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Paul Williams -vs- Winky Wright set for April 11th

Paul Williams and former undisputed jr middleweight champion Winky Wright will meet each other at the Mandalay Bay on April 11 in a middleweight fight scheduled for twelve rounds.

This should be a relatively decent middleweight scrap, as Williams showed that he could carry the weight well, based on his two round destruction of Andy Kolle in a middleweight fight in September of 2008. With the opportunity to face off against a top ten pound for pounder, Wright has a chance to put his name back on boxing's main radar where it once was a few years ago when he soundly defeated Shane Mosley and Felix Trinidad. Wright has been inactive since dropping a close decision to Bernard Hopkins at a catch weight of 170lbs back in July of 2007. Williams was last seen on November 29 oflast year, scoring an 8th round TKO of former IBF jr middleweight champion Verno Phillips.

Unfortunately the winner of this fight can dismiss any hopes and dreams of challenging middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik, as long as Pavlik is still fighting under the Top Rank banner. We all know Bob Arum's feeling for both of these combatants. Williams vs Wright will be televised on HBO World Championship Boxing.

Continuing the progress and innovation that I believe was made at the beginning of the year, HBO continues to build on their improvements in terms of televising quality boxing matches between equally matched elite level fighters rather than showcasing rising stars against over matched opponents.

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather fight was billed as "the last fight." That's because no one knows any of the other boxers anymore. There are no big names left in boxing. Why is that? Because the public never sees boxing matches anymore.

There are many different factors leading to the decline of boxing, such as the rise of ultimate fighting. But one of the key ingredients is that people have to dish out more than fifty bucks to even see any decent fights. So, none of the young boxers get to build up an organic following in the public. Who knows who to root for? They're all behind a pay-per-view firewall.
Unless up and coming boxers are on the same bill as a gigantic fight and we happen to be at someone else's house who paid to watch the fight and we happened to being watching early on, wed never see the young boxers. And even then they would have to put on a fantastic show to catch our attention.

Also, how many times have been rope-a-doped by pay per view events? You pay the exorbitant fee and then Tyson or his opponent takes a dive in 90 seconds. How many huge letdowns can you have before you decide not to spend fifty to a hundred bucks for them anymore? At least if it was on free TV, you click it on to see if it's worth your time. But once you get burned by pay per view, you don't want to pay to view anymore.

Boxing has always been a sport of the masses. People used to get behind a local hero or an unlikely champion or an underdog contender. Then everyone would huddle around the radio or television and watch or hear their hero fight. Now, they can do that if they have serious disposable income or invite twenty of their closest friends over. No one is huddled around pay per view.

Ironically, in the end it might be the very medium of carrying boxing that knocked out boxing. Though some might say that it was perfectly appropriate that it was the greed of the boxing industry that ultimately proved its undoing.

Bryan "B-Money" Bradley said...

Anonymous, I disagree heavily with your assessments but you are certainly entitled to your opinion. As I have stated before, boxing has been around for over 100 years. That's a fact, my friend. The sport has not gone anywhere, it is not going anywhere, and much to your dismay, it will not anywhere anytime soon.

The Oscar De la hoya vs Floyd Mayweather fight was billed as "The World Awaits" not as "the last fight". That event was as big as it was because it featured two of boxing's biggest draws in the last ten years in a mega fight against one another. Fighters like Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, even Kelly Pavlik, have had success drawing crowds to arenas and selling fights to PPV audiences throughout the world.

If you read my blog regularly, which I am inclined to believe that you do, you will have noticed that Shane Mosley vs Antonio Margarito fight drew a record high attendance at Staples Center last month - 20,820 in attendance - higher than any other sporting event in Staples Center history.

Your argument is based on fights being televised on PPV and the general public not being able to see these athletes as they ascend to the top or test themselves against the best fighters in the world in big fights.

I must ask you, Anonymous, how many UFC events have we seen on free TV? Almost all of them of have been on PPV, thanks to Mr. Dana White. People had to pay to see Rampage Jackson vs Chuck Liddell. People had to pay to see Forrest Griffin vs Rampage Jackson. People had to pay to see Forrest Griffin vs Rashad Evans. So how exactly is a greater fan base growing with UFC, any more than it is with boxing, when there are in fact more UFC events on PPV than boxing events????????

UFC fighters are starting their careers on PPV, so fans don't even get a chance to see them rise without having to shell out $40+ with each of their events. Boxers like Oscar De la hoya, Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Shane Mosley, Felix Trinidad, Roy Jones Jr, and Miguel Cotto all started on free television and eventually fought on HBO for at least five years before they became big enough stars to generate the public's interest and demand PPV events.

There are many good young fighters coming up in the sport, with the potential to be superstars, or at least exciting fighters who make for terrific television fights. Fighters such as Alfredo Angulo, olympic gold medal winner Yuriorkis Gamboa, James Kirkland and Devon Alexander. These fighters will carry the sport into the next generation.

You know what's great about these guys? It's a mixed pool of talent, excitment, and ability - and they're being showcased on ESPN Friday Night Fights as well as HBO and Showtime. They're not automatically being placed on the undercards, as Dana White does with the young fighters he's bringing up in the UFC.

The Tyson era you're speaking of is over, my friend. It's been long gone ever since the 90s. This is a new era. The Rafael Marquez/Israel Vasquez trilogy featured three historically great fights - all on Showtime. We had a great fight on HBO less than a month ago between Andre Berto and Luis Collazo.

ESPN, a FREE TV network, is going to be televising the heavyweight title fight between Vitali Klitschko and Juan Carlos Gomez. The general public will able to see that fight. I'm still waiting, and have been waiting for years, to hear an announcement from Dana White they have signed a contract to televise some of their events on HBO or even ESPN or Versus. I'm still waiting for White, I guess I assume I'll be waiting for a long time.

After all, White doesn't want lose out on his investments, much the way Gary Shaw and CBS did when their MMA hype job ... what was his name again???? Ohhh yeah, Kimbo Slice... that's it. They tried to put on him on CBS, and make a deal with CBS for some MMA exposure, and Slice made fools out of all of them when a late replacement bum stopped him in less than a minute.

You talk about the decline of boxing. Ladies and gentlemen, what I just described is not exactly good for what ales MMA either! I'm not here to diss MMA or UFC, but boxing clearly has seniority over those two, clearly has greater exposure than the two of them, and most definitely has the biggest stars out of all of them.

Perhaps one day, maybe if MMA and UFC are able to stick around for at least a century without any more Slice debacles, MMA and UFC will be able to catch up. I won't hold my breath. This blog is about BOXING, and I have more news to cover, so I must get going. Have a nice day Mr. Anonymous, and keep reading!

P.S. If you are as proud of UFC and MMA as you appear to be, maybe next time you will proud of them enough to post your real name with your comments! :)