Friday, September 25, 2015

Yeah, it's Wilder, But...

Let's get one thing out of the way here. It's good - real good - to have boxing back on prime time television. A great sport is always a good watch on network tv, after all. So, yes, I and others are undoubtedly happy that Deontay Wilder will be showing the world what he's made of on Saturday evening against Johann Duhaupas. What I and others are undoubtedly not so happy about, of course, is that it's Duhaupas Wilder is fighting.

Who is this European slugger from the shadows? The fact the question has to be asked actually speaks volumes. Look, there's nothing wrong with the heavyweight champion of the world taking a tuneup on national television. The problem with Wilder is that he's NOT the heavyweight champion of the world in the eyes of many fans (he holds the belt of a single entity - the WBC). What's more, fight fans have had it with Wilder engaging in tuneups.

Sorry, but people can only be grateful for getting free fights to a point. After a while people want good matches. We're all happy for the boxing, true, but we also have a right to complain here. The truth, however, may be that boxing's true fans are irrelevant to those who manage Wilder and the Premeire Boxing Champions' banner he fights under.

Judging by the commercials where Wilder is described as the heavyweight champion of  the world (as if there were only one), people might arguably assume that the PBC and Wilder's supporters (namely Al Haymon) are looking to snow those unfamiliar with boxing into believing what is at best a half truth. In other words, it's the folks who don't "know boxing" who are being targeted here.

This is good for business, of course. Everyone knows we long suffering fans of the sweet science have been beaten down for so long that we'll watch pretty much anything we're given. Why wouldn't any smart businessman focus on luring in the uninitiated instead? Wilder doesn't have to be great in the ring to get new viewers, he just has to be presented as great.

And perhaps be given guys to knock out.

Enjoy it while it lasts.

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