So the big news that landed in Britain today, to a decidedly mixed reception its worth noting, is the announcement of Kell Brook fighting Frankie Gavin on May 30th at London’s O2 on a card that is to be PPV in the UK on Sky Box Office.
Rumours have abounded for the last couple of days that Birmingham’s Gavin would be the man to face Kell Brook, after he was first linked to an eliminator fight with Timothy Bradley, and that speculation became a reality earlier today.
It was always going to be an unpopular decision to put this, or any card these days, on Sky PPV, especially after the poor Bellew-Cleverly 2 card recently, that is still fresh in the minds of those who parted with £15 to endure it.
In his defence, the financial mechanics of putting on such an event, at such a premier venue as the O2, have more than ably been explained by Eddie Hearn and Matchroom sport in the past.
In short, “Fast Car” would say, that for a triple world title card to be viable, and for everybody to be paid handsomely (including himself of course) the Box Office revenue is nothing short of essential.
Social media has this afternoon been absolutely rife with criticism of the Brook fight, though many are neglecting to remember that Jorge Linares is coming to defend his WBC lightweight belt against hometown boy Kevin Mitchell, and the “Welsh Mayweather” Lee Selby is to challenge Evengy Gradovich for the featherweight championship. Alongside this, exciting 160lb fighters John Ryder and Nick Blackwell will also square off for the British middleweight title and Scott Cardle will box Craig Evans for the British lightweight strap, so its not a card that is patchy or lacking in quality, as PPV cards from Eddie have in the past.
I’m not going to dwell too much on the ethics of Hearn’s matchmaking here. It does seems apparent now however, that Gavin, who was only signed by Hearn at the start of the year to bolster the Birmingham based stable, (Macklin, Eggington & The Yafai bros) is now being fed to Brook, one of Matchroom’s best, as a “soft” defence.
Whether this was always in the back of Hearn’s mind is anybody’s guess but like I say…..This piece is not about that.
It appears now that Anthony Joshua, who was to box on the card against Kevin Johnson, will now step into the void left in Matchroom’s May 9th show in Birmingham by Gavin, who himself was due to headline that event. There will be some disappointed tickets holders who have already shelled out to attend that show to see the ex- world amateur champion.
Thankfully us Brits will only be paying £20 for Mayweather v Pacquiao on the same SkyBox Office platform, as two PPV events in any one month, on top of a monthly Sky TV (and for us die-hards, Boxnation ) subscription, is a hell of a lot to ask of working people on a working wage. Sometimes perhaps the likes of Eddie Hearn forget that?
Either way, I sometimes wonder if he is simply secure in the knowledge that true boxing fans WILL pay. I always seem to shell out, as do all the other fanatics. I just hope those internet memes of him looking smug and calling us all mugs aren’t a reflection of the reality.?
Will you be paying? Do you always seem to regardless of if it left a bitter taste in your mouth last time? And do you think this card as a whole, NOT just Brook v Gavin, is a PPV event? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading as always. Twitter @undilutedpoison