Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Can Boxing Once Again Be Embraced By A Mainstream Viewership?

Let's face it, boxing has been on the margins of American society for ages now.


Ask yourself this:

When was the last time you overheard two strangers talking about the sweet science?

See what I mean?

Of course superadviser Al Haymon aims to change all this. By cutting fresh deals with Spike and NBC, Haymon is now putting big fights back on free primetime television. Bouts like Danny Garcia-Lamont Peterson and Adrien Broner-John Molina, which just a few short weeks ago would have only appeared on premium cable, will now be available to pretty much anyone with a television set.

Good news, right?

It certainly appears to be. The only question now is whether or not mainstream audiences will tune in to watch the throwdowns. That's a tough one to call, frankly. While the matches are undoubtedly quite good, the quality of the fights may not be. Haymon's programming, which is being called "Premiere Boxing Champions," will have to entertain non-boxing fans if it hopes to survive.

The best way to make things work, of course, is to get audiences familiar with the fighters themselves. Sure, boxing fans know who Danny Garcia and Adrien Broner are, but most other people out there don't. Haymon, NBC and Spike will have to get millions of people invested with individuals they are now completely unfamiliar with in order for "Premiere Boxing Champions" to be successful.

Not so long ago, people cheered on the likes of Ray Mancini and Hector Camacho from the comfort of their living rooms because they were as invested in the individuals as they were in the bouts they engaged in. Can such a scenario once again become a reality?

We're all about to find out.