With the recent very public ‘he said, she said’ spat between the Hearn’s, Fury/Hennessy and Warren, I’m starting to wonder if knowing nothing about what goes on behind the scenes is better than choosing to absorb the rhetoric from all three sides.
The issue is about money and ego as much as it is about the truth, all three promoters know the best way to maximize revenue for themselves and their fighters is to have a pay per view option. Eddie Hearn has said on numerous occasions that he has an “exclusive” six year deal to provide boxing content to Sky Sports and Sky Box Office, a claim which is mostly true but the wording of which can appear misleading. That exclusivity applies to Sky Sports Box Office as opposed to Sky Box Office the fact he has never made that distinction is the main reason he is being labelled as a liar.
Enter Frank Warren, he is unable to sell a fight to Sky Sports without Matchroom giving the go ahead due to it being a breach of their deal, a breach Hearn has shown some willing to take in the past with the Sauerlands and most recently Fury – Klitschko. However Warren is able to offer boxing on the Sky Box Office platform, which is totally separate to Sky Sports and Sky Sports Box Office, in his recent interview with IFLTV he confirmed that it is their intention to pursue this avenue.
Other promoters can also take this option providing Sky are interested in the ‘product’ they are being offered so there is no longer any debate to whether Sky Box Office can be used. The clear distinction is the backing of Sky Sports, on fight week the various sports channels are used to push and promote the event, adverts during Super Sunday, Behind the Gloves shows, press conferences live on Sky Sports News HQ etc. The big question is whether those tools would be able to be utilized by Warren, if they are he is on to a seriously good thing, if they are not he may be counting the chips before the hand is dealt.
I have no issue with competition and Warren for all his faults has a better grasp on what a PPV event should be than Hearn who ‘builds’ an event as PPV rather than it being required to make a fight happen. My only issue is just how many PPV events we are now looking at in just the first half of 2016, Frampton vs Quigg, Joshua vs TBA, Klitschko vs. Fury 2, Warren’s show and potentially Brook vs. Khan.
That is an incredible out lay for fans and the argument of “if you don’t want to pay then nobody forces you” is moronic, boxing fans are fed some seriously average shows week in week out and it seems that anything half decent has a £17 price tag. No other sport has this system and whilst I realise it is going no where, having additional promoters looking to add even more PPV events just makes it worse. Warren says he isn’t looking to saturate the market and on his own he won’t be but as part of a collective he will be doing just that.
It would seem that in its current format Boxnation isn’t sustainable or to put it in a fairer way at best it isn’t capable of putting on the fights it want’s to because of a lack of funds. I would happily have Warren shows on Sky Sports but as that isn’t happening anytime soon I guess an additional two or three PPV’s a year is what we will get.
As much as Kugan Cassius is doing a great job in getting this info out of all involved I’m already bored of hearing about it, listening to a promoter talk about the fights he or she wants to make is great, listening to them talk about money and showing their greed isn’t entertaining its embarrassing. So my Christmas wish to Eddie, Frank and Mick is simple, keep the emails and petty squabbles private and make the fights the people who pay your mortgage want to see…Oh and if possible try to not do a PPV every month this year.