By Paul Magno | November 09, 2023

Welcome to another edition of Magno’s Bulging Mail Sack, a Thursday tradition here at FightHype that routinely rattles cages, rocks boats, and way too often hurts tough guys’ feelings. This week, we have comments/questions regarding the rest of 2023 and boxing’s new business model. 

The Rest of the Year

Hi Paul

I am looking forward to the rest of the year's schedule:

-Shakur vs Edwin de los Santos: Is there anything we can learn from this fight? The only thing I see is that maybe de los Santos can test Shakur's chin and we learn something new out of him.

-Benavidez vs Andrade: I think that the most valuable element on this one will be if Benavidez was able to beat Plant because he made adjustments or because Plant ran out of energy. I rate Andrade and Plant about the same level, but Andrade maybe has more pop on his punches (which is not a given due to his limited time at 168).

-Ryan Garcia vs Oscar Duarte: I am going to be honest, I like picking underdogs. I have watched Duarte live when I used to live in Mexico and I can tell you he looks pretty solid and knows how to finish fights. I did not see his fight against Estrella (which he lost) to be 100% confident of my pick. The more I watch Ryan the more I think he only has a nice left hook.

-Prograis vs Haney: This is one of these fights where it seems there is a script already written, Prograis is old for a fighter competing at 140 lbs. I believe Haney's jab will keep him confused and any attempts of Prograis to get Haney to fight will be countered by all the grabbing Haney will do. I expect a stinker out of this fight.

Which fights are you looking forward the most? Best regards Paul!

– Miguel

Hey Miguel.

Aside from the fights you mentioned, I’m also looking forward to Bam Rodriguez vs. Sunny Edwards, Inoue vs. Tapales (which should be a blowout), and Subriel Matias vs. Shohjahon Ergashev on the Benavidez-Andrade undercard. 

Now, my take on your most anticipated fights.

1. I’m expecting a virtuoso performance from Shakur. There is just such a huge disparity in talent and skill in this fight. The only question for me is whether Shakur will put De los Santos down or settle for a one-sided decision.

2. I rate Andrade slightly ahead of Plant, but only because there is a fluidity to Boo Boo’s game and a degree of natural talent that Caleb doesn’t have. Plus, I agree, Andrade has more pop. But matched against Benavidez, I think Andrade will run into the same difficulties that Plant did. Benavidez’s non-stop pressure and single-minded confidence grinds opponents down. Andrade, because I do believe he is slicker and more naturally gifted than Plant, may have at least a partial solution to that pressure as someone who can step aside, slide to his left or right, and create some uncertainty in Benavidez. But, eventually, I believe, that pressure will get to Andrade, who may go the distance, but won’t be able to launch much of a sustained offensive effort.

3. Duarte is solid, but not particularly special at any one thing. Garcia, meanwhile, has special talent, but is not particularly solid. I think Ryan catches him with something early-to-mid-fight and that’s that. Every moment that the fight drags on, though, is to Duarte’s benefit.

4. Haney’s strengths line up perfectly with Prograis’ weaknesses. This is good matchmaking from Team Haney. Prograis doesn’t have the physical strength, one-punch power, or overwhelming athleticism to take Haney out of his game. The most he can do is hang tight with Haney, but that also probably means that he won’t win a decision. And, yeah, I also expect a stinker.

Boxing’s New Business Model

Hi Magno, Hoping you and your family are excellent!! 

As a boxing fan, I´m just happy that besides work I have the sport of boxing as a hobby to look forward to, which includes watching mega fights, regular fights worth watching, young fighters develop and of course reading articles like yours to learn about the sport. Every now and then I also like to analyze the sport. We are at the end of an era where we can watch boxing on any linear channel in the United States, with maybe some minor exceptions like ESPN. But most of our boxing will be via apps and subscription models. This will definitely regulate the salaries of the boxers as they will be paid solely based on how many subscriptions they generate, something similar to pay per view. It will be more expensive for the fans as these platforms are charging an additional fee, besides the regular monthly cost, for these sports packages. For example, let's say PBC does finalize a contract with Amazon Prime, (that's a big if), it is likely that besides the 14.99 monthly fee or 135.00 annual fee for Amazon Prime we will have to pay an additional $10.00 to $15.00 for a PBC boxing package, like the NFL or MLB packages. This is the only way Amazon can account for the people who are subscribing to watch boxing and determine whether its profitable or not. Those fighters generating more subscriptions will get paid more but will not be overpaid as the company will want to profit. If they go to DAZN, and I just don't see PBC heading that way, DAZN will also increase their monthly fee. Let's see what happens with Top Rank when it's time to renew their contract. It will be very interesting. What is your take? 

– Benjamin from PR

Hey Benjamin.

I don’t know how this will play out, but change is coming-- and it’ll be coming for everybody. The realities of the boxing business are setting in, after the temporary bubble PBC and DAZN brought to the business. Top Rank was very fortunate to get in with ESPN, which has the resources to operate at a loss and/or a break-even and hasn’t minded doing so for the sake of having content. But you’d have to be naive to think that they’d be willing to operate that way forever. Expect more and more boxing behind a subscription paywall there as well. 

What can I say? We’ll just have to roll with the new way of doing things and budget our consumer dollars appropriately. There are things boxing could do and could’ve done to make things better for the fans, but they won’t and they didn’t. So, now it comes down to boxing fans acting like actual consumers and spending their dollars wisely. It’ll be up to each of us to decide what “wisely” is. 

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:

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