Much is said in this modern era of six figure athletes about boxing being a business. The prospect of increased revenue, not increased competition, is what determines matchups, though some mega matchups stand pat (see Mayweather vs Pacquaio). To say boxing is a business is fallacious, though figuratively speaking the point can be understood. Boxing is boxing. Business is business. Fortunately & unfortunately the two cross paths. Both sides are worth further examination & further explanation is necessary when deciphering the role of business within boxing.
On the day of the planting of a potential new, “Pay-Per-View,” star in Canelo Alvarez, many fans are questioning why the fight is not simply part of Showtimes regular scheduling. The Mexican stars bout against Alfredo Angulo is an enticing matchup, but is it one that fans are willing to pay an additional $50-60 to their cable providers to see? We’ll find out soon enough. The greater question is this: “Can boxing afford to have a barrier to growing its fan base, which at times has been perceived, perhaps rightly so, as very limited?”
Major marketing dollars are spent on drawing fight fans to P.P.V. matchups. In the case of Alvarez vs Angulo, the fight has been titled, “Toe to Toe,” to hype up the power the two athletes are bringing into the ring. The question begs: Is this opportunity cost for the business? More pertinent to the fan though is, what does it do to their interest? When you are marketed a fight that you know you can’t afford, but are increasingly excited about, does it increase your zeal for the sport or is that passion lessened? More can be considered from a financial aspect, but the focus should not be on the money.
The sport has grown and perhaps recovered in the past few years, but there are still some unfortunate realities that hinder it. The money still hinders too many fights from being made. It shouldn’t have to hinder the fans.