By Vivek Wallace:
Marcus G. (Brooklyn, NYC): I still haven’t heard any concrete numbers on the Pacquiao/Mosley PPV and we’re entering a full month beyond the event. I only see this meaning one thing but I wanted to get your thoughts on what it could mean?
Vivek W. (ESB): I can’t tell you what it means, but I can tell you what it doesn’t. I think at this point it all goes without saying. The last quote from Arum on the matter publicly was that “we should know by the end of the week”. Clever, but that was the week of May 10th, and we’re now hours shy of June 1st. I must admit, with the implementation of CBS, the Saturday afternoon Fight Camp 360 segments, and all the other hype, I totally bought into hype, even going as far as openly stating that I could see the fight doing 1.8M.
I guess it sound good in theory at the time, particularly on the heels of hearing Arum beat into our heads that CBS puts the fighters and the fight itself in 150M homes across America. I figured….”OK, P4P King Manny Pacquiao…..Shane Mosley….a warrior….an old one, but still a warrior and a household name….what’s there to not like about this promotion”? I truly felt even if I was buying into a measured hype, the regular Joe’s of the world would still feel compelled to do so as well because it was actually a well run promotion. Well, they didn’t! The best set of numbers I’ve heard thus far is 1.2M, which I think can be logically met with a double-edged sword.
I say that in the sense that 1.2M by any standards is a credible number in the sport; but when you look at the fact that the “biggest name in the sport” was the headliner, and he had not only cable and local televised promotions (CBS), but also the platinum caveats of online PPV subscribers and day-after-subscribers, where consumers could order the fight on the Sunday following fight night and still have those numbers reflect in the final count, there’s no way in hell this number can be viewed as credible. Period.
To be quite honest, it’s borderline laughable to net that this set of numbers with all the extra leverage involved. An honest assessment is that we haven’t heard this number publicly because the man critics view as “boring” and “heartless” (Mayweather jr.) not only put up a better performance against the common opponent, but also netted a few hundred thousand more viewers without the additional leverage.
This is the type of element that spearheads the debate between the two men in my book. One man is the fan favorite, the other is benefiting solely for the fact that he prefers it that way! They always said good guys finish last, and I can’t think of a better example. Pacquiao is all you can ask for in the ring, but in front of the camera, America seems to think he’s missing something, apparently. I admire what Arum has done for the sport from many angles, but the limited integrity shown via his complete dismissal of this subject is suspect at best. On another note, I’d love to hear his thoughts on those Ali popularity comparison’s after this debacle? I’m just sayin’….
Ator H. (London, UK): How do you see the Froch/Johnson fight playing out and who do you like to win?
Vivek W. (ESB): I think this fight will be far more entertaining than many think. As I listen around the sport it bothers me that the fight isn’t getting the type of buzz I would like, but at the end of the day, it’ll be a very intriguing night! I see the fight playing out one of two ways: I can see Froch using his herky-jerky slick style to try to avoid punishment by staying on the outside and trying to get a safe, non-controversial win; or I can see Johnson mauling his way through that jab Froch will try to put in front of him and subsequently making Froch very uncomfortable.
I won’t go as far as pointing out who I like to win at this point because I’ll touch on that later in the week when I do an official prediction (Friday), but I will say at this point is that I’m very curious to see how Froch handles the pressure. I say that because thus far in the tournament we’ve seen Froch look fairly good, but the one thing that always stands out to me about Froch is that any fighter tough enough to go to battle with him in the trenches and not try to box him can put him at an almost immediate disadvantage.
The great thing about it is that he’s been clever enough in the past to still find a way to earn the “W”, but a salty vet like Johnson will test every ounce of wit contained within that slim 6’1″ frame of his. I really like Froch and admire the way he handles himself in the ring, but I really don’t think this will be as easy as he seems to think. The true test will come when he lands a few shots and realizes that not only will they fail to slow Glen, but the return fire won’t be a walk in the park either. One media personality recently said Glen Johnson has no power. I don’t expect a KO for Johnson, but anyone denying that this rugged lion can crack is probably on something I’d rather not be around.
In the end, it will be an action packed fight because Glen won’t lie down, and he knows this could be that watershed moment he so affectionately desires. Hopkins recently had his chance to dance….Johnson’s on deck next, and I think he sees a few angles to exercise with his dancing partner. Buckle up ladies and gents…..gonna be a bumpy ride!
Gina A. (Bronx, NYC): What are your thoughts on Zab Judah and Amir Khan’s money feud? Rumor has it that Khan wants a 60-40 and Team Judah wants a 55-45. Where do you think the final numbers should fall?
Vivek W. (ESB): You know, maybe I’m oldschool, but I cram to understand how there’s even a remote consideration to give Khan, as a rising, yet still vastly untested charge in the sport, the leverage at the negotiating table. Many say that it’s because he brings the UK viewers, but I think the McCloskey fight showed us that his country doesn’t quite give him the support many think. I hate to dust the old chant off, but hey, “There’s Only One……Ricky Hatton”! He may have a decent following, but I’d venture to say that Judah is arguably still a bigger draw here stateside.
Judah hasn’t won a good deal of his marquee fights, but I think his resume and name alone in the sport should place him at the neutral, 50-50 spot at worst. I like Khan and have supported him greatly, but calling an ace an ace, I just really think that anything outside of a 50-50 split should be questioned. Judah has faced the who’s who of the sport, and hasn’t ducked anyone. I could totally see Khan getting a slightly bigger purse than Bradley, but Judah I think should get a more even split. The 55-45 that Judah has reportedly asked for, paired with the venue being in Atlantic City is absolutely justified. He has to give up a little if he wants a lot.
A penny less than the 55/45 or another venue request and I’d let Khan find another dancing partner. I could be totally wrong, but I truly feel there should be far more required to gain a 20% leverage split for a somewhat unproven commodity. I love the heart of Khan and will continue to support him, but I can’t on this topic. They need to balance this number out. Period.
(Vivek “Vito” Wallace can be reached at email@example.com, 954-292-7346, Youtube (VIVEK1251), Twitter (VIVEKWALLACE747), Skype (VITO-BOXING), and Facebook).