Much gets written about the influx of social media into the sport of boxing. The fact it threatens to seep into Pay Per View continually will only be to the detriment of the avid fan.
Many who attempted to get a foothold in boxing without mainstream backing welcomed the explosion of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
I mean, it even helping World Boxing News become the most visiting independent boxing news website on the planet.
That’s all good and well. Those who proved it were able to break through, which continues to be the case today. But when you have people whose abilities are detrimental to the substance offered, that’s where you have to draw the line.
YouTubers entering our sport without fundamental skills or a foundation of world-class wonders to delight the fans is not sustainable for the sport. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.
The only thing it’s providing to those lucky enough to be followed by the masses is likes, hits, and money. Those who support it are scared to take a stand and want recognition from the vloggers in question.
You only have to ask yourself one question when discussing the matter. That’s “are YouTubers world-class boxers?” – We all certainly know the answer to that one.
Pay Per View is a sacred place in boxing reserved only for the best fighters out there. It’s the pinnacle for any fighter to reach when they first lace up the gloves.
Showtime PPV especially is one of the holy grails. Lately, it’s become diluted. I fear it will never be able to regain its old standing.
Now, you no longer have to be blessed with exceptional talent to headline one of their limited Pay Per View boxing offerings each year. You can use a platform of millions of people [which doesn’t amount to being a global superstar when most of your followers are from the same country] to enhance your standing.
It is even more unfathomable that they acquired their original notoriety through a different means away from boxing. Then they decide to rob a talented pugilist of their rightful spot due to the almighty dollar.
Any Pay Per View that Showtime chooses to place non-boxers as headliners are detrimental to boxing and boxers. It prevents two of those far more deserving from reaching that pinnacle we all talk about daily.
And that’s without even mentioning that the product you are selling as boxing is nowhere near the standard required for Pay Per View.
This acceptance of lower standards, in the long run, is bad for boxing.
No longer will we have remembrance of the greats battling it out on PPV. Social media fans, mainly thirty or under, will discuss how a YouTuber knocked out someone who’d never thrown a punch in his life.
Either that, or it will be at the expense of some hapless celebrity or sports star bereft of how to defend themselves.
Which one would you rather see?
The vast majority of us want to see the best fights week in week out and hold unforgettable memories of watching Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, and Mike Tyson on PPV.
In contrast, this new generation will discuss which YouTuber they watched flailing around playing a sport they cannot master.
PAY PER VIEW EYES
Don’t get me wrong, I know “it brings more eyes to the sport.” Blah, blah, blah. But they are the false eyes, and the quality is not there. This scenario isn’t good for boxing.
We are the only sport that allows mediocrity to rule. It’s shameless and needs to stop.
Furthermore, the best should fight the best on Pay Pay View as it’s a hallowed platform. YouTube boxing should be on YouTube, or social media events segregated and kept far away from the mainstream.
Hopefully, one day we will see a significant sway back to world-class boxing once everyone championing this charade get tired of the unsustainable novelty.
Let’s get back to superhuman skills over Instagram followers, and let’s do it sooner rather than later.
The views expressed in this article are opinions of Phil Jay.