the litigation goes with Gamboa remains to be seen but because of these
machinations, the card on Saturday night is now a lower-level
pay-per-view card, featuring the likes of Juan Manuel Marquez (broadcast
from Mexico), Mercito Gesta and Mike Alvarado. As Top Rank and HBO
couldn’t come to an agreement on who would face Rios in Gamboa’s place,
there was no other choice but to broadcast this on pay-per-view.
It was that or Rios and the rest of Top Rank’s fighters sit on the sidelines.
we sign fighters, we have obligations to them,” explained duBoef. “I
can’t make excuses or reasons why. Your career and family’s livelihood
isn’t going to work because someone has to show an episode of ‘Homeland’
or show an episode of ‘Sex and the City’ or, to be even more relevant,
‘Game of Thrones’ or something like that. I can’t do that. So we have an
obligation as a promoter to provide opportunities for our fighters, no
matter what the case is. That’s our job. I would also echo this; look at
UFC, for instance. They do over one a month that you are watching on
pay-per-view because they didn’t have a more conventional distribution
mechanism over the last 10 years. They now have FOX, obviously, so that
was the place where you found their prizefights on a regular basis.”
reality is this kind of pay-per-view card is more about fulfilling
contracts than making money. The expectations for this show are very
tempered. As HBO’s Larry Merchant has said in the past, it’s basically
like putting in extra bleacher seats for those who won’t make it out to
Las Vegas. Shows of this nature are loss leaders designed to advance
careers when slots are unavailable on HBO or Showtime.
doing what my obligation is to the fighters. We’re taking the risk.
We’re taking the risk of making this event happen to link it up, to make
it sellable, to do whatever it is. Is it a 500,000-home fight? No, it
isn’t a 500,000-home fight,” admitted duBoef. “Do I think we can do a
decent amount of business? We’re going to do the best we can and give
all these fighters the opportunity to live up to our commitment that we
of the problems in this era of boxing is that with the overreliance on
the premium cable networks (who have a finite amount of dates devoted)
and with the likes of CBS, NBC and ABC no longer a factor, there aren’t
many platforms where marquee names can have their financial demands
satisfied. At one time, USA’s “Tuesday Night Fights” was a valuable
“bridge series” that would see fighters perform between their more
lucrative fights on HBO and Showtime.
or worse pay-per-views like this weekend’s keep boxers like Rios from
performing just twice a year. duBoef says, “Personally, I don’t like
this whole two-fights-a-year model. I think it’s a bad model. I think
it’s where we’re just managing fighters’ careers based on what the
opportunities are for the premium networks or what they’re scheduling;
let’s put it that way. I think that’s a little problematic. If you look
at Ray Leonard before he fought Wilfredo Benitez for the title, I think
it was his ninth fight of the year. It was the ninth fight of the
is correct. In 1979, “Sugar” boxed eight times prior to facing Benitez
for the WBC welterweight strap that November at Caesars Palace in Las
the fighter’s ready to go and wants the fight, why aren’t there
opportunities? Why can’t they go ahead and do it?” asked duBoef,
rhetorically, knowing that his company is perhaps one of the few who
will actually finance its own cards without the license fees provided by
television. It’s actually the purest form of promoting- putting up
one’s own money and hoping to turn a profit. But in the last two
decades, there has become more and more of a reliance on only staging
fights/cards if someone else finances them, whether it be a network or a
It’s the age of the TV packager.
think we got ourselves in a little bit of a rut and I think we gotta go
back to the fighters fighting more often and I think it would solve a
lot of issues, guys that won’t blow up in weight in between fights so
much. Guys that are constantly in shape. More accessibility in knowing
each fighter because there was regularity. I think it would be very
healthy for the business if we moved off of the limited number of bouts
based on premium television dates,” said duBoef.
to what duBoef pointed out, it’s difficult to promote anything
effectively and build a fan base for anything that shows up every six,
seven months, save for perhaps Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.
What’s that saying; “Out of sight, out of mind”? But this culture change
would take a sacrifice from everyone involved, especially the fighters,
who are used to being paid a guaranteed amount from their network
agreements. Would boxers of today be willing to take reduced purses for
fights, outside these platforms, in exchange for activity? Human nature
suggests that if you could make millions for performing just twice year
with no pressure to build a fan-base or sell tickets (which, at one
time, determined your market value), why would you change anything?
performers who play to half-filled ballrooms and do mediocre ratings
are deemed worthy of millions of dollars by the networks. Till this
changes, nothing will.
think that’s a case to a certain extent and I think that the problems
is that there’s too big of a discrepancy between what you can get on a
regular basis in the marketplace and what you can get on a premium
channel in the marketplace,” duBoef opined. “This gap is so big that
it’s not like two fights of a premium channel can get you what you would
on a premium channel. There’s no middle class. So you just have a
really big gap and I think we have to narrow it down for the health of
Will network license fees on HBO and Showtime ever align with reality?
said that a number of times that to a certain extent, the values of the
fighters were created by a value of a [television] executive that wrote
the check,” said duBoef, who agrees that often, the opinions of the
decision makers aren’t derived from real value or data but personal
preferences. “Right, not based on the ‘attractability’ or if it’s the
ratings, the audience demand for it.”
added, “I think, to a certain extent, you sit back and you kinda have
to evaluate how the pay-model works and how those values are created and
that’s my biggest concern and I’ve been a big advocate that people
create value, not individuals or checkbooks.”
the show goes on this weekend in Las Vegas. To the consternation of
many fans, it will cost $44.95 to see it. Unfortunately, it’s a
necessary evil. But will it at least lead to a showdown between Rios and
Marquez later on this summer?
have obviously talked to both camps about it,” said duBoef. “We’d love
to roll up our sleeves and move to at least have a real good
conversation if it can be put together.”
been asked if Marquez’s fight from Mexico City versus Sergey Fedchenko
will be shown inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center. According to
duBoef, they will be adding screens that will come down from above the
ring, then lowered when Marquez-Fedchenko takes place.
So there you have it.
Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer confirmed via email late last week
that indeed the rematch between Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto will take
place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 23rd. This
Showtime card will start off with a junior welterweight scrap between
Humberto Soto and Lucas Matthysse. It’s a good looking doubleheader.
seems to fit much better in L.A. than it does in Las Vegas (where it
was originally scheduled). In Los Angeles, it at least has a puncher’s
chance of drawing a significant crowd. I’m told the press conference
will take place sometime next week and I’m sure that’s when all the
ticket information will be released.
Yes, I booked my flight for the Tomasz Adamek-Eddie Chambers fight in Newark on June 16th.
Going to an Adamek fight at the Prudential Center is on my boxing
bucket list...I’m told that Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Teon Kennedy and
Jorge Arce vs. Jesus Rojas are going to be part of the Manny
Pacquiao-Tim Bradley undercard on June 9th in Las
Vegas...Look for featherweight Mikey Garcia to face WBA beltholder
Celestino Caballero in July on Showtime...Still no final decision on who
Adrien Broner will face on May 19 as the opener on HBO. The network and
GBP are trying to find someone a bit better than Monty Meza-Clay.
Broner’s HBO appointment in the summer (as the headliner) could be
bumped up from August to July...Strong efforts are being made for a bout
between Leo Santa Cruz and Vusi Malinga for the vacant IBF bantamweight
title...Ronny Rios put forth a solid, workmanlike effort in beating
Guillermo Sanchez this past weekend on “Solo Boxeo”...The Red Sox and
Yankees will win a game, right?...RIP, Mike Wallace...The next edition
of “Operation” should be with Kobe Bryant’s body...I wonder if Atlanta
Falcons fans are getting a good chuckle from the recent troubles of one