Monday, January 11, 2016

Is It Now Or Never For PBC?

Will fans start finding other things to do with their time?

A cursory look over what's commonly known as "boxing Twitter" will easily lead one to the conclusion that Al Haymon's Premiere Boxing Champions is not only a source of much derision, but might actually be turning people away from the fight game. This was clearly not the mysterious Haymon's intentions when he unveiled Champions close to a year ago.

Truth be told, I'd like to see the series succeed. Big time. I'd like to see big matches on "free" television. I'd like to see stars be born. I'd like to see the general public fall in love with the fight game again and I'd love to see Haymon's top fighters face off against top fighters from other stables.
Sadly, none of that seems to be happening.

And, to make matters worse, it may not be happening throughout 2016 with any regularity. That may not be good for PBC, however. No matter how much hedge fund money Haymon received for his series, it's not going to keep from running dry. Other sources of revenue have to start coming in. Serious sources. Major advertising sources. And those sources won't come in if fans don't tune in. And fans may not be turning in if Guerrero-Garcia is the best Champions has to offer.

Make no mistake about it, there've been some great fights so far on PBC. To deny as much is simply to be overly partisan in one's opinion. Still, great fights and major matchups are two distinctly different things - which, when combined, become classic sporting events. In other words, you've got to get people to want to tune in rather than to stumble across a terrific scrap one lazy Saturday night.

Then again, what do I know? I'm a fight writer, not a businessman. Perhaps PBC can keep going at this rate, providing the world the likes of Santa Cruz-Martinez and everything will work out fine. It's hard to imagine that being the case, however, at least not for the sport of boxing if not for Haymon and his fighters.

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