Friday, March 25, 2016

Can Andre Ward Excite Boxing's Bored To Death Fans?

Let's face it, this hasn't been a thrilling year so far

So yeah, there hasn't been much boxing since before last Christmas. That's right, Christmas. It's almost Easter. Showtime supposedly has some good things lined up for the spring. Who knows if the network will lose interest in boxing again after that, though. At this point, the smart money would probably be on fans being denied regular broadcasts from summer through the late fall.

Not to get too bleak here, but it is what it is. I keep learning of boxing fans leaning towards MMA these days. Honestly, I doubt boxing's power players care. Again, it is what it is. So long as boxing's overlords have fans that will pay, they'll just keep squeezing that orange, the very picture of indifference.

Is there a bright spot in all of this? Well, there's ALWAYS a bright spot. It's why we keep tuning in. At this point, though, it's worth wondering just how bright that bright spot can be...and when the hell it will shine. The next few weeks don't look promising, but perhaps something promising will come from them.

This weekend we've got Andre Ward and Sullivan Barrera. The week after that we MIGHT have Adrien Broner and Ashley Theophane, provided Broner's legal problems don't prevent the fight from happening. The week after that we've got Manny-Tim, part three. I know, I know, it's beyond sad. Still, frowns can be turned upside down in the blink of an eye.

Call me crazy, but I have a feeling Ward may impress this Saturday. Seriously. I just have a feeling he'll make a statement and put Barrera away. The only thing more surprising than that might be to see Barrera win. That's unlikely, though. Ward is simply too talented.

Back to Ward, should he impress it would get fans, wait for it, EXCITED. For a big throwdown with Sergey Kovalev would then become a MAJOR throwdown. The biggest thing that plagues fans at the moment is that there's nothing to anticipate. While MMA nuts have UFC 200 to look forward to, boxing nust get to look forward to Canelo-GGG marinating some more (I get the feeling the marination process has just started).

Truth be told, however, I've always found Ward-Kovalev more interesting than Canelo-GGG anyway. Canelo is a star. Ward is a great fighter. And therein lies the difference. Let's hope Mr. Ward - or maybe even Mr. Barrera - heats things up for this slumbering fan base. It's been way too long.

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