The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

Arum Math

Another fun fact from the Wrestling Observer, quoting the Sports Business Journal: the announced 50,000+ attendance for Pacquiao/Clottey was only 41,000 and change in the building, of which only 36,000 and change was paid.

Even more fun: last year’s Vic Darchinyan/Joseph Agbeko fight in Sunrise, Florida was announced as drawing 11,772 fans. Actual paid? 757 people. Andre Berto and Carlos Quintana drew 972 in the same city.

I continue to believe boxing’s biggest problem is the level of denial out there about the real state of the sport; all the other problems are exacerbated and left to fester by it. The constant recourse to outright lies and heavily doctored attendance figures is part of that and disguises how much boxing has stopped being an event-based sport in favor of being a TV-based sport in America. That has its upsides, but it also means that at the end of the day the sport in the US is going to live and die with the whims of HBO. Right now, HBO has a well-deserved reputation for over-paying for fights and bidding against itself as well as being in the pocket of certain promoters and managers; if that changes- and it probably will in time- there’s not going to be a lot for promoters and fighters to fall back on. If they can’t draw locally and they can’t draw on their own on PPV, their income is tied directly to the willingness of a near-monopoly outlet to pay them. The day HBO decides to use its massive negotiating leverage is the day fighter incomes fall of a cliff.

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June 18, 2010 - Posted by | Boxing

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