tDAZN faced another backlash over its decision to broadcast a shocking “YouTuber,” “influencer,” “crossover” card last week that shouldn’t be labeled boxing.
Ben Shalom, promoter at BOXXER who is tied in the UK with Sky Sports, urged everyone involved in the event to stop linking it to pugilism.
Upon witnessing some of the shenanigans on social media, it’s not hard to see why. Even the great Michael Buffer was embarrassed on stage when he was caught up in cringeworthy antics at the weigh-in.
The whole charade is a continuation of the “YouTube Boxing” fad. It sees anyone with a certain amount of followers allowed unlimited access to resources usually reserved for professional boxers.
Exploiting Pay Per View and taking the places of real boxers who could be headlining some dates has meant further criticism aimed at those who give the pretenders the platform.
After Showtime bowed out due to a series of poor sales, DAZN took over by announcing an eye-watering five-year deal with an ‘influencer.’
However, just because you have millions [or billions] of followers on social media platforms doesn’t mean you or your product can compare to the real thing.
Shalom clarified his feelings when stating those events are nothing like professional events.
“It’s dangerous to call the card ‘boxing’ — it’s entertainment,” said Shalom at the Chris Eubank Jr. vs Liam Smith final press conference.
“It’s celebrity white collar, but make sure it’s not called boxing because it’s not. But it’s confusing and misleading. It’s a bit of a freak show,” he added.
On the fact they decide to ‘box,’ Shalim insists they could be doing anything else, and their followers would still watch it.
They could be doing anything
“I’ve not got anything against it,” he stated. “It is what it is. I don’t have anything against it. But it’s entertainment for their followers.
“If they were playing football, golf, or swimming, they’d have a sold out arena. The people are coming to watch them.”
Hitting the nail on the head, Shalom swung at those media and DAZN, who covered the cards as if they were real boxing. Also, those who present the shows as if they are worthy of professional status.
“I think it’s a bit funny when boxing media are covering it because it’s not boxing. I’ve nothing against these guys but be upfront about it. It’s celebrity white collar.”
As World Boxing News wrote this week, it’s time to turn the spotlight off these events. Let’s leave them on YouTube where they belong.