I must applaud Mr. Keith Thurman for two things. For one, for him and Shawn Porter the fight the fans want to see at the right time. Secondly, for wanting to fight on free TV. To bring boxing back to mainstream we need more of that.
In his post-fight interview he states,” I don’t want pay-per view. I don’t want you to pay for this entertainment. I don’t want you to pay for this entertainment. There’s too much world-class athletic entertainment for free. I want all of America to see…I didn’t have HBO growing up. I didn’t have Showtime growing up. And if you have HBO and you have Showtime, and they make it a pay-per-view, now you’ve got to come out of your pocket some more. I’m not trying to gouge the American people and the American public. I want to get everybody on my side. I want everybody to have an opportunity to witness One Time. And I want boxing to come back to the forefront of network television.”
There was a time in the 70’s and 80’s where you could watch the big fights on ABC World Wide of Sports. There was a time when you could follow the career of amateur boxers to the professionals. Why do you think fighters like Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya were so big when they turned professional?
In the way things have gone the past 20 years the people that control boxing have made their world smaller. What I mean is that we went from the average fan watching boxing free on TV to only the hardcore fans that are willing to pay $50 and up for pay-per view. Just imagine if we had the biggest fights on free television the same way they do for the Superbowl, NBA Finals, or the MLB World Series? They would make more money and the boxers would get more exposure beyond belief.
During the golden era of boxing people like Ali, Holmes, Tyson, Leonard, and Duran could walk down the street and the average fan or person would recognize them. Reason being because these boxers fought and was seen on free TV before pay per view took over. No disrespect to Terrence Crawford, Sergey Kovalev, Adonis Stevenson, or Gennady Golovkin, but the average person in the street; outside their community wouldn’t even recognize them, because they regularly fight on paid TV (Showtime/HBO).
I commend Keith Thurman for making that declaration for stating that he wants his fights seen all over America and I also salute Premiere Boxing Champions for showcasing these boxers talents for everyone to see. We need to put boxing back where it use to be… in front of sports television.