Should Showtime televise the Sam Peter-Jameel McCline under card?

By Geoffrey Ciani: In recent years, Showtime Boxing has brought many great fights to the fans. This all started around the time of the unforgettable encounter between Jose Luis Castillo and Diego Corrales. This fight, which was an instant classic, acted as an impetus for great things to come. Less than a month later, Showtime televised another sensational bout, as boxing fans across the globe watched the undefeated Ricky Hatton dethrone long-time junior welterweight champion, Kostya Tsyzu..

More recently, Showtime has continued televising outstanding bouts, much to the delight of the boxing community. Whether one prefers watching heavyweight slugfests like the entertaining battle between Lamon Brewster and Serguei Lyakhovich, or a super bantamweight scrap like the pair we saw with Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez, Showtime has successfully brought many an action-packed fight into millions of homes around the world.

Since Showtime has done such a tremendous job bringing entertaining fights to the fans in recent times, it is a tad disappointing that several match-ups from the under card of the upcoming WBC interim heavyweight championship match between Sam Peter and Jameel McCline will not be televised. These include two heavyweight bouts: Andrew Golota versus Kevin McBride and DaVarryl Williamson versus Kali Meehan. Showtime would have better served their own interests (and those of the fans) had they decided to include these bouts on their October 6 broadcast.

The feature fight on this card was originally scheduled to have Oleg Maskaev defend his WBC crown against the organization’s number one contender, Sam Peter. When Maskaev was forced to pull out due to a back injury, the entire show was in jeopardy. However, the card was salvaged when Jameel McCline stepped in for the injured Maskaev. Incidentally, McCline was preparing to square off against Vitali Klitschko in his comeback bout, but Klitschko was forced to back out of the fight when he, too, suffered an injury.

The decision not to televise these bouts is a peculiar one, especially when one considers the entire card became inferior the moment Maskaev was forced to pull out. On one hand, I can see the logic behind the decision to not air the under card. Even though Golota, McBride, Meehan, of Williamson are name fighters, it appears unlikely that any of them will figure into the title picture, especially since their best days are behind them. Then one must consider that Golota, undoubtedly the most marketable of the four, has a dubiously unpredictable history, most notably when he quit against Mike Tyson seven years ago in a bout that was featured on a Showtime PPV event.

On the other hand, Showtime had an opportunity to turn this into a card featuring three heavyweight bouts. For better or worse, the heavyweight division is still boxing’s keynote weight class. Simply put, fans enjoy watching the big men slug it out. That Showtime is turning down an opportunity to feature Golota, one of the most charismatic and enigmatic personalities in all of boxing, is a strange decision. Golota, after all, has been involved in some of the most exciting heavyweight bouts in the last decade.

Recently, I came across a poll on East Side Boxing’s general boxing forum which helps illustrate my point. The poll question read:

Are you disappointed Showtime isn’t televising Golota-McBride or Williamson-Meehan?

At this moment, forty-seven posters have responded to the poll. Of those, 25 indicated that they are “very disappointed” Showtime is not airing these bouts. Another 10 responded that they were “mildly disappointed” in Showtime’s decision. Overall, that means that over half of the respondents—over 53%9—are very disappointed, and that almost three-quarters of those who responded—74.5%m—wish the fight was being televised.


Are you disappointed Showtime isn’t televising Golota-McBride or Williamson-Meehan

    25 Yes, I am very disappointed

    10 Yes, I am mildly disappointed

    3  I’m indifferent and don’t care one way or another

    9  No, those fights are a waste of time

In contrast, only nine people—under 20%—have stated that these fights are “a waste of time” and another three indicated indifference on the matter.

In the end, I’m very surprised by Showtime’s decision. After all, they are going head-to-head with rival network, HBO, who will be showing a PPV mega-bout between pound-for-pound elites Manny Pacquiao and Marco Antonio Barrera. One would think the Showtime card would be that much more of an attractive alternative had Showtime decided to show the Golota-McBride and Williamson-Meehan bouts.

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Article posted on 03.10.2007

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