…Starting the week pissed and building from there…
Rant #1– This Saturday’s Randy Couture-James Toney UFC showdown/farce is about as absurd as Magic Johnson playing half-court one-on-one with Reggie Jackson to see whether basketball or baseball is better.
The only thing this proves is that Dana White, UFC head carnival barker and Joe Rogan gimp master, is obsessed with trying to discredit boxing. White couldn’t do it in head to head pay-per-view contests since boxing kicked his company’s behind in both boxing vs. UFC buy rate battles. So, instead, he decided to draft an ill-advised James Toney and set him up to fail against one of his company’s legendary fighters.
But, make no mistake, Couture vs. Toney means absolutely nothing.
If Toney wins, he beats a 47-year old junk fighter who has already been knocked out twice by Chuck Lidell.
If Couture wins, he beats a faded, overweight former champ who is in his MMA debut.
Couture should win. After all, it’s his sport. But let’s not pretend that this means anything other than a few extra ppv buys for UFC 118 and a chance for Dana White to settle some imaginary score he has against boxing.
Rant #2– This second rant goes out to all the lunk heads involved with the sport who stupidly insist on leaving money on the table. At a time when the US boxing scene is shrinking and becoming more and more marginalized, boxing is still the sports world’s resident barefoot, backwoods hillbilly.
A while back on our forum, I proposed a sort of iTunes for boxing where fans could come and pay 99 cents or so for the right to legally download fights. If given a choice and if provided with a safe, legal alternative, most fans would ditch the torrents sites and the traders in favor of something like this. The money raised would mean thousands of extra dollars daily to the fighters and their representatives. It would also serve as a great promotional tool for future fights. After all, the fight videos exist and all they’re doing right now is gathering dust. Why not use them? Top Rank is starting to do something with their footage and Universum, with their YouTube channel, is definitely taking steps in the right direction. But why not go all out and turn this into a real money-making venture?
On a similar note, why isn’t there one enterprising young computer stud willing to step up and make some money from legal boxing streams? The only way fight fans were able to see Marco Huck vs. Matt Godfrey from Germany or Marco Antonio Rubio vs, Jose Luis Zertuche from Mexico on Saturday was via shaky, eye-straining internet flash stream. Would it be so hard for someone to acquire the streaming rights to these fights and air them on line via HD-quality streams at reasonable prices? Again, if given the opportunity, fight fans would choose reasonably priced legal alternatives to what is necessary now. And modern technology allows local/national broadcast rights to be respected by blocking certain areas from access. So, let’s say that 15,000 fans in the US and Canada are willing to pay 2.99 for next week’s Marcos Maidana vs. Demarcus Corley fight card from Argentina. That’s nearly $45,000 generated from two countries alone. After paying for the proper bandwidth and dividing the take with fighters and management, nobody will be getting Bill Gates-rich from this idea, but it sure beats the ZERO money currently being generated for foreign fights or small club-level cards.
The sad part is that both ideas are pretty much pipe dreams. Promoters and managers can’t get their acts together long enough to do anything beneficial for the sport or its fans. Petty squabbles and greed would probably end up costing more in legal fees than what could be generated from downloads or legal streams.
If boxing’s brain trust were on the Titanic, they would’ve all drowned while fighting over who gets to be captain of the lifeboat.
Rant #3– Colonel Bob Sheridan sucks.