Rolly Romero criticizes Haney’s PPV Numbers, Calls for More Entertainment in Boxing

By Robert Segal - 12/23/2023 - Comments

Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero says Devin Haney brought in the rumored 50K PPV buys for his fight against Regis Prograis on December 9th because he’s “one of the most boring” fighters in the sport.

While Rolly praised Haney for his technical skills, he viewed him as failing to entertain. There’s a balance that fighters must have, especially if they want to be PPV attractions, and Haney lacks that.

He uses the hit-and-retreat method, which is effective, but it’s not entertaining to watch. It’s not enough for Haney to be entertaining in the build-up for his fights. He’s got to do it inside the ring, and that’s not been happening.

Can Haney change?

Rolly feels that Haney (31-0, 15 KOs) has a boring style, and he’s not entertaining compared to Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia, to name just a couple.

Those are the gold standard in terms of entertainment. For Haney to get to that level of entertainment to provide value, he’s going to have to be retooled to have a complete makeover.

He believes that the PPV buy total for the Haney-Prograis fight was actually less than the 50K, which some would see as a reasonable estimate for these reasons:

  • Poor undercard: It looked like it was put together on the cheap
  • Boring fighting style: Devin’s past fights involve clinching, jabbing, and running.
  • A controversial decision in his previous fight: Haney’s previous fight was against Vasily Lomachenko, and fans thought he lost. Rather than doing the noble thing by giving Loma a rematch, Haney fled.

“He probably did less. Prograis wasn’t really helping either,” said Rolly Romero to Fighthype when told that Devin Haney vs. Regis Prograis is rumored to have done 50K PPV buys on December 9th.

DAZN hasn’t released their PPV buy totals for the Haney-Prograis event, and it’s unclear if they ever will. If the numbers are poor, it wouldn’t be a shock if they choose not to release them. It wouldn’t be good for Haney if DAZN released them, and they were even less than 50K.

“That specific person isn’t a very entertaining fighter. He doesn’t even try to be in the spotlight in his team, which, honestly, the fighter should be in the spotlight,” said Rolly. “But, like I said, PPVs. You’ve got to give fans something they want to watch.

It’s probably unrealistic for Haney to change his fighting style at this point in his career without it wrecking him. He’s fighting in the only style that works for him because he can’t punch, and his ability to take a hard shot without getting hurt is suspect.

Fans want drama

“The thing is, you’re not going to give fans something they want to watch by putting on a boring show. I’m not saying that fight was horrible. He did look amazing. But the thing is, you have the track record of being one of the most boring in boxing, and you have one good performance,” said Rolly about Haney.

Fighters are modern-day gladiators, and the fans want to be entertained by seeing the closest thing they can get to that. In the days of the Roman gladiators, the ones who failed to show bravery were weeded out and not put in front of crowds because the reaction would be negative.

When fighters like Haney fail to understand what fans are interested in, the results are poor PPV buys because they’re sending a message. ‘We don’t enjoy watching your safety-first style. You’re running from your opponent, and we don’t want to pay to see that.’

“Ryan will look like s*** one day, and look amazing, but every single one of his fights is entertaining,” said Rolly. “You don’t know if he’s going to get punched in the face. You don’t know if he’s going to have a nervous breakdown in the middle of the fight.”

Even when Ryan’s bad, he’s entertaining because he’s turning his back on his opponent, putting himself in harm’s way, taking a knee, and/or scoring a come-from-from-behind knockout. You just don’t know what you’re going to get with him because he’s not technical, and he doesn’t run from the battlefield.

“You don’t know any of that s***. All of his fights are entertaining. Ryan is an entertaining fighter. The same thing with Gervonta,” said Rolly. “There’s not a fight that’s not entertaining. Then you get a fighter that, for one fight, they’re entertaining, and then they’re the most boring fighter. You never get the balance. So, how are you going to create a track record to sell PPVs?

“As a fan, everybody wants to see that fight,” said Rolly about a fight between him and Ryan Garcia. “That’s the biggest fight in boxing right now.”

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