By Gary Mushrow [@gary9690]
America has a new power couple.
Not of the reality TV fame tied to the Kardashian’s, or even born of some frenzied Saturday night singing contest ‘The XFactor’. This power couple make public waves through the infliction of violence. Through the merciless destruction of a fellow man in the pursuit of glory and greater fortune. Unlike some power couples attested to Andy Warhol’s famous “Everybody will be famous for 15 minutes”, these stars are unlikely to endure a short shelf life, these stars will likely burn bright, at least for the next three to four years.
Following the apparent retirement of premier welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. last month, boxing was left with a rather large void. A single fighter has dominated the pay-per-view markets for the best part of eight years after escaping a split decision victory against Oscar de la Hoya in 2007. The self styled ‘Money’ Mayweather sold close to 20,000,000 buys during his spell aloft the pound-for-pound rankings, and in his absence boxing needed a new cash cow.
Many hold a certain disdain for phrases like that, but it’s true, boxing is the ultimate numbers game. After riding the crest of an unmissable wave during May of this year, boxing needed some fresh direction. 4,400,000 buys in an unprecedented, long awaited main attraction, casts quite a big shadow – especially when the product doesn’t quite live up to its advertisement and you’ve swallowed a pill to the tune of $99.
Whilst the sport is unlikely to ever achieve such astronomical figures again in the future, people needed confidence in the pay-per-view market once more. The question of how to provide entertainment value that people would find hard to contest, may have lasted all of five minutes at HBO. Simply put, provide blood, guts and thunder.
Nobody solely on the current horizon seemed able to grab hold of those pay-per-view reigns and steer the good ship boxing into much calmer seas – at least not alone.
Step forward Messrs Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin and Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez; HBO’s newest pay-per-view attraction and the world’s aforementioned newest power couple.
Linking these two all-action fighters seems like a stroke of genius right around now. Hailing from Kazakhstan and Nicaragua respectively, you’d forgive most for not pointing in their directions as the newest saviours of boxing in America. After announcing their partnership in May this year with devastating knock out displays against Willie Monroe Jr. and Edgar Sosa on regular HBO, the fearsome double act are back on the road this weekend in New York.
Dipping their toes into the pay-per-view market together makes a lot of sense. Although the show is entitled ‘Golovkin – Lemieux’, make no mistake that large parts of the audience and viewers at home will be tuning in as much to catch a glimpse of the fearsome Triple G as they are the newly crowned consensus pound-for-pound #1 ‘Chocolatito’.
What do they say, ‘A problem shared, is a problem halved’? And that’s assuming there is a problem at all. Reports from Head of K2 Promotions Tom Loeffler suggested earlier this week that anything north of 200,000 pay-per-view buys will be a financial success for all parties involved – surely an achievable target for such a line-up.
The ‘power’ is quite literally in the hands of both Golovkin and Gonzalez on Saturday night. Impressive performances will draw rave reviews, column inches and increased notoriety around the water cooler on Monday morning.
As to how far their joint pay-per-view journey will go, that’s entirely down to them and how viewers respond to their performances Saturday night.
America’s newest power couple, two of boxing’s biggest pound-for-pound stars on one pay-per-view for $49.99 at Madison Square Garden – one can’t imagine many requests for refunds come Sunday morning, can you?