By Jason Pribila: The announced crowd at Mandalay Bay was 6,240. They and fight fans on the West Coast were probably the only boxing fans able to stay awake to see Porter enter the ring to challenge Garcia. This was due to short-sighted programming that resulted in the PBC counter-programming against themselves.
Victor Ortiz vs Devon Alexander headlined a fight card on the PBC on Fox that was scheduled to run from 8pm – 10pm EST. At 9:25 pm instead of Ortiz-Alexander touching gloves, we were instead treated to a 4-round fight that no one, other than the fighters and their families asked to be televised. Carlos Balderas UD4 Jorge Rojas Zacazontetl over four foul-filled rounds.
During the Ortiz – Alexander bout, FOX aired commercials promoting Garcia – Rios, however, if boxing fans waited until the scorecards to be read before switching to Showtime, they would have completely missed the entire opening fight in which Yordenis Ugas stopped Ray Robinson.
Both fight cards were already fighting for the attention of sports fans who had the options of watching NBA All-Star Weekend or the Winter Olympics, they should have done a better job of not further dividing their boxing audience.
“Thurman – fatigue”:
Am I the only one who is tired of Keith Thurman? First and foremost, he is a quality fighter who earned the position that he is in. However, I feel he has a false sense of his own popularity. Off the top of my head, I couldn’t tell you his hometown. He doesn’t have a fanbase that I’m aware of. His biggest wins took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but the crowds gather at that venue because it has become the East Coast venue of choice of the PBC.
He deserves credit for coming out fast and dominating Danny Garcia over the first half of their unification fight. However, I would have made it clear to all the fighters on that CBS card. You owe it to the fans, and the fighters who will follow you not to stink out this joint in front of this audience. Instead, Thurman got on his bicycle, refusing to engage over the final three rounds. This was not the first time that I had wished that Dana White ran the PBC.
Now we see Thurman at many Showtime-televised fights talking as if his number 1 ranking at 147 would somehow cause fans to confuse him with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Instead we have Haymon’s frat boys: Thurman, Garcia, and Porter calling out each other, earning money while they are all being passed in popularity by Errol Spence Jr. and Bud Crawford.
Your Manager will make sure you stay on the payroll as long as he buys television time on FS1, Bounce, and Spike. And when it comes time when you have had enough, he will find an open mic for you to analyze the fighters who will follow you.
While your business agreement with Mr. Haymon ensures that you will capture airtime, please don’t confuse it with capturing the imagination of boxing fans that are able to sniff out those who value their Win/Loss record more than daring to be truly great.