Is DAZN the last nail in the coffin?
By Gerardo Granados: I asked to an old friend if we were witnessing the last days of old school boxing. He stared at me with a smirk on his face and replied “that depends on what age you started to follow boxing, because for me old school died a long time ago”. Once upon a time pro boxing was for real and it was a delight to watch a brutal epic battle inside the ring, but sadly now a days it is “dumb for fighters to do so because it will shorten their boxing career”.
Yes, pro boxing is a business, but without the pride of the fighter, his heart and hunger, the only thing that is left is greedy Wall Street stock brokers ripping fans money for glorified sparring sessions sold at an overpriced Pay Per View. Even worst the big name cash cow boxers act like Divas and many soft fans applaud them for ducking prime opposition.
DAZN arrived with a lot of money, signing big names and also average fighters, a huge project that could change pro boxing landscape forever; but will it be for good? PBC was once the new face of boxing, an innovation that failed to deliver not only the big fights but also a big financial failure. Recently HBO retired, announced the end after decades as leaders of boxing on television. Do you know why they chose to leave? Could it be that the numbers brought in by subscribers and fans no longer was enough to pay expenses.
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum stated that Showtime is about to leave boxing too and that makes me wonder if this new arrangement on pro boxing will work for all boxers and not just for the big names.
The monopolization of big names and the huge financial power of a single company turn part of privileged pro boxing stable into a sort of a pro league but without a workers union. I wonder how will this affect the small promoters and how are they going to have any leverage at negotiations.
Many believe that pro boxing is alive and stronger than ever due this crazy guarantee contract of ludicrous 365 million to a single boxer, but how will this work out for all the anonymous boxers who fight their heart out at small towns?
Pro Boxing once was the supreme contact sport in the entire world, not just because of the fighters but also for the fight fans who knew what the essence of prize fighting was. Now a day fight fans have changed, they are no longer interested in things that mattered in the recent past. The once manhood epitome of pro sports now highlights life style over heart, hunger and determination of the ring warriors.
Overall quality of fights has been watered down for consumption of the masses to a level that only older fight fans can tell any difference. It also can be said about training methods, the boxing skills showed at title fights and same can be said about the work of the referee.
Many boxers look for to keep an undefeated record as if it means something special to beat tailor made or past prime opposition while doing so. The big names cash cows are over protected not only at the negotiation table by boxing organizations but also by fight judges more than ever.
Canelo Alvarez record isn’t impressive at all and it is very similar to Oscar Dela Hoya´s record, filled with past prime or smaller and tailor made opposition, most of the names for sure weren’t at his best by the time that they fought them and both avoided top opposition as well.
Just think about this, Alvarez waited for two years on Golovkin to slow down before fighting him for the first time then got two dubious decisions (one draw and a win) and now Canelo lands a contract that guarantees him 30 million notes per fight.
Question is against whom is Canelo going to fight in the next 5 years to generate that amount of money? Are there so many big names around for him to fight? Is his fight against WBA super middle “regular” belt holder Rocky Fielding worth to be paid that much money?
Is Canelo the next Floyd Mayweather? Yeah, Floyd made a fortune fighting past prime big names at 147 and now Canelo follows his footsteps. The young boxers now only know that this is the way.
The catcher no longer gets run over when a player tries to make it safe at home, if the linebacker eye balls the multi-million dollar franchise quarterback a flag will come for unnecessary roughness on the passer, whenever the shooter is touched he goes to the line to take two free throws. And now the fighter who is a proven brave son of boxing often times fights for peanuts meanwhile the so called big names behave like spoiled Divas.
The future of boxing lies on the small town gyms and is carried on the shoulders of many young lions waiting for an opportunity to shine and not on the big names. It is them the hungry young lions that should get a bigger piece of the pie because it is them that keep boxing alive and strong.
I think that old school boxing died without many of us noticing it and now all is left is a fake copy of the original essence of prize fighting. But, what about the reader, do you agree with me or are you amazed by the million notes that fight fans will have to pay for glorified sparring sessions?