Field Theory by Hadyn Green


Like a punch in the face

Boxing is a dead sport. It doesn't know it though. Right now boxing is a shambling corpse, mimicking other, similar sports like some decaying zombie that's trying remember what it was like to be alive.

It is because of this that we are being told that the Shane Cameron versus David Tua fight in Hamilton this weekend will be the "Fight of the Century". The billing and the hype surrounding, what even the promoters must know is a lie, has been astounding (just look at that URL).

Sky has been running ads saying to "book early" lest you miss out on the Pay-Per-View (PPV) event. How can I miss out on TV? Surely, even during the bout, all I'd have to do is hit a series of buttons on my remote.

Sadly it's the PPV that killed boxing. Many years ago it seemed easier for boxing to be PPV; they have single events rather than seasons, the title fights are months apart, and the fights themselves are geographically spread. Going to PPV meant bigger television money and no wrangling with local broadcasters.

But now PPV is crowded with boxing-like sports, and these sports are pulling in more viewers than boxing has in years. The new mixed martial arts leagues that have started up in recent years have taken a lot of the more blood-thirsty viewers, while professional wrestling have taken the younger audience and those who enjoy the drama. In fact the WWE is now the undisputed heavyweight champion of PPV.

So what can we expect from tomorrow night's bout? I'm going to guess it'll be like Darth Vader versus Obi Wan Kinobi on the Deathstar. Built up as an awesome battle, but really just two old guys circling each other taking weak jabs, and when one finally goes down it'll be a hollow victory.

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