Eddie Hearn, the English boxing promoter, has stated that the health of British boxing needs competitive fights more than it does undefeated records.
The Pay-Per-View Business Model is Going to Change Everything
Hearn stated that, should the pay-per-view model be the only way that the business of boxing can survive and that more shock defeats would come about, people should start expecting far more boxers to start hating each other and talking about how much they hate each other in the years to come. He said that social media spats would become the norm, and the word beef to be used more often than it would be at a show by the Chippendales or a bustling butchery!
Harmless nice guys would start rebranding as childish loudmouths, and this would all be in the name of making enough noise to steal whatever limelight was available. Punters who take part in the sports betting NZ and the rest of the world has to offer have upended furniture, death threats, and tacky, misspelt hashtags to look forward to.
The Upside of the Pay-Per-View Bouts
One positive effect of this pay-per-view push, however, will be the middle ground it will necessarily create. While this middle ground is a seemingly scary place, it needs to produce the kind of boxing matches that are good enough, and competitive enough, to draw the interest of broadcasters and fans.
This means that promoters will be be forced to start matching their boxers more competitively, more aggressively, and can no longer afford the luxury of padding their fighters’ records in bouts against opponents who have rushed over to the ring straight from their day jobs. These fights simply won’t cut it anymore, not for anyone, says Hearn.
Hearn Says Pay-Per-View Has Weakened Everything Below It
Hearn has spoken of the appeal of the pay-per-view fight, to both broadcasters and casual spectators, has unintentionally weakened the value of everything beneath it: regular shows, fights for domestic titles, fights in smaller halls, and fights that are free-to-air.
Hearn speaks of two main problems in British boxing at the moment:
- Fighters’ purses are getting very big very quickly, and incomes from the gate and from broadcasters are not.
- The huge saturation of boxing content, and boxing bouts in the United Kingdom.
Hearn stated that just two or three years ago, if there were one or two shows a month, fans would be enraptured. Now there are two shows each weekend! Hearn prophesied that this model would not work over the longer-term, since there simply aren’t enough fans to drive the gates, and there are not enough viewers to make up the right numbers as far as broadcasters are concerned.
Hearn said that it is a dangerous time to be involved in British boxing. The bigger events will do well, but the middle ground will really start struggling. The issue would then be to keep trying to develop the careers of younger fighters, and figure out a way to do this profitably. Hearn said that it would be interesting to see how people started dealing with these issues.