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Thread: Would Boxing Be More Popular if the Big Fights Didn't Start so Late ??

  1. #1
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    Would Boxing Be More Popular if the Big Fights Didn't Start so Late ??

    Last night, during the final undercard bout, it was reported that Mayweather vs. Maidana would be starting at 8:45 local time. It actually started at 9:25, twenty-five minutes after midnight in the Eastern Time Zone, home to roughly 45 percent of the U.S. population. That's well past the normal bedtime for most people, especially those in the older age brackets, the fastest growing segment of the population.

    I'm reminded that in the old days in Great Britain, every show had a "whip." This was the name given to the person whose job it was to speed things along, an event coordinator, so to speak. He made certain that boxers left their dressing rooms in a timely manner so that there wouldn't be much dead time between bouts.

    As much as I hate to give any regulatory body more power, I'd be willing to let a boxing commission slap a boxer with a fine if he failed to come into the ring in a timely manner. Let the boxers flip a coin to see who enters the ring first and then -- when the ring has been cleared after the last preliminary bout -- put them on the clock. For each minute they are late, they will have "x" number of dollars taken from their purse.

    I'm thinking off the top of my head here. Maybe I need to think about it a little more. But starting the big PPV bouts earlier would certainly be more fan-friendly and this withering sport needs every fan it can get.

  2. #2
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    Re: Would Boxing Be More Popular if the Big Fights Didn't Start so Late ??

    I think you make a good point. There are pros and cons to starting the main event bout earlier.

    The biggest con I can think of is often fights go head to head with other major sporting events. So if a fight starts later, there is an excellent chance that all major sporting events for that day will be completed well before the main event starts.

    Last night, for example, there were multiple NBA game sevens (3). Generally, there are not that many key NBA games in one night but in the month of May it can happen. Anyway, it was unavoidable that at least one game would run into the fight. But generally speaking, say there is a just one big game in the prime time slot. That game would probably start around 8:00 eastern time leaving plenty of room for cushion for the main event of a big fight.

    Two years ago, Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley fought in June. On that same night, the Miami Heat faced the Boston Celtics in game seven of their playoff series. Bob Arum went out of the way when the game seven was announced to assure sports fans that under no circumstances would the Pacquaio-Bradley fight start before that game ended.

    There are also generally big PPV fights scheduled in September and November. That is peak college football season. So having a main event go off around midnight and after the games are completed can be critical to capturing a bigger audience.

    Last night, I watched the fight at a theater and did not get home until around 2:00 a.m. Driving home, I was thinking this would have been great if the card had started and hour or two earlier. But I don't think the late starts, due to other sporting events, will change on these major PPV cards.

  3. #3
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    Re: Would Boxing Be More Popular if the Big Fights Didn't Start so Late ??

    ArneK: This morning, just before I headed to the gym at around 6:15 am (ET), I posted on my Facebook page, "These Saturday night PPV's are ending way too late for us East Coasters...especially ones like me who have to be up by 5:00a.m...yawn!"

    Naturally, the TV network holds the key to the start time of the event. When it's on the West Coast, the start time of the main event is usually scheduled for around 8:30. If it is a network like CBS, ABC or NBC, they have everything planned out to the second: The undercard. The clearing of the ring prior to the main event. The ring walk of fighter A. The ring walk of fighter B. The national anthem(s). The ring announcer intros. The ringing of the bell. But on PPV events, time frames are not adhered to as much. The discrepancy of the planned start time to the actual start time can vary (as it did last night by around 40 minutes.). In fact, here on the East Coast, the fight didn't start until today, Sunday, May 4. For guys like me, who begin work on Sunday morning as early as 6:00a.m. the late finishes to these events is a killer.

    On a few occasions, when I know I have to be out the door by 5:00a.m., I DVR the show and go to sleep after watching perhaps one undercard fight. I then watch the rest of the card on Sunday afternoon (after getting hit with tons of spoilers from friends who had no idea I didn't watch the show live). Also, by going to sleep early, I don't get to go on Twitter and follow a few of my boxing writer buddies (Michael Woods, Kevin Iole & a few others).

    Unfortunately, when a fight is on the West Coast, I've learned that I will just have to put up with late endings, as there really is no way the show can start hours earlier.

    Geez, I really miss the days of CBS, NBC & ABC showing the fights on Saturday afternoons. Gil Clancy & Tim Ryan. Marv Albert & Dr. Ferdie Pacheco. Howard Cosell.

    Unless you're an East Coast fight wacko like myself, it's hard to understand just how frustrating it is to be pulling near-all-nighters every few weeks.

    Maybe it's getting time to move to Vegas!

    -Randy G.

  4. #4
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    Re: Would Boxing Be More Popular if the Big Fights Didn't Start so Late ??

    A good fight will always sell regardless of what time zone it may be. Wars in the ring of Boxing are what the fans call for and that's how its always been. We want to see the best fight the best and not for the so-called best to fight the rest. Boxing is a sport of Gentlemen not savages and the scores are settled like civilized men. I am a fan of Boxing and this is the sport that I love so don't push me because El Dude does not budge.
    by El Dude.

  5. #5
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    Re: Would Boxing Be More Popular if the Big Fights Didn't Start so Late ??

    Quote Originally Posted by ArneK. View Post
    Last night, during the final undercard bout, it was reported that Mayweather vs. Maidana would be starting at 8:45 local time. It actually started at 9:25, twenty-five minutes after midnight in the Eastern Time Zone, home to roughly 45 percent of the U.S. population. That's well past the normal bedtime for most people, especially those in the older age brackets, the fastest growing segment of the population.

    I'm reminded that in the old days in Great Britain, every show had a "whip." This was the name given to the person whose job it was to speed things along, an event coordinator, so to speak. He made certain that boxers left their dressing rooms in a timely manner so that there wouldn't be much dead time between bouts.

    As much as I hate to give any regulatory body more power, I'd be willing to let a boxing commission slap a boxer with a fine if he failed to come into the ring in a timely manner. Let the boxers flip a coin to see who enters the ring first and then -- when the ring has been cleared after the last preliminary bout -- put them on the clock. For each minute they are late, they will have "x" number of dollars taken from their purse.

    I'm thinking off the top of my head here. Maybe I need to think about it a little more. But starting the big PPV bouts earlier would certainly be more fan-friendly and this withering sport needs every fan it can get.
    Actually, there is already a boxer-coming-to-the-ring-late-or-long-delay fine on the books. Boxers just make so much money that they don't care, and often the rules are not enforced by the commissions. Just like the rules of no fighters coming in more than 10 pounds after the official weight the night of the bout is hardly ever enforced. It is all about the maximum amount of prizefighting moolah first. Everything else can be thrown out of the window.

    And the reasons that PPVs start so late Eastern Time, is that gist of the buyers are Central-and-Western Time buyers. East Coasters are a smaller-buying market.

    Even when fights are held on the East Coast, they are still held to the times comfortable of drawing eyeballs to those PPV screens of the audience that I stated above. Holla!

  6. #6

    Re: Would Boxing Be More Popular if the Big Fights Didn't Start so Late ??

    For the major PPV's, I got one word: Casinos. It is documented that the busiest time of any casino is between 6pm and 10pm, Saturday night. There is no way that any casino is going to let a fight pull people off their floor. In addition, alot of promoters do not want their main events competing with busiest time for the building that their fight is in.

  7. #7
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    Re: Would Boxing Be More Popular if the Big Fights Didn't Start so Late ??

    Quote Originally Posted by The Good Doctor View Post
    For the major PPV's, I got one word: Casinos. It is documented that the busiest time of any casino is between 6pm and 10pm, Saturday night. There is no way that any casino is going to let a fight pull people off their floor. In addition, alot of promoters do not want their main events competing with busiest time for the building that their fight is in.
    These promoters can go back to fighting in the stadiums. The Cowboys' Palace at Dallas did mad figures when Da Manny got down there twice.

    Please explain how the "Casinos" are dominating? Fights in San Antonio have done PPVs well without the influence or bother of the casino crowds. And even fights in LA have done fine without the casinos.

    The nuts and bolts of PPVs are blue collar cats. The white collars and up-in-da-money heaven big wigs and ballers/play callers are at the fights. Of course a few blue collar cats are in the nose-bleed sections. Holla!

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