PPV Preventing Boxing From Growing in popularity

By Will Arons - 01/24/2024 - Comments

Journalist Thomas Hauser believes that boxing is now growing due to the best fights being put on PPV, which targets hardcore fans and fails to create new fans.

Hauser says that the Saudi money that is being pumped into boxing is helping a few select promoters and their fighters, making them rich, but not growing the sport. These are PPV events, and casual fans aren’t going to watch if they’ve never seen these fighters on non-PPV.

Hauser notes that Anthony Joshua vs. Francis Ngannou is taking place during an afternoon on a Friday for U.S fans, which means the match doesn’t register with Americans. It’s being targeted at the British audience.

The promoters and the fighters that are insisting on putting their best fights behind a paywall are ultimately stunting the sport and their fighters because they create new fans if they’re able to see the boxers on non-PPV.

“I look at the perspective of boxing in the United States, and boxing is certainly suffering in the United States,” said Thomas Hauser to Secondsout. “It’s much more popular in the UK and in other parts of the world.

“But when people talk about 2023 being a great year for boxing, I don’t think so at all because most of the fights that people wanted to see were behind a paywall. In the United States, at least very few people saw them.

“The fact that Joshua and Ngannou is being contested on a Friday afternoon, a workday in the United States, not even in the evening, in the afternoon, tells you where that fight registers in the United States today.

“So, you have to get into the mainstream, and I think you do that by the best fighting the best, but also by having fights that are available without behind a paywall. That’s how you grow the sport.

“Now, there is a lot of Saudi money coming to the sport now. A handful of promoters and a handful of fighters are going to get rich on that. I don’t know that it’s going to grow the sport. You’re preaching to the choir [targeting the hardcore boxing fans, not the casuals].”

Hauser doesn’t say which promoters and fighters are getting rich from the Saudi money, but I think we all know those people are.

“Yeah, the people that are writing about boxing and your hardcore fans might say, ‘Wow, these fights are happening, but it’s not growing the sport. You’re preaching to the choir,” said Hauser.

YouTube video