COMMENTARY | Boxing's promoters always seem to be a favorite target for fans and media and, in many cases, they are a very deserving target. Most of the sport's seedier elements come about due to promoter manipulations or promoter neglect. It's no secret why, to most hardcore boxing fans, figures like Bob Arum and Oscar De la Hoya are about as popular as an IRS auditor.
So, yeah, let's stick it to them when they deserve it, but let's also give credit where credit is due.
In recent months, at least in areas of matchmaking and respect for the fans' dollar, most of these outfits have been doing a really solid job.
Golden Boy, a company that has spoken a lot about working to deliver solid cards to the sport's long-suffering fans, has been less than successful in their supposed mission in the past. Recently, though, the firm headed by Oscar De la Hoya and Richard Schaefer has not only been earnest in efforts to deliver quality cards to fans, but has also shown a willingness to think outside the box when it comes to delivering their product to TV audiences.
Adding the highly-anticipated junior welterweight bout between Danny Garcia and Lucas Matthysse to the Floyd Mayweather-Saul Alvarez undercard has won Golden Boy plenty of positive press. The August 24 Abner Mares-Jhonny Gonzalez main event on Showtime should also win Golden Boy some praise from critics.
Recently, the promotional company announced their plans to launch "Golden Boy Live," a live Monday night show, kicking off on August 19 on Fox Sports 1. And while any boxing on Monday night is better than no boxing, the first couple of main events show an effort to maintain a decent level of quality control for the relatively low budget show. The series is set to kick off with a middleweight clash pitting cancer survivor and former middleweight top contender, Danny Jacobs against former world title challenger, Giovanni Lorenzo.
It has also been widely rumored that Golden Boy is planning a special "Showtime Boxing Special Edition" to take place on Friday, September 6. Bouts said to be included on that card are Chris Arreola vs. Seth Mitchell, Victor Ortiz vs. Alfonso Gomez, and the possible return of Rafael Marquez.
Boxing's other super promotional power, Top Rank, is choosing to remain more traditional in their programming decisions, but has definitely upped the quality of its matchmaking.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios, Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Timothy Bradley, and a possible Mike Alvarado vs. Ruslan Provodnikov bout highlight a solid end to a very solid year for Bob Arum's company. Top Rank will also be doing big shows with Miguel Cotto, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and Chinese star Zou Shiming by year's end.
This trend of quality matchmaking extends beyond the Top Rank-Golden Boy universe as well. Risky, intriguing, and fan-friendly bouts are getting made a lot more often than in the past.
The action beyond U.S. borders also looks to be significantly better than at any time in recent history. The remainder of the year is, for example, packed with European shows featuring bouts that may have been impossible to make even a year ago such as David Haye vs. Tyson Fury, Nathan Cleverly vs. Sergey Kovalev, and Wladimir Klitschko vs. Alexander Povetkin. Even countries with a firm hold on their fans, like Mexico and Canada, have shown a willingness to give fans even more consideration in the matchmaking process.
Perhaps promoters have had this abrupt change in philosophy because of the aggressive competition between companies these days. Where there was implied rivalry between promoters in the past, there is flat out war now.
Whatever the case, the fans look to be the winners in this situation. And it's always good for boxing when its fans are allowed to be happy and positive about its future.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
- Sports & Recreation
- Oscar De la Hoya
- Bob Arum