There was once a time when families and friends gathered around the TV on a Saturday night to watch two chiseled, broad-chested gladiators do combat in a ring confined by red ropes.
A time where you weren’t charged an outrageous one-time fee, typically around $100, to watch a fight that could last just 10 seconds.
During the past 15 years, boxing has seen a decline in popularity in the United States.
It seems like every year I read some kind of article saying “boxing is dead.”
While it isn’t quite dead, it’s certainly in a vegetative state.
Americans don’t tune in to the fights, even though boxing is still huge around the globe.
Many people in the states now watch mixed martial arts fights rather than your traditional boxing format.
All that could soon change — boxing plans a comeback tour in the national spotlight.
On Saturday, boxing will return to national broadcasting for the first time in 30 years.
On NBC, Al Michaels, Marv Albert and Sugar Ray Leonard will attempt to reintroduce us to boxing’s former glory with the debut of “Premier Boxing Champions.”
Michaels will be in studio, Albert has the play-by-play and Leonard will come in with analysis — that’s some broadcasting firepower.
Keith Thurman versus Robert Guerrero will be headline bout following a matchup between Adrien Broner and John Molina Jr. starting at 8:30 p.m.
Al Haymon, a powerful manager in the boxing world, virtually made the entire thing happen.
Haymon came to terms with NBC in 2015 to showcase five prime-time cards on Saturday nights and also six afternoons and nine shows on NBCSN.
Saturday nights have turned into a ratings nightmare for most networks, and NBC is trying to, as the old cliché goes, “reinvent the wheel.”
If they can create human interest stories, and really delve into the lives, personalities and training of the fighters I think this could turn into a huge hit.
The average viewer will have no idea these boxers existed when they watch, and it’s up to the broadcasters to help make us care.
Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. can take the backseat until May 2, as far as I’m concerned.
They will charge $89.95 for standard definition, and $99.95 for high definition for “The fight of the century.”
Tickets cost anywhere from $3,500 to $250,000 for the fight.
Knowing that this single fight will bring in nearly $300 million makes me sick.
The two have been putting this off for a decade knowing that they can cash out when the time is right.
Let’s return to the way boxing once was.
Jordan Morey is the sports editor for The Tribune. Send comments to email@example.com.