So what a slow couple of weeks it has been for boxing fans . Going through the boxing news looking for inspiration to get an opinion piece out has been painful and disheartening and with interviews not booked in until next week things have been slow . So what could i write about ??? I have never really spoken of my devastation of watching Boxnation “The Home of Boxing” die a slow painful death .
BoxNation was launched back in 2011 the brain child of promoter Frank Warren who had the vison of giving the basket case which is boxing a home . Boxing is a sport like no other when it comes to tv deals due to the amount of platforms world wide that like to dabble in the sport . For so many years international fights could only be seen on dodgy streams online or if YouTube would let people upload the fights without infringing there copyright rules , and if you remember the days before the internet international fight were brought to you through Ring Magazine where you could read reports and even build up relationships with fellow readers across the world by answering adverts and exchanging video tapes via post ….. i am stressed just think about that . Warren had the simple but great idea of giving boxing a home , a place where his stable could be on show to a TV audience who would buy into the idea to have a place to watch these fights and some top class fights from around the world which would otherwise go unnoticed . This idea was met with scepticism across the board as this was a pre Anthony Joshua world we lived in and no matter how you dress it up the sport just wasn’t that big in the UK , boxing was a stop off , a gap filler and nobody is going to subscribe to channel dedicated to it was the cry from many across the board , but for a while they were wrong .
I do not like using the phrase ” Casual ” or ” Hardcore ” for two reasons , one is i think to label yourself makes you a wanker and the second reason is a fan through definition is someone that supports the the sport in some way or another and boxing isn’t a big enough sport for fan snobbery . The ” Hardcore ” element bought into the concept right away, enjoying some great small hall shows and even the prestigious amateur team boxing tournament The World Series of Boxing . As Warren started bringing massive international fights , even securing the rights to bring GGG vs Canelo to the UK screens the ” Casuals ” started to buy into the concept as well and BoxNation was must have for boxing fans .
We all knew from the start that this was never going to to be a massive success and take over boxing but BoxNation did hold it’s own and for a while , it even outperformed the super power that is Sky Sports , forcing Sky to try and compete on the International fight stage , something they had never done before unless there was a PPV attached , as time passed even the most avid boxing fan started to wonder how long this could go on as we had it all and in real terms it wasn’t costing to much to have it either .
For months there had been story’s emerging that the BoxNation was struggling but Frank Warren was in talks with BT Sport , another Super Power in UK sports leading to the assumption that BT Sports would take control of BoxNation and the channel would be safe guarded as long as Warren could keep BT Sports happy , but soon after the deal between Warren/BT Sports was agreed things didn’t seem right . In the beginning BT Sport subscribers were told ” Cancel your BoxNation subscription as it is part of your BT subscription now ” which was fine until the same fans were then told that those who get Boxnation through BT will need to fork out for Canelo/GGG what , what was going on ? Was BoxNation a separate entity ? .With the backing of BT Frank could now attract the like of Carl Frampton and Tyson Fury but in the build up to these domestic superstars shows fans didn’t know if the fight would be shown on BoxNation , which you would think can only be right since people are forking out £12 per month for BoxNation ….well no that wasn’t the case . As it turns out guys like Frampton and Fury were not signed on the same deal that included BoxNation having the rights , which in effect cut this small pioneering tv channel loose . So subscribers were left asking ” What am I paying for ?”
It is obvious that Frank Warren has signed BoxNation’s DNR , the channel which kept his credibility through the hard times of playing second fiddle to Eddie Hearn has been cut adrift and i for one am devastated .The effects are already being felt in the UK with massive international fights like Garcia vs Easter Jnr and Kovalev vs Alvarez going untelevised here in the UK in just the past couple of weeks , a couple of years ago we had it all now it’s back to the same old …from where i am sitting BoxNation is all but dead .