big Names will hurt us the fight fans?