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MAGNO'S BULGING MAIL SACK: RIP SHOWTIME BOXING, CRAWFORD OVER CANELO, TSZYU, BOOTS

By Paul Magno | October 19, 2023
MAGNO'S BULGING MAIL SACK: RIP SHOWTIME BOXING, CRAWFORD OVER CANELO, TSZYU, BOOTS

In times of uncertainty, boxing fans turn to my bulging, bulbous Sack, yearning for a money shot of salty truth. So, let’s not disappoint! This week, we have comments/questions regarding the confirmed end of Showtime Boxing, Tim Tszyu, Jaron Ennis, and What if Terence Crawford beats Canelo Alvarez.

Moving on from Showtime

Is Showtime exiting boxing really bad for the sport? I think the impact of Showtime’s exit will be minimal. Let's be honest, Viacom/Paramount has done nothing for boxing under the Showtime banner. All they've done was stick it in their library and put up purses for big matches. How can this be bad for boxing when Showtime was part of the problem?

You would think that they would've used their outlets to promote and market the sport. But they didn't do crap! All they did was put the responsibility on the promoters and the journalists. I've seen billboards and bus advertisements all throughout America for trash shows on Showtime. Not once do I recall seeing a billboard or an advert for Showbox. 

Let's read between the lines. We saw HBO exit boxing. With the likes of Canelo Alvarez, Terence Crawford, GGG and many other talented fighters. Showtime is now exiting with a similar talent pool. Is it because these guys aren't marketable? Heck No! There's a lack of desire on behalf of those outlets. For some reason they want nothing to do with boxing, or they don't want to bring in new executives that can promote the sport. Whatever it is it's definitely a motive behind their decision. 

You've said on plenty occasions. "Put it in the hands of someone else and let's see what they can do with it."

I view this as a fresh start. Canelo Alvarez, Tank Davis, Terence Crawford,  and David Benavidez should have sports marketing executives licking their chops. I'm no sports executive. But if I was, I'd be drooling over this opportunity. 

What do you think happens moving forward and what aspirations should fans have for the sport’s future?

– Nail Rahman

Hey Nail. 

I said this on Twitter the other day and I stand by it:

“I'd mourn the end of Showtime Boxing to the same extent I'd mourn the closing of a McDonald's two blocks away. I'm still going to get my Big Macs, I'll just be going two blocks the other way now. [It’s] No real loss to us consumers.”

People are harping on the end of Showtime Boxing because of this bizarre culture/class/race/politics war by proxy some have been waging against PBC and Al Haymon. There’s no reason, beyond nostalgia, for any of us consumers to care about the end of Showtime Boxing. All of these fighters will go somewhere. The fights earmarked for Showtime, will happen elsewhere at pretty much the same cost. Unless you have a business interest in some of this, it really shouldn’t matter to you. 

Paramount ditching boxing had little to do with revenue or how well or poorly PBC performed in terms of quality. They are bailing from boxing for the same reason the HBO parent company ditched boxing in 2018. It’s all about a changing market and a new batch of execs who have no history with or affinity for boxing and who prefer simpler, more controllable scripted content for their networks. The old bossmen at the premium cable channels were boxing fans who made some of their first money hauls with the sport back in the day. The new bossmen had no ties to boxing and decided to move on. 

The “Paramount is phasing out boxing” writing was on the wall for quite a while. Some would say that maybe PBC’s deep investments in signing Canelo Alvarez, Spence-Crawford, and Tank-Garcia went hand-in-hand with establishing a pay-per-view presence that could be shopped to other networks/platforms. 

I agree that the end of Showtime Boxing is a chance for a fresh start and it opens the doors to potentially bigger/better opportunities to grow the sport. Change is good-- especially in a sport like boxing where the shot callers have been slow to read the room and adapt with the times. 

I’ve heard some rumblings that I’m really not at liberty to discuss (in great part because they may be wrong and I’d feel like a gigantic jackass), but I’d feel safe in saying that future moves from any right-minded boxing business would involve finding a sustainable home base with a greater possibility of self-determination and the ability to provide more consistent and accessible content to fans.  

Tszyu and Boots

Hello Paul

Hope this email finds yourself and your family well.

I will start with Tim Tszyu. This guy is here to show all the prima donna active fighters we have today what is it all about. Tim has fought 3 times this year against pretty good opposition, he is willing to go outside his home country to fight the best and he does not like hand-given titles to him. As far as the way he performs, he is so cold and accurate, he does a great job of cutting off the ring and placing punches. This is the way Canelo was fighting when he cleaned up 168 and defense-wise Tim is just getting better.

I am not going to be premature and say that he is elite but he is getting there, I don’t think he will fight Charlo for his next fight, but I don’t see anyone at 154 challenging him. Is it time to move up to 160?

Finally, what is it about Tszyu that is working which does not work for Jaron Ennis? Most people would blame PBC, but they are both under the same promotion as far as I know

Regards.

– Miguel

Hey Miguel.

The rise of Tim Tszyu has been one of this year’s many bright spots. But at the risk of sounding like a total wet blanket buzzkill, it’s easy to be the noble warrior when you’re on the rise. Once at the top, with big money involved and so much to lose, fighters and their people tend to get much more business-first. We’ll see if this is the case with Tszyu. But right now, in the moment, who could NOT like what he’s been doing and how he’s been doing it?

Aside from Charlo and the pursuit of vacated titles if Charlo doesn’t come back down to 154, I don’t see much for him at 154. A run at 160 would be good. Even better, though, would be a fight with Terence Crawford at 154. Crawford has said that he’s not interested in Charlo anymore and he’s not interested in Boots Ennis or Keith Thurman at 147. The Spence rematch may or may not happen. And if he can’t get that Canelo dream match (Canelo has already said that he’s not interested in Bud), a Tszyu fight is the best option available. Crawford-Tszyu would be stellar. 

As for Boots Ennis and why he’s not getting the same buzz Tszyu is getting? I think a lot has to do with the fact that Ennis can’t get fights with even second tier names. Tszyu has had fights with Harrison and Mendoza, who aren’t elite, but who were definitely high-end contenders at the time he fought them. Even Ocampo had a bit of a name after sharing the ring with guys like Errol Spence and Sebastian Fundora. Ennis hasn’t been able to entice anyone into the ring and he doesn’t command the kind of revenue available to a home country hero like Tszyu, who can fill large arenas in Australia and pay top dollar to incoming challenges.

Crawford over Canelo, In Perspective

If Crawford moves up 3 divisions and beats Canelo at 168 for a third undisputed/lineal crown, that victory would hold more weight than Mayweather’s catchweight win. How would you compare the wins and where would that place Crawford historically if that’s the final one?

Mike, Las Vegas 

Hey Mike.

I definitely think Crawford over Canelo at 168 in 2024 would be more impressive than Mayweather over Canelo at 152 in 2013. Crawford becoming a three-division undisputed champ-- and moving up three weight classes to get that third set of belts-- would be a historical feat. He’s already a Hall of Famer. Beating Canelo would get him ATG clout. 

Got a question (or hate mail) for Magno’s Bulging Mail Sack? The best of the best gets included in the weekly mailbag segment right here at FightHype. Send your stuff here: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com.

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