Premier Boxing Champions (PBC), is a promotion that is run by Al Haymon, with its main attraction being that it brings back boxing to mainstream network television.  People don’t need to have HBO or Showtime to watch fights.  It is televised on ABC, CBS, NBC, ESPN, CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Spike TV, and Bounce TV.  So its easy access to a large number of fans who do not have or want HBO and Showtime for whatever reason it may be.

So the question is raised.  Is Premier Boxing Champions and Al Haymon good for the sport of boxing?  Unfortunalty, there are a lot of different answers to this question.  It also raises a many more questions in my book.  Is Al Haymon doing it for the money?  Is he doing it for the fans? is he doing it to restore glory in the squared circle?  No one can really answer that except Al Haymon unfortunately.  There is no question that Haymon is a promotional genius to pull something like this off, because boxing has not been on mainstream television before this year for a very long time.  So I do tip my hat to him for bringing it back.  Is it a financially terrific idea and promotion?  Yes, absolutely!!!  It bring boxing to everyone, and myself being a obsessed fan, its really cool that it reaches so many people now.

PBC also has a terrific array of fighters, with the top dogs being the likes of Adrein Broner, Danny Garcia, Amir Khan, Erislandy Lara, Lamont Peterson, Shawn Porter, Adonis Stevenson, Keith Thurman, and Deontay Wilder, among many others.  I must say that is a very impressive list of fighters.  PBC is doing great, the ratings are through the roof, Al Haymon is making money, and millions of fans get to experience more boxing for free.  So it actually does a lot of good from that stand point.

Now, heres the bad, the fights themselves.  They are boring and predictable.  Sadly, Al Haymoin has a knack for setting up these kinds of fights, when you just know who is going to win as soon as the contract is signed, and the fight is still months away.  The name of the series is PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS”.  Shouldn’t a top tier fighter be fighting against another top tier fighter most of the time on this show, instead of a Champion always fighting a has been or never was?  I must admit, it started off well.  Khan VS Algieri was good, Garcia and Peterson were both big names even though no title was on the line, and Thurman/Guerrero was fun to watch.  Porter VS Broner was evenly matched as well, but other then that, there are a bunch of fights where there is an overwhelming favorite to win, and its just not fun.  Stevenson VS Bika would be a prime example of that.  And another would be Thurman VS Collazo.  Carl Frampton, who somehow went down twice on lucky shots in the first round, was also a huge favorite to win his fight against Alejandro Gonzalez Jr, which of course he did.  Big surprise.

Another problem is the set up.  The commercials kill me, but it is network TV so you can’t complain about that.  The arena and walkway to the ring is a circus.  I feel like I went back in time to when U used to watch WWE Wrestling.  There is absolutely no “Boxing feel” in the ring entrances of the fighters.  They come out alone onto a huge stages with their hands up, like they are professional wrestlers, and in my opinion, it looks a little ridiculous.

Last but not least, the broadcast team needs to go.  Sugar Ray Leonard can stay of course, being that he’s a former all time great boxer, and his input on fights is very valuable.  I can stomach Marv Albert to a certain point, but anyone with any sort of advanced knowledge of boxing can tell that he is better off commentating on a different sport such as Football, Basketball, and Hockey.  He has a ton of experience there.  Al Michaels needs to go.  He has no clue.  He just calls it like he sees it without any personal opinions of his own.  I respect the man for all he’s done in the sports world to this point in his life.  It is actually quite remarkable, but boxing is just not his thing.  In conclusion, PBC is a great idea on paper.  It spreads boxing throughout the nation to millions of people.  But it needs a lot of work, starting with the caliber of fights that they air.  It started great, but it has become stale.  In fact it almost looks like set up fights at this point.  Once that is fixed, everything else will fall into place, and it should be a great series.

-David Jukic, INSIDE RINGSIDE

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