Boxing is healthy and strong and the year will end with the PBC, Top Rank, Matchroom Boxing, and other promoters that delivered a good product in 2019,
Healthy also because the promoters have revenue with DAZN and ESPN+ streaming networks. Strong with the PBC multi-million dollar contract that delivers championship fights on Fox Sports and Showtime.
“The sport has never been this strong and fans are getting what they deserve,” said Lou DeBella. He should know with over 30 years of experience in promoting and developing world class fighters.
More than a decade ago, DiBella, left his role as Director of Boxing at HBO. He started his Broadway Boxing Promotion that has expanded beyond New York City and events are held at major venues around the nation.
And with HBO out of the boxing business, it was assumed, boxing was dead. Far from that. The sport is thriving.
This weekend, four major shows are streaming. Pay-Per-View is healthy and Saturday night the PBC with Fox Sports PPV will televise the WBC heavyweight title defense of Deontay Wilder against Luis Ortiz from las Vegas.
Last March, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Wilder stopped the 40-year old Ortiz in the 10th round with his viciscious right. Ortiz, seeking to become the first heavyweight champion from Cuba, up until the stoppage trailed 85-84 on all three scorecards.
The fight was in consideration for fight of the year.
Wilder also said, “He deserves a rematch,” Barclay’s Center was not available and the rematch was moved to Las Vegas and the MGM Grand Arena, also a city and venue that offers more revenue for the promoters as fight town USA.
About that first fight, Wilder said, “It allowed me to see what I’m really made of. It allowed the world to see what type of champion and a true champion that they have in America.”
America and a worldwide audience will get to see if Wilder can get to his goal, unifying the world heavyweight titles. Andy Ruiz Jr, owns the other titles in the division, and made history as the first Mexican heavyweight champion after a stunning knockout win over Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden in June.
So with that, the boxing calendar will be busy in December,. And New York City will host two major cards in consecutive weeks at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and at Madison Square Garden.
Boxing is healthy and New York City, once the proud owner of the weekly fight card at smoked filled arenas, is not out of the game.
PBC and Showtime will highlight three championship fights at Barclays Center, Saturday December 7th. Undefeated WBC Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo defends his title against ranked contender Dennis Hogan.
And Middleweight star Chris Eubank Jr. will have his debut fight in America. The son of a former champion, Chris Sr. who trains him, opposed top contender Matt Korobov for the interim WBA Middleweight title. The fight has implications, the winner becoming a part of the mix and in contention for a major title in the division and Eubank Jr. has made it known that he wants a shot at Charlo.
“Charlo is definitely the name that’s on my radar,” he said. “He is seen as one of the elite fighters in the middleweight division and I intend to prove that he is not on my level. It will be satisfying stamping my mark on the division against Charlo after I beat Koroboi. I think it will be a great fight for the fans as together our styles would make for a very good bout.”
Top Rank and ESPN will highlight Terence Crawford at the Garden the following Saturday.
Crawford, the WBO Welterweight champion, considered by many to be among the top three pound-for-pound fighters, also seeks to unify the titles in what is considered the top division in boxing.
Yes, throw out the debate that boxing is not healthy. And that debate also ends about the sport as a has been in New York.
Prediction Time for Ortiz-Wilder: Will be an action packed few rounds and Ortiz will try and avoid that right hook that did him in last time. Wilder is taller and Ortizs has a weight advantage.
But the end will be the same, though sooner. Deontay Wilder retains with a stoppage in the sixth round and that quest to unify will await the Ruiz-Joshua rematch from Saudia Arabia on DAZN that is also scheduled for December 7.
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