For nothing, that is.
We get that it’s a business and it is trying to make money. But to knowingly damage a sport that helped build that network is disgraceful.
Without question, that’s what Showtime has done with the announcement that it will broadcast a clown show/fight between five-time world champion Floyd Mayweather and YouTube personality-turned-boxer Logan Paul at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on June 6 in a pay-per-view event.
It should be called a charade-per-view.
That’s what it is, a train wreck.
Sure, people will line up to give their money away for something that won’t be worth it in the long run.
The damage might not be much for the bored masses looking for something to do on a Sunday night without having to leave their homes.
But the damage to the sport could be permanent.
Why fight legitimate boxers for belts when you simply can put on a spectacle against a cream puff and still make a lot of money? This is easier and more lucrative.
According to reports, the Jake Paul-Ben Askren fight/charade took in $75 million in PPV. But angry fans suspected the fight was fixed after Paul’s first-round knockout.
But they won’t be able to get their money back or the three minutes of life they wasted on the event.
None of it will stop more from following this script. It’s like taking candy from a baby. It’s too easy.
A boxer with pride and respect for the game would never get into a ring against a guy who hasn’t earned that right. It would be like a champ taking on a loudmouth drunk at the bar. It would be beneath him.
Apparently, Money doesn’t care. He’d probably fight a tough nun if the purse was big enough.
Up until recently, Mayweather (50-0, 27 KOs) had a career suitable for framing. He won titles in five weight classes. It was an amazing accomplishment to go undefeated during his reign in the ring.
Mayweather, 44, said he was retired after he defeated MMA star Conor McGregor by 10th-round TKO in a boxing match in 2017.
Now, in what is being billed a “special exhibition,” Mayweather will allow Paul (0-1) to grace the ring with him.
Paul lost a split decision to another YouTube gimmick, KSI, in 2019.
That fight made sense. This fight is a pure mockery.
And Showtime shouldn’t want any part of it. There are a lot of things you could put on TV to make money and yet most won’t see the light of day.
Heck, major TV networks have rejected questionable TV ads, forgoing millions of dollars.
It’s called standards. Apparently, Showtime has little to none.
Pay-per-view has damaged boxing beyond repair. Sure, it has made a few boxers and broadcast outlets boatloads of money. But it has killed the foundation of the sport.
Worse, it has damaged the sport going forward. So many millennials haven’t grown up with boxing. It won’t be a sport they will share with their kids because their parents couldn’t share it with them.
For sure, I’m not trying to sound like the old man yelling at the neighborhood kids to get off his lawn. But when I was a kid, I followed the fight game.
Heck, I used to listen to fights on my transistor radio under my pillow.
Most will read that and ask, “Boxing used to be on radio?” But the greed of having to get cashed out stopped that.
Many young people have never seen a fight live, just clips. Most of the bouts cost money and not chump change. Many of the big fights start close to midnight eastern time.
My love for boxing came from the fact that I could watch big-time fights on free TV as a kid. I can remember watching Muhammad Ali and Jimmy Young box on a Saturday night in primetime on ABC.
It was thrilling, memorable.
Sadly, everyone is just after a money grab. They keep dusting off all the great fighters to take part in these embarrassing events, including Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.
We can only hope that Paul can, somehow, knockout Mayweather and stop other real boxers from going down this path.
And shame on Showtime for going along with this farce.