Bob Arum: “The crossover for MMA fans to boxing is 3%!”
Prior to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (52-1-2, 36 KO’s) and Sergey “The Krusher” Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KO’s) walking to the ring, the boxing world watched in collective horror and indignation.
Rather than strolling to the ring when the co-main event concluded, Alvarez and Kovalev meandered about their dressing room, laid on the couch and watched television. They did this for roughly an hour to allow the competing UFC fight card to finalize.
THE CREAM RISES TO THE TOP
Apparently the upper brass in the DAZN think-tank thought it to be a real spiffy idea to not clash over common air time for the two main events. Well, the DAZN folks were the only people who deemed this as a savvy strategy.
The oddball tactic was near universally ridiculed by boxing enthusiasts the globe over. In a recent interview conducted with FightHype, legendary Top Rank promoter Bob Arum threw in his two cents on the matter.
“As boxing has more outlets, your invariably going to get cards going the same night. Listen, you’re a sports fan right? Do you object to the fact that CBS has a football game, FOX has a football game, ABC has a football game, ESPN all at the same time?
“Of course not!
“You make your choice and you watch, or between rounds you can flip back and forth. So, the more the merrier!
“The idea that promoters shouldn’t do a fight the same night as another promoter is sort of silly. It diminishes the sport that the sport can only take one boxing show at a time.”
While it should come as no surprise, Arum had nothing beneficial or complimentary to say about the fiasco that DAZN orchestrated on November 2.
In the seasoned fight peddler’s estimation, the move was both disrespectful to the fighters and dripping with a lack of boxing knowledge. Arum felt that if the fledgling boxing entity had a firm grasp on the boxing market, they never would have committed to such a foolhardy maneuver.
THE SUITS LONG TANGO OUTSIDE THE RING
Regardless of how sensible Arum’s comments may or may not be, however, they should not be shocking. It’s no secret that the Top Rank big wig and Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn, who is also the American front man for DAZN, have an adversarial relationship at best.
Neither is prone to missing a presented opportunity to take a public jab at the one another. So, Arum kicking a little dirt on Hearn’s business associates fits the occasion better than a pair of custom made Italian shoes.
“The problem there was delaying the Canelo fight until after the MMA fight was over. Shows you’re dealing with foreigners who don’t know the US market.
“We have done studies with boxing and MMA and we find the crossover is less than 3%. Did you know that? Different fans!
“So to hold up a boxing match while the MMA guys are finishing up shows not only disrespect for boxing, but shows you don’t understand the market.”
While it’s radically unlikely that DAZN or Hearn will take any advice from Bob Arum, let’s hope that they listen to the fan base! Perhaps if they do, then they will never again allow their own event to play second fiddle to the competition.
By: Bakari Simpson