Opinion: “Boxing Entertainment” is here and is about as real as WWE too

Phil Jay
Floyd Mayweather Boxing Entertainment
Sean Michael Ham

Floyd Mayweather continued the new fad of a non-pure version of boxing getting pickpocketed as “Boxing Entertainment” becomes a real issue in the sport.

Mayweather did his thing but didn’t come out of it in glowing terms.

So, do we continue to give it a shot? Do we give it the benefit of the doubt. Okay, let’s say we do – but let’s start calling a spade a spade.

A bit like WWE isn’t real wrestling – this product is not real boxing. It should not get packaged as anything close to the real thing, certainly not on platforms such as Showtime.

The latest example comes in the form of a YouTuber joining forces with a European promoter to mimic what Triller is doing in the United States.

What’s on offer here has nothing to do with offering fans any pure version of the sport in the slightest. Throwing the odd pro boxer vs. pro boxer bout into the mix, as Triller does, is somehow seen as enough to call these shows boxing events.

But as we saw with Regis Prograis vs. Ivan Redkach, a more defective product breeds more unsatisfactory performance from competitors.

Seeing a gap in the market regarding UK fans, Wasserman aims to put together similar “crossover” shows coupled with other forms of entertainment.

Despite the fact Wasserman’s prominent figurehead Kalle Sauerland has been vocal in dissing the fact YouTubers get involved in boxing, the whole thing has a distinct whiff of cold-hard cash.

In a change of tune, Kalle said: “This is a major move for the boxing and entertainment industries. [YouTuber] is a mega-star with huge crossover appeal.

“He knows how to market himself, and he knows how to sell events. He will bring a new audience to the sport of boxing.”

BOXING ENTERTAINMENT

Now, forgive me for sounding too skeptical here, but has the fact that this YouTuber has over 30 million followers on social media got anything to do with this move?

Does Wasserman believe linking with said YouTuber will help them kick off the brand on this kind of platform? – Of course, they do.

So, whether successful or not, it benefits the company to be linked with an “influencer” and vice versa. The YouTuber keeps his toe in the boxing pie and then encourages his followers to buy tickets to any future shows as a bonafide promoter.

Yes, it makes sense. It indeed does. But it’s not boxing. It’s not our version of boxing, and we don’t care for it.

We will never mention YouTubers or any other pretender trying to claim to be a professional boxer unless they first go through the proper channels.

They have to serve their time like any pro fighter.

And we will not promote a form of the sport that is far inferior to the vast majority of adequately promoted shows around the world.

This form of “boxing entertainment” has a short shelf life. We can’t wait for it to expire.

The views expressed in this article are that of Phil Jay.

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America since 2018. And a member of the Sports Journalists’ Association. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.

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