Beat To The Punch Ep21

I was joined the line by Nathan Dowie and Riku to speak about all this weeks big boxing news including Jamel Herring picks up a World Title, Hughie Fury and will he ever fulfil his early potential . We also spoke about AJ/Ruiz as well as all the rest of the goings on in the Heavyweight Division.

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Canelo Signs With DAZN And What It Could Mean For Matchroom USA

Canelo Signs With DAZN And What It Could Mean For Matchroom USA

There are not a lot of constants in boxing, it is a sport where things inside and outside the ring are constantly evolving but the one thing the sport will always retain is its power to shock. Today we woke up to the news that boxing’s biggest superstar had signed a five year deal with newly launched (in the US) streaming app DAZN, a deal worth $365m. DAZN may be the new boys in the US market but they are cash rich and look to be throwing everything at cracking the market to becoming one of the world’s biggest online sport’s platforms.

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For years Canelo Alvarez has been the face of HBO boxing, the pinnacle of  boxing in terms of super fights. A platform steeped in boxing history. A few weeks ago HBO announced it was pulling out of boxing leaving the superstar without a home. Although DAZN are cash rich this deal came as a shock to most as DAZN already have a $1B eight year deal in place with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom and Golden Boy promotions who look after Canelo Alvarez have stated publicly “We are not interested in Co-Promoting Canelo”. As more details have emerged about this deal it has became clear that this deal is between Golden Boy and DAZN, separate from the Matchroom USA deal. This looks like a moment of genius from John Skipper, the Executive Chairman of Performance Group, the owners of DAZN. Skipper looks to have rekindled and relationship with Oscar De La Hoya after both knew each other from their time working together for ESPN, not just bringing in Canelo but also securing a home for Golden Boy and their stable.image.png

So what does this mean for Eddie Hearn and Matchroom USA ? 

Well as it stand it is impossible for us to tell for sure. It was reported that on DAZN Apps launch night which featured AJ vs Povetkin fight, that subscription numbers were particularly poor, in the low tens of thousands if some reports are to be believed . This could mean one of two things for Hearn in my opinion. When DAZN announced their $1B deal with Eddie Hearn it was clear from early on that Eddie had targets to hit. Any fighters signed to the new deal was only offered a short term bumper deals, which most declined and any decent names were co-promotion deals. With HBO pulling the plug on boxing this could be a sign that DAZN may have decided to go another way, i mean its not everyday that the biggest star in boxing becomes a free agent. I’m not saying DAZN will ditch Matchroom USA completely, i am saying that DAZN are looking to build a platform on the back of Canelo and not Matchroom, maybe in the next quarter Matchroom USA will find their budget for putting on shows dramatically cut as DAZN have already secured the rights to stream Anthony Joshua fights from the UK along with Canelo’s fights, It doesn’t get much bigger than that.

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We could also look at this another way. Eddie Hearn has worked with performance group now for over five years, together they have signed some massive deals outside of the US market so we know that there is a good working relationship between both parties. This may well be DAZN telling Eddie Hearn that they know they had given him a near impossible task to crack the US and this is their way of pushing things along. There can be no doubt that this deal puts matchroom USA in a significantly stronger position as subscribers will buy into DAZN in massive numbers to see Canelo, but these people will still be viewing the platforms other shows putting Hearn in a great position to build his own star.

One thing is for sure, this deal isn’t bad for boxing. The way in which boxing is evolving on the business side of things i think it actually makes sense for a platform NOT to be exclusive to one promoter. Any sort of negotiations between Matchroom and Golden Boy just became a hell of a lot easier.

Steven Donnell

Why Are Boxing Fan’s Treated With Utter Discontent

Why Are Boxing Fan’s Treated With Utter Discontent

Today i have been sitting reading the news that GGG vs Canelo rematch is all but dead due to negotiations breaking down because a dispute over purse splits , this come’s just a week after AJ vs Wilder broke down in negotiations and now also look’s like it wont be happening anytime soon . After such a promising start to the year the past month has really took the wind right of my sails which has me asking myself ….Does any other sport treat there fans with the utter discontent that boxing does ? .

Time after time we see fight’s that make sense at the elite level fall apart in negotiations , to the point that we see more of these fight’s fall apart more often than they are made . Ever since AJ beat Joseph Parker to pick up his third world title his team have been pushing this narrative that Deontay Wilder did not want to fight AJ . As a war of words kicked off between the two via social media Anthony Joshua told Wilder

“You pay me $50m and il sign the fight tomorrow ”

When Joshua made this statement it was a throwaway comment but to his shock team Wilder came up with the $50m , which would be Joshua’s biggest ever payday so the fight should get made right ? ….Well no as the next demand made was that AJ wanted home advantage , a move that would cap the earning potential of this fight , a demand that the money men behind this offer couldn’t agree to . As of now this fight looks dead in the water which is no big loss to AJ as he could make that kind of money in three easier fights here in the UK keeping his sponsors like StubHub happy as they make millions from ripping fans off to go watch AJ , but why are we as fans willing to accept this just because it’s AJ ? Boxing fans lost all respect for guys like Adonis Stevenson and Danny Garcia for doing something similar .

Over in the the US we have GGG insisting on a 50/50 split when he fights the biggest name in boxing Canelo Alvarez in there long awaited rematch . Now this one is a little bit more complicated due to Canelo failing a drug test in April and his fight with GGG being cancelled . The fight was due to take place in May with all sides agreeing on 65/35 split in favour of Canelo , giving GGG 5% more than he got in the first fight but since the failed drug test GGG and his team feel they should be compensated . Now i am GGG fan but there is no way that he brings 50% to the table, Canelo is by far the main draw here but when we are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars there is more than enough cash on the table to get this fight made and to be honest it makes me feel sick that both sides cant get this fight made when I’ve spoke to guys who can’t even cover there training camp due to there purse being so low .

Could you imagine any other sport where the best don’t test themselves against the best . Imagine for a second that in football Barcelona refused to play Real Madrid or in tennis if Andy Murray refused to take on Djokovic . Why are we so willing to accept being treated like this as fans ? At the end of the day our power lays with the pounds , shilling’s and pence that is in our pockets , I think these so called superstars need to remember it is us the fans that put them where they are and we can bring them back down .

AJ/Wilder – I’m Going To Make Him An Offer He Can’t Accept

AJ/Wilder – I’m Going To Make Him An Offer He Can’t Accept

In 1972 the world was introduced to Francis Ford Coppola’s cinema masterpiece ” The Godfather ” which to this day is still one of the greatest movies ever made . This movie immortalised Marlon Brando as one of the best actors of all time with his portrayal of Don Vito Corleone , a mafia family leader . Vito Corleone is the kind of character that every man would want to be and every actor would love to play , A charismatic leader of men , a man with the power help or hinder , a character that will will survive time and to top it off he is a character with one of the best catchphrases in Movie History …..” I’m going to make him an offer can’t refuse ”

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It has emerged this week that Eddie Hearn has made Deontay Wilder a ” take it or leave it “offer of $12.5m (£8.9m) for what is one of the biggest fights in boxing today , Eddie has took Vito Corleone’s catchphrase and turned it on its head ” He’s made him an offer he can’t accept ” . On the face of it some would think that this is a good offer as it’s five time more than Wilder’s biggest purse to date as Hearn was quick to point out , but it was Hearn’s own language that aroused my suspicion . When Hearn was negotiating AJ/Parker we never heard a figure mentioned it was broken down into percentages , even when the fight was signed all we heard was Parker would receive between 30-35% , so why now is Hearn talking in hard figures ? Is it because he doesn’t want people to know that the offer to Wilder is around 20% , way less than the share received by Parker and Klitschko .

Pic From Ring Mag

We have also seen Eddie Hearn use his buzz words to make this look like Wilder is ducking Joshua , buzz phrases like ” Five times more ” , “If THEY don’t want it” and my personal favourite ” Thats all Wilder is worth , AJ brings the rest to the table ” . The projected figures for AJ/Wilder is it will make in excess of $50m which is much more than AJ/Parker so how can Hearn say Wilder doesn’t bring anything to this fight . There is also a contradiction to this ” take it , or leave it offer ” as Hearn finished up by saying

“If they don’t accept it, the fight’s not dead. It just means we’re going to fight Alexander Povetkin next, and we’ll talk again in December, or February or March of next year.’’

So my question is to Hearn what will change ? If both sides are the width of the Atlantic ocean apart just now in what they rate Wilders worth at , what is going to change to bring them closer …..Dillion Whyte ? ( laugh and now recompose for the last paragraph )

Now i am a working class boxing fan , i don’t like to discuss how many millions these millionaires should get , and to be quite frank i don’t care If i am being totally honest a big part of me thinks Wilder should just take it as $12.5m is more than enough for any man . All i want is the biggest fights in boxing and this offer just put’s AJ/Wilder way back , in a division where there is no real competition for either . AJ and his team have kept throwing obstacles in the way of this fight and they know this offer won’t be accepted and that has me asking myself the question , Is this a case of greed masking fear ? .

Read more here at Ring Mag

Joshua vs Parker – I Review Sky Commentary , AJ/Wilder …Oh and we Discuss the Fight

Joshua vs Parker – I Review Sky Commentary , AJ/Wilder …Oh and we Discuss the Fight

Well I’ve took a few days before sitting down to write this review of the AJ vs Parker fight thinking once i had digested it i would be able to find some positives , i thought that I would have put some sort of spin on it by now , but no matter what the sky company men have been saying or even AJ himself since the fight , it was still a very poor fight . I will struggle to keep you entertained talking about it , so i will keep the review of the fight short and sweet and maybe divulge into other aspects of what we seen like one of the worst commentary performances I’ve ever heard and maybe even take some time to clear up this whole Deontay Wilder stuff and hopefully that’s enough to keep you a reader .

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Not a classic by any stretch of the imagination but another win for AJ (pic from daily mail)

The Fight

Since Saturday there has been a spin attached to this fight which started ten minutes after the fight ended and has mothballed into something amusing but so inaccurate at the same time . Just after the fight we had Sky pundits describe how well Joshua boxed then even AJ himself called his performance a “A introduction to the sweet science ” . Now anybody that seen the fight will know this is just pure make believe and I’ve seen enough on social media the past couple of days to know that even the biggest casual fans know what they saw . There is credit to be given to AJ i had him winning 9 – 3 or 8-4 in rounds which is a clear victory against a good opponent but this suggestion of “Sweet Science” is way over the top , and even though the gameplan was the right one by McCracken to get the job done , for the most part i don’t think AJ boxed that well . AJ was happy to keep Parker at the end of his long jab which Parker didn’t have the head movement or ring craft to get past , so for that you have to give Joshua credit but there was little in the way of creativity from Joshua and even tho his jab won him the fight it got progressively worse as the fight went on as two one dimensional fighter plodded away in what was a poor mans game of chess . Another major issue in this turning out a stinker was the referee who was shocking and totally overwhelmed by the occasion . The key to the fight for Parker was him being able to get inside and work on AJ but the ref was far to eager to get in between both guys killing any chance of this one catching fire which you could see was frustrating both fighters as AJ is very good on the inside also  . Then I must comment on the poor judging with two judges only giving Parker one round and the other giving him two rounds which is so disrespectful to Parker who for me won a minimum of three rounds clearly and you could add another couple of swing rounds on to that so yet again a big fight is partly killed by officials . In the end Joshua this was a clear winner but Parker can take positives from this fight , he stayed in there and fought for the full twelve rounds against AJ , something no other person has achieved so far and the  AJ Hype Train keeps rolling on with now with just one more title to collect to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world .

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Carl Froch trying his very best to ruin my night

Sky BoxOffice Show (commentary)

This is not something i usually comment on but i feel obliged to say something on how bad Carl Froch was as part of the Sky commentary team on Saturday night . Now usually i just turn the sound down enough that you can barely hear what’s being said but loud enough to still hear the crowd , after all what you want at home is to still capture the atmosphere and i think that is something that is being lost by most shows shown on the TV as they continually speak all the way though the show but on this occasion i watched it in a friends house so we had to listen to the ramblings of cliche driven mad man  . It is obvious that TV commentary teams nowadays have been instructed to have no free air , no prolonged periods of silence , no time to let fans sit and enjoy the fight  , which would be fine but it encourages complete drivel to be spoken which if anything distracts you from the fight . Froch was a world class boxer but he is not a fan of boxing and his knowledge of fighters and division is little to none and egged on by Adam Smith , Froch continually makes a fool of himself and it really does make for painful listening . This week we will be putting another classic fight on Casual’s Corner so listen out for how less is more when it comes to boxing commentary .       Casual’s Corner

AJ/Wilder 

To top off Saturday’s show we finished up with Eddie Hearn pushing this narrative that because Wilder didn’t come over to the UK for the fight he doesn’t want to fight AJ ….What a load of nonsense . Deontay Wilder was booked to come over right up to ten days before the fight when Hearn announced that Wilder would NOT be allowed in the ring to call out AJ , a tried and tested stunt which is proven to drum up interest in a fight   After hearing he wasn’t allowed to enter the ring Wilder read what was on the wall , he was going to be hijacked by Dillian Whyte who Hearn is now selling as a gatekeeper to AJ . Hearn jumped in the ring and started insulting Wilder right away about ticket sales etc , he’s spent the past four weeks insulting Wilder’s manager because they dared to expose the emails between both camps showing that Eddie doesn’t want to make AJ vs Wilder . Whilst Eddie Hearn was was mid rant post fight i couldn’t help but think , I’ve watched Wilder/Ortiz five times i don’t think i will ever rematch AJ’s last two fights . Lou Di Bella says it best in a fantastic interview with FightTalk.Net  .

( Follow the fight talk guys on twitter @Sam_OReilly1 @craigscott209 @Fight_Talk1 )

A Heavyweight Conundrum

A Heavyweight Conundrum

Back in the the early to mid 90’s Heavyweight Boxing was as strong as it had been at any time through history , guys like Evander Holyfield , Riddick Bowie , Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson to name a few filled the top ten , bizarrely there was even a time in 1995 when there was not a Champion in Ring Magazines top 5 . Now those days have past , and to be quite frank I’ve long since accepted that they will never return , heavyweight boxing has lost that glamour , that glitz and most of all that kind of talent .IMG_0023

Fast forward to 2017 and after an optimistic few years the division is again looking very weak and that is causing big problems for British Heavyweight Anthony Joshua . Joshua is nothing short of a marketing phenomenon , from Olympic Hero to Heavyweight Champion of the World and still keeping his media friendly “boy next door” persona intact , has seen Joshua and Eddie Hearn sell out the biggest stadiums the UK has to offer , AJ truly is a once in a generation marketable asset in boxing …..There is just one problem , competition .

As i write this there are two other World Champions in the mix in Joseph Parker and Deontey Wilder , both of whom have nowhere near the status of Joshua but that might not matter when it comes to negotiations . This week we have heard Parkers promoter David Higgins say that Eddie Hearns offer for a unification was “An insult” , reports suggest that the offer was in the region of 10% , which would be Parkers biggest ever pay day but with Higgins suggesting they where looking for closer to 40% both parties seem way off and it’s a similar story with Wilder as he is demanding a 50/50 split which again seems crazy , or is it ?.IMG_0022

It seems to me that Parker and Wilder have realised that the lack of talent at the top of the heavyweight division increases there stock to a more than there talent or popularity deserves to be valued at . It would also seem that Joshua needs Wilder and Parker more than they need him . I have no doubt that Wilder and Parker would happily fight other lower opposition leaving AJ and Hearn in the cold with more and more pressure building on them as each fight passes from there massive fan base to get the unifications made , Hearn will need to pay far more than Wilder and Parker are actually worth to get these fights made , this could bring a whole new meaning to “Earn with Hearn ”

Steven Donnell