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Byrd Man
Good article today about the way PPV's have been handled in recent years, and in the months going forward. He nails it on the head.

QUOTE
DESTRUCTION OF THE PAY PER VIEW TEMPLATE
By Jake Donovan

Say what you want about this weekend’s matchup between faded legends Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones. In the end, it’s a matchup necessary for both fighters if they insist upon fighting on.

The fact that it was bound for pay-per-view was inevitable the moment it gained a realistic chance of becoming a reality. This much was accepted, even if not overwhelmingly embraced – HBO’s own involvement is limited to that of distributor, not investing a dime into the production end of the broadcast.

What’s more troublesome than a pair of fortysomethings headlining a $50 pay-per-view broadcast is the growing trend that has overcome such premium telecasts in recent years – complete and utter disregard for the televised undercard.

Truth be told, it’s been a while since anyone has staged a strong pay-per-view event from top to bottom.

The most common theme in recent years is to focus on the main event, and treat the lead-in bouts as filler, usually showcasing the cheapest options that can be passed off as talent. If there is a compelling undercard, it’s almost always to offset the fact that the main event isn’t very intriguing, or worthy of a price tag on its own.

Last year saw more of the former than the latter, in terms of major shows. HBO’s three pay-per-view telecasts were all top-heavy – two featuring Manny Pacquiao, the other showcasing the return of Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Of the three cards, Mayweather’s 12-round sparring session with Juan Manuel Marquez featured by far the best undercard on paper. It’s only fitting, since it also featured the weakest main event, on paper and in reality.

Given what we’ve been offered in the way of supporting players since then, it’s quite possible that the undercard for that card is the last decent one we’ll be given for a while. Two major pay-per-view events have since followed. Both were offered by Top Rank and featured Pacquiao at the top. Both cards featured disgustingly weak undercards – once again, on paper and in reality.

This weekend’s show, which is presented and produced by Golden Boy Promotions and airs live from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada (Saturday, PPV, 9PM ET/6PM PT), certainly won’t be one for the time capsule, at least on paper.

It remains uncertain, if David Haye's title defense against John Ruiz will still be included among the broadcast. The preliminary plan was to have the bout air before the start of the actual broadcast.

The contingency plan, if they can pull it off, would be a rarity for a pay-per-view telecast – a same-day tape-delayed feed of a bout from not just another show, but from another continent. If it can happen, Golden Boy will air taped footage of David Haye’s alphabet heavyweight title defense against John Ruiz, which takes place earlier in the day from Manchester, U.K.

As far as the live supporting cast goes – it’s paper thin.

Career bridesmaid Rocky Juarez is given yet another showcase opportunity, as he faces Jason Litzau in what basically boils down to a loser-leaves-town match. Sergio Mora makes his Golden Boy debut, as well as his return to the ring after an 18-month hiatus. His first fight back comes against a soft touch in Calvin Green.

Yep – Haye-Ruiz for your entertainment, or at least your intrigue.

Hoping for a Ruiz fight to not only air on a pay-per-view, but also provide sufficient entertainment amongst the preliminary action is the first red flag of an undercard that hardly had the public in mind when pieced together. Then again, the announcement that the main event will not begin until the completion of both NCAA March Madness Final Four basketball games was enough of a clue to not expect anything worth watching prior to 11:30PM ET.

But this isn’t necessarily meant to beat up on this particular card. Golden Boy is paying out of pocket for this one, since HBO is only distributing the event. They truly have the right to air whatever they please, not to mention that they are up against March Madness and wedged in the heart of Easter weekend, which is the boxing equivalent of a death sentence (see last year’s sparsely-attended Paul Williams-Winky Wright fight for proof).

The concern here is what has preceded the show, as well as what lies ahead.

HBO recently threw Bob Arum under the bus for presenting fans with nothing more than the spectacle of airing an event from the awe-inspiring state-of-the-art Cowboys Stadium and rightfully so. While Top Rank offered plenty of bells and whistles for the telecast, sorely missing was the substance.

The undercard stunk on paper and was even worse in reality. The main event turned out to be a dud, thanks to Joshua Clottey’s refusing to take any risks whatsoever, keeping his hands glued to the side of his head for most of his 12-round stinker against Manny Pacquiao.

At the end of the day, televised viewers paid $50 to see what a fight looks like in an American football stadium in the 21st century.

Approximately four weeks after this weekend’s show, fans will be treated to a terrific welterweight showdown between Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather, Jr., which brings us back to the main event being enough to drive a pay-per-view.

For the moment, it remains the show’s only selling point.

Promising welterweight prospect Saul Alvarez, who recently signed with Golden Boy, is scheduled to appear on the undercard. His opponent is a welterweight named Cotto – only it’s not Miguel, but his younger and much smaller brother Jose, who recently moved up from lightweight and wasn’t really much of a fighter at that weight.

Rising undefeated middleweight Daniel Jacobs has also seen his name floated for a possible preliminary slot, though other talks have the Brooklyn native heading home for a non-televised undercard appearance on a May 15 HBO show at Madison Square Garden.

Beyond that… nothing.

Granted, most undercards these days aren’t pieced together very far in advance and there are still four more weeks to go before May 1. That doesn’t mean we should hold our collective breath and hope the event’s handlers do the right thing in actually trying to provide paying viewers any form of entertainment before the main event airs.

It hasn’t been the case for quite some time, nor will it be the case during this weekend or any other in the foreseeable future.

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com and an award-winning member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Contact Jake at JakeNDaBox@gmail.com .
BGv2.0
ALL TRUE!

And what he should have mentioned and forgot to...was that 15+ years ago when the first fight took place between BHOP and RJJ...it was a simple opening for a HBO WCB Bowe title fight...and as BORING as watching a brick wall.

He also forgot one other thing this fight has going against it...not only Easter weekend and Final 4......but also.....


WAR!!!! UNLEASH THE KRAKEN!!!!
1zz
QUOTE (BGv2.0 @ Apr 1 2010, 04:44 PM) *
ALL TRUE!

And what he should have mentioned and forgot to...was that 15+ years ago when the first fight took place between BHOP and RJJ...it was a simple opening for a HBO WCB Bowe title fight...and as BORING as watching a brick wall.

He also forgot one other thing this fight has going against it...not only Easter weekend and Final 4......but also.....


WAR!!!! UNLEASH THE KRAKEN!!!!


It's "Release the Kraken" BTW.
The Original MrFactor
Rocky Juarez vs Jason Litzaus is a pretty good fight between 2 never will beees. In fact, it could be a Gatti/Ward type fight. Litzau is a guy who will come to fight. I expect Rocky to win, but Litzau may surprise...
KYLE THEEE SPINKS FAN
If Litzau boxes against Juarez and shows some discipline, he will dominate. In my opinion, he's not a neverwas. He has the talent to be a champ, and has a better shot than Rocky to reach the top. Jay needs to snap that long jab out the whole fight and keep that range. He's got fast hands so he'll reach Juarez and tag him often. If he lets his head get the best of him, and starts brawling though he easily could get KO'd. However, he knows this is his last shot to get back to the top, and he will box well. I think he wins a wide decision over the slow-footed Juarez.
The Original MrFactor
QUOTE (KYLE THEEE SPINKS FAN @ Apr 1 2010, 02:10 PM) *
If Litzau boxes against Juarez and shows some discipline, he will dominate. In my opinion, he's not a neverwas. He has the talent to be a champ, and has a better shot than Rocky to reach the top. Jay needs to snap that long jab out the whole fight and keep that range. He's got fast hands so he'll reach Juarez and tag him often. If he lets his head get the best of him, and starts brawling though he easily could get KO'd. However, he knows this is his last shot to get back to the top, and he will box well. I think he wins a wide decision over the slow-footed Juarez.



Wow, I dont think Litzau is that good. He's ok. he often abandons his discipline and gets into unnecesary wars. Thats why I think this is a good matchup. I dont see him dominating the rugged, experienced Juarez. This could turn into the next Gatti/Ward.
KYLE THEEE SPINKS FAN
I don't disagree....When he loses his head, he starts slugging it out. However, I've seen the dude live and against other fighters. When he boxes with discipline, he's a tough fighter to beat. I remembe the fight last August on Jones' card, he fought Verquan Kimbrough and he dominated all three rounds of that match. He boxed well, and used that jab against the shorter fighter. I saw Juarez get jabbed to death against Chris John, and I truly think the same is coming Sat. night. When Litzau fought Hernandez, he boxed great from rounds 2-8. I'm looking for that type of performance from him because Van Syckle and him know this is it. This fight puts him right back in the position he was right before he fought Guerrero. If that can't keep him disciplined, then I'll admit there's no hope. He's boxed very well the last year though, starting last April at the Target Center. Juarez gets complacent in fights and isn't busy enough ever. Litzau will score points and keep that range. Juarez won't change his style, and unless he gets lucky with a big shot, he has no chance.
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