Get a cup of tea ready. Or a coffee. This post will be a long one. I just ask one small favor in return. Please RT and tag friends on twitter and send this around.
This is my understanding of the current state of boxing!
First we start with the changes in the balance of power in the USA & the UK. Boxing has never seen changes as big as the past 12 months. We are seeing serious competition. Al Haymon with PBC raised the game. But the game has been raised again by ESPN. Now the game has been raised further by DAZN! This is the best time in history to be a fighter and especially, a promoter or manager! Boxing is booming in $$$$$$.
Max Kellerman recently stated on his boxing show on ESPN the boxing budgets of the major broadcasters. DAZN is the clear leader at $200M range. ESPN is looking at the $90M range. And Showtime/Fox combined are close to the $100M range. Despite the differences being huge, ESPN & Showtime/Fox have the advantage of PPV’s to generate extra revenue for fighters and to make fights. ESPN probably has the most realistic advantage there as ESPN PPV’s are affordable, something that Showtime & Fox seem out of touch with reality on. For too long boxing events have been closing down/going out of business type sales. Everything has been about making the most money on an event, rather than planning for the future. With much more affordable PPV’s over the years, just imagine how many extra fans would be watching the sport today, which would have essentially led to more money for everyone anyway.
So essentially DAZN is the beast in the room, money wise. That can’t be disputed. But ESPN is a clear 2nd, when you combine reach and other avenues in ways which they can satisfy fighters. It seems clear that FOX & Showtime are a distant third.
Will one broadcaster dominate? I can’t see that at all. To dominate boxing you would need a budget of $500 Million a year, something no broadcaster can come close too. I do predict we will see the formation of divisions being pretty much exclusive for specific broadcasters, as we are witnessing now. DAZN has the middleweights, PBC/Showtime/Fox have the Welterweights & ESPN have the Light Heavyweights. These kind of segregations will continue. We will see fluctuations.
Reports suggest Wilder is meeting with DAZN next week from the Boxing Voice. As I have said numerous times over the past year, I believe Al Haymon’s influence in the US, seems to be in decline. But the balance of power is so fascinating in boxing. Al will pick this up in other areas. He’s already signed Eubank to a 3 fight deal in the UK. He’s formed a partnership with ITV. Any lost US market share, can be easily made up with an increase in UK market share.
The sport isn’t able to be dominated by one promoter or one advisor though. Just take a look at Eddie Hearn. He’s been fantastic over the past 2 years. He has made master moves in the US, but his UK influence of power has diminished. Frank Warren has capitalized on the UK market share, since Eddie’s duties seem focused on the US. These balances of power are fascinating. There simply isn’t enough time in the day, or talent, for one promotional company to dominate the game. It will be interesting to see where Eddie goes in the US in the future. He’s been fantastic in the rise of DAZN, but so many promoters are now getting spots on DAZN shows, is his influence diminishing? Time will tell.
Showtime is far from out of the game. Despite Stephen Espinoza somehow getting into debates with the Boxing Kingdom Parody Page (Not me), I think Showtime will go harder in female boxing and the lower weight divisions. The cost to attain talent in female boxing and the lower weight divisions is cheaper and also more attainable. It’s also going to be interesting to see what happens with Al Haymon’s stable. The money is now so big at DAZN & ESPN, can his fighters stay happy on other broadcasters? Can these broadcasters satisfy the needs of these fighters? Only time will tell.
One fascinating aspect of the fighters purses are what the world champions are earning. Some champions are still earning $500k-$1M per fight. Even popular welterweights and super welterweights are earning this, when the market rate is actually much higher at $2.5-$3M US per fight. Good source told me Jessie Vargas has been making close to $2M US per fight (Per Source). Expect to see a lot of movements on this soon.
The Heavyweight Division? Well it’s been a highly debatable topic lately. Tyson Fury took an amazing deal with ESPN, killing the Wilder rematch. Which won’t happen for a very long time, if ever again. But the good news is we will likely see Joshua vs Wilder by the end of the year on DAZN. Alternatively I expect Fury and Pulev to fight a few tune ups before fighting. Or if Whyte joins ESPN, he would enter the mix, fighting Pulev before facing off against Fury in an ESPN PPV event. The heavyweight division is currently frustrating, but eventually we will see the fights we want. It just won’t be next.
Some of the round by round scoring is the worst I have seen from media members. I take pride and confidence in saying my RBR is easily the best in boxing. I’m not saying media members don’t know how to score fights, but they may be obstructed in what they can see, or may be sitting on the corner of the ring and they may see a fighters shoulder when a punch lands. That’s the most frustrating thing with judges themselves. Did you know they sit at 3 different sections of the ring. One judge may see a beautiful punch land, another may see nothing, just a shoulder. Until we get this right, we won’t have consistency. I believe scoring from a TV, a neutral TV type bunker, which would be similar to e.g (NRL in Australia, which analyzes the game from a bunker), would be a great decision for boxing. 3 neutral judges, judging the fight from a neutral room, which has a crazy amount of camera angles, is the way forward.
My biggest frustration is when I log on to youtube to watch a boxing video and it says blocked in your country. All boxing videos on youtube should be unblocked to all locations. Blocking specific locations serves no purpose at all, not for business, not for rights etc. The more viewership essentially leads to more $ from all these broadcasters globally. For E.G a US boxing video, may be only shown in the US, and blocked in UK, Mexico, Russia etc. This is despite the event not even being broadcasted in those countries or replays being shown, or no one having rights. We have a duty of care in boxing to help the sport grow as much as possible, and whoever is geographically blocking countries from boxing content, is on my shit list for life! J
The next few months will be big in boxing!
- I’m most fascinated with Al Haymon’s stable. Already whispers about Charlo talking to DAZN. Al is a very smart man. He won’t hold his fighters back. And he will take them elsewhere if needed (in my opinion).
- Then we will see how ESPN can build Fury further. If ESPN can set up the big fights at LHW.
- Then DAZN will start to line things up so it’s clear who is the king at Middleweight and Heavyweight.
- Boxing has never been more successful, nor has it had this much money invested into it. Nor has it had a boxing twitter account as good as boxing kingdom! Boxing is sexy again!
As I finish this article I just want to re-emphasize, boxing is in the best place, in which it’s ever been. We are going to be spoilt by the fights we can see this year and over the coming years. My only concern is the business side of boxing. Promoters & advisors need to remember that this sport comes first. We don’t want to see a dick measuring contest. At the end of the day this sport will be here long past any of us. So we need to make sure it booms. Promoters/Advisors need to start meeting, forming working relationships and helping this sport grow even further.
P.S As we finish this, I would like to say more sponsorships and money need to be put into private youtube channels, which constantly put out fantastic content. Sure these channels can monetize and earn solid amounts of money. But the work boxing media channels do, deserves bigger rewards. And I’m not talking about myself, I have other ways I make money. But I would like to see private companies investing more into boxing channels. Promoters also to push events. One thing I love about DAZN is they are actually giving boxing content creators the ability to sell memberships via affiliate links, sharing a bit of the pie. This has never been seen before in boxing and other broadcasters and companies need to do this also to compete. We should also be seeing more fan ticket giveaways. Everyone is making enough money. Let’s change the nature of every boxing promotion, being a closing down sale, to a less aggressive promotion/sale which is more affordable and beneficial for the long term growth of the sport.
Hope you all enjoyed that!