It’s proving a pretty expensive summer for UK boxing fans. Tonight, in order to watch the heavyweight headlined card in London topped by Dillian Whyte against Oscar Rivas, armchair fans (those who do not wish to break the law by obtaining an illegal stream, or worse still, provide one) must fork out £20. While the big welterweight fight from Las Vegas between Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman will cost Brutish pay-per-viwers the same fee: the Whyte card going out on Sky Sports Box-Office, the Pac Man show being televised by ITV Box-Office.
No hard-core fan of this great sport wants to miss out on any of the action, naturally – but £40 per fan opting to pay for both shows tonight (the Pacquiao fight of course coming to us at the ungodly hour of approx 5am Sunday morning) really does add up to quite a pile of money.
Of course Eddie Hearn and plenty of other people would say, if you don’t wanna pay, don’t pay. And it’s true nobody has a gun to our heads. But with more and more fights being PPV events, those fans who refuse to pay, perhaps on principle, will miss out on more and more boxing
Yes, PPV is necessary in order to make some fights, the big, big fights. But are we not getting asked to accept far more PPV or Box-Office fight cards than should be the case these days? Are the powers that be guilty of getting far too greedy?
Look at the now confirmed Vasyl Lomachenko-Luke Campbell fight, on at The O2 in London on August 31. This fight has been announced as another Sky Sports Box-Office event. As great as the supremely talented and gifted Lomachenko obviously is, is this fight a great fight; a good fight even? Who honestly feels we will see anything other than another dominant performance and win from the southpaw from Ukraine?
Is this fight really, truly PPV-worthy?
Later this year, we fans will be expected to pay for the Andy Ruiz-Anthony Joshua return. Of course this is a fight nobody would object to being a PPV offering. Again, some fights are fine and wholly expected to be PPV. But how many additional fight cards will be pay events before then and afterwards?
With Sky Sports, BT, ITV Box-Office and BoxNation all trying to pull in your cash, you the fight fan can surely only afford so much.
Enjoy the fights; whether you can afford to catch the action live, or if like so many fans these days, you wait until the following day, hoping to get to see a fight you most likely already know the result of, via You Tube.