Views From The Couch: State of Boxing
When I started this piece, I had thought about what was wrong with boxing and what my “hot take” was to fix it. The reality is its way beyond pointing out a solution, such as needing another person in charge as a helping hand. The helping hand it needs is to keep it out of its terminal state of erectile dysfunction—something to keep it up and running back like it used to be. Until then, it's in a role of uncomfortable flacidness. Instead, I wanted to point out a few things that illustrate where the sport is.
Can I make a few bucks by gambling, at least?
For better or worse, sports betting has turned states where it is legal into watching the New York Stock Exchange before and during live games. With gambling slowly becoming legal in the United States, getting a good line for the casual degenerate in boxing to gain interest isn't there. It's been mainly due to what feels like generations of usual wide mismatches we get in boxing anyway. It's hard to bring new eyes if they can't make a few bucks on it.
Boxing is a volatile betting market. It takes so little to move a line. I made the mistake yesterday of tweeting that I liked Iwata to win. Woke up today to a 20+ cent move. This is why I normally keep things in DMs. Twitter ruins my flex.
— Jim Karas (@JimKarasBoxing) October 24, 2022
Known boxing gambling pundit Jim Karas noted how his mentioning of lines has caused them to jump. No stranger to being sampled, it's noteworthy because we've reached a level of niche that oddsmakers are vanity-searching social media for those in the short-term investment market. Not just the average con artist ripping off picks for their criminal gain. I'm constantly reminded of the line “cops don't use the internet,” but it's tough enough to get a line on the fights to begin as it is. Compiling that with the mismatched recipe makes it not sought after. There is money to be made gambling, but that crystal ball better has the script and the director to go with it.
They're Still Fights, At Least
Dance off in advance of the fight. Who won? #PaulSilva pic.twitter.com/oXdtfK7k4V
— Most Valuable Promotions (@MostVpromotions) October 24, 2022
Not everything in the sport is broken, and contrary to the recent news last week, we have quite a lot of fights to close out the year. The problem is the same as it always is: Do you know about it, and is it worth mentioning? The art of communication is communication, and boxing's call has been on hold for a while because it's very important to us. Pretty sure the other end has left for the day, but no one in the sport wants to take the call anyway. It's a problem, but the fights this time aren't why I'm holding.
There's a slate of boxing cards up to Christmas, and while none of them will knock your socks off, a few cards on the causal level may be interesting. Jake Paul is finally fighting again, albeit a 47-year-old former UFC juggernaut in Anderson Silva. Floyd Mayweather is taking his exhibition talents to the DAZN platform. Tyson Fury is facing Derek Chisora in December for the third time. Nothing on paper that screams at you. These three fights usually show where the pockets of casual fans are (all 6 of you). The rest of the cards were getting are honestly hardcore fans' delight at the lower weight classes to close out the year. That “boxing is dead” crowd won't pop out until the end of the year when there is nothing on the schedule, and well, have nothing to do. This period isn't here yet.
COMING SOON 🔥#MayweatherDeji pic.twitter.com/7VAsY2kMSG
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) October 24, 2022
What is one solution that can help?
Money and almost anything, but let's stop asking Family Feud-level survey questions. Let me repeat what I stated about communication, as it is a problem everywhere you look. Even then, some aren't getting that for fights they're putting on themselves. One of the most significant cutbacks I've seen covering the sport is the promotion week of the schedule. It's been set up now as a get-in, fight, and get-out situation, which builds nothing and is out of everyone's mind before anyone has time to classify it. So much, so people ask reporters like me, “When is (who) fighting?” because word of mouth has surpassed whatever's left of boxing marketing and advertisement. It costs money for an ad but check if there was a commercial for it the next time you watch a fight card, not on an app. Chances are you lucked into it.
Not enough people are lucky and as 2022 clocks out, so have plenty of others.