Dear Boxers, promoters, sanctioning bodies, athletic commissions, networks, referees, and ring card girls.
It’s astonishing that you folks who are actually in the industry of promoting and participating in the sport I dearly love, the sweet science known as boxing, have forgotten that if the fans don’t show up to support you, you don’t get paid.
I don’t give a rats ass if your name is Floyd Mayweather, Bob Arum, Al Haymon, or if you work for Showtime or DAZN. Your entire existence is based on satisfying the fans. It’s called prize fighting for a reason.
Basic supply and demand. You supply your talents for a fee because the fans demand the type of entertainment that pits two human beings against one another in a fair fight.
If there were a huge fight card where the Main Event is Anthony Joshua versus Tyson Fury for the Undisputed Heavyweight Championship Of The World, and the undercard has Canelo Alvarez versus Triple G, with the opener being Terrance Crawford Versus Errol Spence at Cowboys stadium, if no one shows up, that fight card is a failure.
It’s the boxing fans hard earned money that keeps the sport healthy and thriving. It doesn’t matter at all how skilled the fighters are, how slimy and slick talking the promoters can be, or how clear the HD looks on TV, without us, the fans, your all at UPS slinging boxes.
I once heard one fighter refuse to fight another fighter during an interview because the fighter he was asked about fighting, didn’t have high enough “television ratings” to make the fight attractive enough for him to accept.
They were both in the same weight class in the primes of their careers. In fact, the fighter who actually refused the fight was a highly skilled bigger and stronger man than the potential opponent.
For whatever reason, instead of taking a fight that was winnable to him, he jumped up two weight classes and fought a bigger, stronger man than he, who was just as highly skilled.
The guy got his ass handed to him! He could have fought the smaller fighter and possibly earned just as much money with a much better chance to win.
If I could pin-point a hypothetical reasoning of the fighter (which I choose to keep nameless during this piece) for not take a more winnable fight, there are two.
One, the smaller fighter is with a rival promotional company. Two, we’re in the era of the coveted “0”. Some highly skilled fighters would rather cherry pick fights against inferior opposition to put on a “show” than to risk a fight with an evenly matched opponent who may have a legitimate chance of beating them.
They do this type of thing to draw out anticipation and create social media hype that can potentially make the fight with the more evenly matched opponent more financially beneficial.
I get it. Just like the fans who pay, the fighters deserve just as much bang for their buck as anyone else. However, the fighter above never even headlined his own Pay-Per View Card.
He is well known to hard core boxing fans, but If I picked 100 random people off the street, I’d bet maybe only 20 or 30 people would know who he is. He was killed by foolish pride and arrogance.
Arrogance for using the lame excuse of the potential opponent’s lack of TV ratings as if his TV ratings were that much better. Foolish pride for taking an ill-advised fight against a bigger opponent who was apart of his same promotional company for the asinine sake of keeping money “in house”.
This type of attitude and disregard towards not just the sport but the fans needs to stop.
I understand fully what this sport is all about from the perspective of the fighters. Every time they step in that squared circle, there is no guarantee they’ll walk safely out of it.
Fighters risk their health and lives. As a daily practice, they punish their bodies to get in the best shape humanly possible to compete.
Boxing is not a game. Unfortunately, fighters risk brain injuries, detached retinas, broken bones, broken eye sockets, shattered ear drums, and cuts that can require many stitches to close.
It’s a sport that’s not for play. But to use the most over used phrase in the history of the world, “at the end of the day”, fighters, managers, promoters, and television networks have all willingly signed up for such a profession.
They’ve signed up for this profession because there people who are willing to pay their hard earned money to see it.
It definitely can be viewed as a sick addiction. I as the customer like any other boxing fan can use my money for anything.
Pay bills, clothing for myself or children, or food, and shelter. However, if a big fight comes down the pike that gets me excited, instead of focusing on padding my savings account or maybe getting ahead on car payments to pay it off sooner, I can throw extra money at a Pay-Per View card without a second thought because it’s a sport and culture I truly love dearly.
To the boxers. You’re the most important piece of this puzzle and you constantly give your power away to folks who could give two shits about your wellbeing.
You risk your lives and sacrifice time away from your families to acquire supreme focus to prepare for fights. You shed your blood, sweat and tears for our entertainment but before all that, you sign shitty contracts with lowlife promoters giving away your number one asset as a fighter and human being. Freedom.
It’s an utter disgrace that if Al Haymon and Bob Arum have some type of beef, they can stop Errol Spence from fighting Terrance Crawford.
It’s a shame that promoters can even sign fighters to exclusive long-term contracts. Isn’t the role of a promoter to simply promote fights? And if that’s they’re sole role as business entities, why in the blue moon hell should any fighter have any lengthy commitment to any one promoter?
Why can’t Al Haymon, who’s the head of the promotional company PBC sit down with Vasyl Lomachenko and discuss the possibility of him promoting a fight against another top fighter in Lomachenko’s weight class, Ryan Garcia?
The obvious is that Haymon doesn’t do business with fighters he doesn’t have under contract, and to the fighters, that’s my point.
Instead of owning your power and being independent contractors, you sell your souls in slave deals and for what?
It’s the promoters jobs to promote fights anyway. If those fuckers have no fighters to promote for boxing shows, there less important than buy here, pay here used car salesmen.
Fans pay to see fighters not promoters.
My suggestion to fighters is instead of running to promoters for exclusive contracts that are complete nonsense, while taking shitty advances that lock you in long-term, develop fighter driven unions that protect you as fighters.
Hell, maybe you can take some of that money that your throwing away to sanctioning bodies and use it to hire lawyers and help develop unions of some sort.
NOT YOUR FUCKIN PROMOTERS LAWYERS! LAWYERS THAT FIGHTERS INDEPENDANTLY AGREE ON.
Fighters should be deciding who, when, and where they want to fight, and hire the promoters that they see fit for assistance to promote those fights without being obligated to fulfill long term contracts that are more beneficial to the promoter and his company than the fighter or fighters themselves.
It’s the fighters who should pay a fee to promoters that assist in putting the shows together and ultimately get the asses in the seats and people pushing the order button on the remotes.
After it’s all said and done, the individuals who took the most risk, the fighters themselves, because they collectively pooled money together to hire promoters to promote a show, then got in the ring and fought, should indeed get the bigger brunt of the money.
Promoters should never decide the paychecks of grown men and women who risk their lives. They should simply receive what the fighters deem appropriate just like any other “work for hire” relationship.
To the promoters. You cowardly waste of human flesh. You’ve destroyed this sport long enough with your money to manipulate rankings by jumping in bed with sanctioning bodies who are nothing more than workshops commanded by Lucifer straight from the pits of hell.
You highlight the poverty of human beings by dangling money from strings. You entice desperate individuals who simply want better lives for themselves and families.
You use slick word play, complicated contracts, and empty promises coaxing fighters into signing long-term controlling deals in this new era of modern day slave trades.
Cowardly because you wouldn’t dare get in the ring to risk your life for a check yourself. Cowardly because you wouldn’t sacrifice time with your families as the fighters do.
I understand some fighters choose to be promoters after their boxing careers. But some of those slimeballs treat fighters just as bad or even worse than the human units that have never put on the gloves before and it’s sickening.
If a fighter unfortunately loses they’re life in the ring, we can see shows of public displays of affection with 10 counts and moments of silence but what about college funds for the surviving children.
For those who have given help to families after tragedies on a consistent basis I’m not speaking to you. But like I said earlier whether you’re doing the right thing or not by the fighter, without the fighter, your nothing.
Instead of conning fighters into working for you, why not act as mentors (since your supposedly legit businessmen) and encourage and educate fighters to work with you.
Is it too much to have 50/50 nonexclusive deals with fighters on a fight to fight basis for the good of not just the fighters but the fans as well? (50/50 is just a random number I’ve thrown out there). The only thing that matters, is fighters remaining in control because they have the most important role.
And hey, the promoters and their respective companies can still make large sums of money because they too are not boxed in with fighters that they sometimes claim are hard to promote, or not fan-friendly enough.
Is it too much to ask that all major fights go to purse bid where the fighters have just as much control in their own financial futures while making the promoters actually earn the chance to have their company names alongside the marquee fighters in big events?
What’s all that wrong with Deontay Wilder making a huge show with DAZN if he could get a bigger check with them than PBC?
What if Gervonta Davis got tired of being upstaged by Floyd Mayweather during interviews? Or if he was fed up with Mayweather being at all his press conferences jumping in and out of conversations making him look like he can’t speak up for himself? Like he’s unintelligent or less than a man or something. I know I’m not the only one that’s noticed that.
What would be the harm in Davis headlining a Top Rank show if Bob Arum wanted to pay him the top dollar he deserves.
Or like my previous suggestions. Fighters themselves pool there monies together with the biggest name being the headline and paying a promoter a fee to promote. Why the hell can’t Gervonta Davis and his team hire Bob Arum to help promote a boxing show he headlines.
If he’s executing his right as an independent contractor to do and be what he chooses, he shouldn’t have to subject himself into a business relationship where he’s not comfortable or respected.
Not to say Mayweather is actually doing anything wrong or that Davis even has a problem with how Mayweather is doing things. But what if Davis does feel some kinda way about it?
I know, I know, I can hear all the promoters and even some fighters screaming to the top of their lungs, “This is boxing, it’s just the way it is”!
Well that’s the problem. It’s not the way it should be. The one who ultimately suffers the most is the fighters and the collateral damage is the fans.
You know what’s truly sickening about boxing to me these days? Great fighters in the same weight classes, in their primes who don’t fight.
Errol Spence and Terrance Crawford. That is this generations Leonard Versus Hearns. Two undefeated fighters in the same weight class who are champions that the fans are begging to see get it on.
I get it. Covid came through and threw a monkey wrench in everyone’s program. Before that, Spence had a horrible accident. But the world is opening back up. Spence is fine.
What if Spence and Crawford linked up once or twice a week on YouTube or Instagram to talk shit to each other during the pandemic to entertain boxing fans. That’s the journey. However, the destination would be as soon as everything opened back up, a 2021 or 2022 Showdown would be an all-star Pay-Per View event with Spence Versus Crawford in the main event.
You don’t think they could get 100,000 folks in the seats in Cowboys Stadium and Pay-Per View’s priced at $100?
You mean to tell me two killers in their primes couldn’t beat Pay-Per View numbers of two fighters passed their primes that dragged out a promotion for 5 years with a coup de gras of a fight that sucked?
Spence and Crawford could have easily taken home $80-100 million apiece.
The most disappointing thing that came from it all was Errol Spence having the audacity to say he wanted a 70/30 split in his favor. The MotherFuckin Disrespect! He sounded just as ignorant as the fighter I spoke on earlier in this piece for refusing to fight a guy because of lower TV ratings. Or was it that Spence really didn’t want the fight?
Spence is too in love with his 0. It seems he would rather run from greatness to avoid losing that 0 than to jump at the opportunity to make sure his Great-Great Grand Children were able to eat whether he won or lost. I really hope my assessment is inaccurate but it seems like that to me.
Whether it was the promotional companies or the fighters themselves, they truly dropped the ball and us fans are suffering from it.
And about that tired ass 5 year promotion that ended with a fight that sucked. Boxing is just now showing signs of recovering from that bullshit that turned so many off to the sport.
Even I as a lifelong boxing fan needed a break. But you know what kept me from throwing the towel in out of pure disgust? Andre Ward. Yep! Ward.
You know, the kid from Oakland who hadn’t lost a fight since he was 12 years old. The Olympic gold medalist. The guy who cleaned out the whole Super Middleweight division and moved up to Light-Heavy Weight to beat a Bonafide killer. That Ward Guy.
That Ward guy actually retired undefeated. Ward was not the favorite to win the super 6 but he did. A lot of folks picked Sergey Kovalev to beat Ward. The first fight was close but Ward knocked him out in the rematch.
Great all around guy. Extremely articulate. Family man. No problems with the law. His only problem was his prime overlapping that of Pacquaio and Mayweather and when everyone was disgusted with those two, they looked away from boxing and missed the last part of a legendary career that was executed by Andre Ward.
That man deserved better. He deserves a hall of fame ceremony where he is the only featured modern day fighter.
Not taking credit from the other greats because they truly are. Roy Jones Jr, Bernard Hopkins, and Floyd Mayweather.
But with all due respect, those old fuckers stole money from the public fighting well passed their best days. It ultimately overshadowed the greatness of Andre Ward to a degree. Now he’s got to share Hall of fame years once again being tucked in the shadows.
That man deserved better. He’s every bit worth of $50-$100,000,000 paydays. His rematch with Kovalev should have at least been 1,000,000 Pay-Per View buys. But we as boxing fans were bitter at the bullshit that was #MayPac and just couldn’t bring ourselves to supporting out of fear of being duped again.
HBO boxing shuts down. No Comment
To the Networks. You actually have the power to fix this. You have more money than the promoters. In fact, without you, the promoters can’t sufficiently promote. But guess who has more money than the networks? The fans. Collectively.
A lot of folks only had HBO because of boxing and even though boxing at times was on Showtime as well, all the best fighters fought on HBO.
ESPN has always been a corner stone of the sport. Now were streaming fights with DAZN. Where is ESPN, Showtime, DAZN, and Fox getting there money from? Us. The fans!!!
You tell me what would happen if us fans decided to quit paying subscriptions and overpriced cable bills until the contracts to Crawford Versus Spence were signed? I’m talking about shutting everybody down. Teofimo Lopez, Lomachenko, Fury, Wilder, Joshua, Devin Haney, and so on.
Why can’t us as the fans simply hold our money? If we hold our money, the networks and streaming services don’t get paid. If they don’t get paid, the promoters can’t put on fight shows. If the fight shows can’t be created, the ones who suffer are the fighters because they can’t feed their families.
All roads lead to us fans. We have the power to demand the fights we want and when we want them or simply exercise our option to put our money towards more useful things. I wish we realized as fans how much power we have.
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