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On the last edition of “The Fight Game” hosted by Jim Lampley PBC (Premier Boxing Champions) was a topic of discussion. Lampley has insisted the demise of the Al Haymon venture.
“For the most part, PBC stars have been given faint-hearted matchups against lackluster opponents, followed by long layoffs, with predictable results in TV ratings and advertising sales,” said Lampley.
We cannot discredit the facts which are true, yes it is true that Premier Boxing fighters have not appeared in many bouts this year. One cannot argue that point against Lampley, however it is hypocritical coming from the source.
HBO has lacked big fights from their super stars as well. Gennady Golovkin and Sergey Kovalev are stars who have made more than one appearance on HBO in 2016. Golovkin and Kovalev have both appeared twice on the HBO network this year. Roman Gonzalez is the other fighter who has had two appearances on the network as well.
There are big names associated with HBO who have made 0 appearances on their regular cable network. Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley have made 0 appearances on the regular HBO network in 2016. Manny Pacquiao fought Timothy Bradley for a third time on HBO pay per view.
Pacquiao’s next fight against Jessie Vargas which will be a solid fight is not deemed worthy enough to be on their HBO network as budgeting issues are a factor. The result of that consequence has now forced Top Rank Promotions to produce and distribute their own pay per view event.
Canelo Alvarez who is arguably the biggest star on the HBO roster had his only appearance against a lack luster opponent in a fight that was nothing more than a showcase. Alvarez fought Liam Smith in an incredibly lopsided and predictable result. This fight was also Pay Per View and not shown on HBO’s regular network. He will be out of action but that is due to injury.
Andre Ward who is a big HBO star has also appeared on the network only one time this year. His next bout will be a pay per view bout as well. Terence Crawford who is a big up and coming future star has only had one appearance on the HBO network when he fought Hank Lundy. His other fight was against the formidable Viktor Postol, however that fight was also on pay per view.
None of these pay per views have done earth shattering numbers in terms of buys. Not everyone is willing to pay their hard earned money for pay per views such as Alvarez vs Smith or unknown to main stream fans a guy like Crawford. People instead are fine waiting one full week in order to see the fight on the HBO network, but lets face it, a replay will never beat watching a fight live.
Lampley spoke on predictable results, and criticized the PBC for this. HBO is just as guilty of these types of fight, the above mentioned fighters have had very predictable fights. Crawford ran rough-shed on Lundy, the result was never in jeopardy nor truly intriguing.
Kovalev defeated Jean Pascal in January, this fight was a rematch against an opponent he had already dominated, it left little suspense to captivate the viewers watching on television. Kovalev’s next bout against Chilemba was a nothing but a tune up fight. Ward’s fight against Alexander Brand was a mismatch and the result surprised no one.
When Golovkin fought Brook the only true intriguing element of the fight was seeing how long Kell Brook could last before succumbing to an eventual knockout. When Smith and Khan fought Canelo we already knew those fights would end by knockout right after being announced, little intrigue and paying to watch it instead of having the fights on the regular HBO network.
It cannot be disputed that these big time HBO fighters have seldomly appeared on their regular network. People would be hypocritical if they believed the PBC formula is working at this moment. PBC needs to step up their match making for 2017.
PBC has an abundance of fighters to turn it around and make it happen, however seeing is believing and we cannot praise them until this happens with more frequency as they have proved to provide top quality elite level fights.
Some of those include fight of the year candidates Keith Thurman when he faced Shawn Porter and Leo Santa Cruz against Carl Frampton which is probably the front runner for all fights in 2016.
HBO is not far behind in putting together grossly uneven fights. Just like the PBC they have put together some good fights but they are no saints as we have seen mismatch after mismatch on their network as well.
PBC is to blame for having their top guys out of action on their networks. HBO is to blame for having top guys fighting off their network and pay per view instead. It is no excuse to use budgeting issues as the reason that these top guys haven't been on the network more frequently, the hardcore fans do not care about the financials, paying a monthly subscription you are looking for top quality service, HBO has not delivered in 2016, lets hope things change.