Sunday Sermon: Goodbye HBO, Hello DAZN

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change”

Last night, HBO held one of its final productions as Daniel Jacobs and Sergiy Derevyanchenko engaged in highly skilled, tactical warfare.  Longtime fans and subscribers of HBO have been rewarded for decades with epic fights and legendary nights. Although last night’s fight didn’t live up those heights, it was a reminder as to why HBO was always the best in the business.

Jacobs and Derevyanchenko delivered, it was a great fight as both fighters proved why they are two of the best in the Middleweight division.  It also proved why HBO was always the best in the business as they also delivered with two exciting fights, and a highlight reel knockout in the an exciting triple-header.  

Daniel Jacobs, since his almost upset of Gennady Golovkin, has proved that outside of Canelo and GGG, there isn’t a better Middleweight in the world.  Here’s the best part about it Jacobs, Demetrius Andrade and Billy Joe Saunders are all aligned with DAZN. And of course, the head hancho of the division, Canelo Alvarez.  Gennady Golovkin and his team have to be sitting back and visualizing his possible exit plan from boxing and a few nice, legacy-defying matchups.

Although last night’s fight didn’t live up those heights, it was a reminder as to why HBO was always the best in the business.

HBO has two remaining shows left before they turn off the lights and shut down the semi on what has been a Hall of Fame run. Can you put a network in the International Boxing Hall of Fame? Who cares, we all know their historical relevance to the sport of boxing.  Enjoy it while it lasts because the days of superstars like Roy Jones, Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather are forever gone, sadly.

 

Heather Hardy vs Shelly Vincent

I don’t have the time to explain their horrific upbringings and tortured pasts, but if you have the time to research, please do so and you’ll understand why their fight was bigger than just boxing.

Last night they stepped into the ring for the second time.  In their previous matchup, August 2016, these courageous women put on a quintessential phone booth battle.  It warranted an immediate rematch, but in women’s boxing, things don’t always go as planned – or as promised.  Let’s not forget the heated hatred between both these talented competitors.

Last night there was blood, combinations in bunches and thrilling back and forth exchanges.  It was awesome for women’s boxing, proving that women fighters belong on prime time TV.  Plus, reportedly, they each sold $20,000 worth of tickets each.  Coming from someone who had a long run in the local fight scene in my hometown, fighters struggle to push $800 dollars worth of tickets.

This is another reason why HBO was always the best, they crossed gender lines.  Laila Ali, Christy Martin, Ann Wolfe and now Cecilia Braekhus have been featured fighters on HBO.  Add Hardy and Vincent to that list now, good job HBO.

Regis Progrias puts New Orleans on his back

I never understood why professional boxing isn’t supported like a team sport.  Where a fighter comes from has always been the biggest back story of a fighter’s career.

Yet, you rarely see a fighter consistently fight in his hometown once he becomes a contender or champion.

Now there are many reasons for this obviously, but I could never wrap my head around as to why in certain cases, certain fighters, at Prograis’ level, aren’t fighting in their hometowns more often.  Terence Crawford just put 13,000 plus fans in the CHI Health Center in Omaha.  Errol Spence Jr put over 12,000 screaming fans inside the Ford Center just outside of his hometown in Dallas.

I understand building a fighter’s fan base, and popularity and cities with tourist attractions help sell a fight. But, when’s the last time you saw an American fighter put 30, 40 or 50 thousand fans in a stadium?

It doesn’t happen anymore but I’m in the belief, through the right marketing and promoting, it could.

Last night Regis Prograis packed the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans.  I couldn’t find the attendance number but the venue fits 10,000 in a regular setting.  From the looks of the telecast, the building looked full.  Why, because New Orleans’ own Regis Prograis is a star in the making.

Prograis busted up former World Champion Terry Flanagan over 12 rounds to retain his WBC Interim title.  Prograis dropped Flanagan in the eighth round and was on the verge of stopping him.  With the victory, Prograis advances to the semifinal round of the World Boxing Super Series.

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