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Friday, November 13, 2009

Gentlemen Boxers, PPV's Achilles Heel

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By Greg R. Penilla, M.D.
Fri, 13 Nov 2009

Las Vegas, NV - In the old days, the success of a great boxing match depends on how well the fighters engage in the brutal world of controlled violence. The more blood and gore that are spilled the better. Nonstop action and the warrior mentality of the two gladiators on the ring create the excitement and adrenalin rush that fixate the crowd to the ongoing ballet of explosive confrontation. It could be unfolding on a rickety and dilapidated arena watched by a mere handful of fans but as long as the lust for great entertainment can be satisfied by the protagonists, battling for physical; and mental supremacy, the venue does not really matter.

Fast forward to the modern era of boxing when the success of a boxing match is measured in box office receipts and the sacred PPV buys.

When hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake, it is but expected that promoters would make sure that no stone is unturned to ensure the success of mega fights. International and multi city press tours and television series like the award winning 24/7 series of HBO are now regular staples of pre fight hype.

It seemed not too long ago when the business of boxing used to be dominated by street smart and scrappy hardened men making handshake deals in smoke filled rooms. It is no longer unusual to see Armani clad Wall Street bankers and Madison Avenue publicists running the show business that boxing has become.
How often do we see boxing matches being made in corporate boardroom and not by grizzled veteran matchmakers? How many times do we see dull and boring mismatches that send the fans to sleep but end up financially successful? Unfortunately, as long as the money is coming in, we will continue to be force fed with such money making but unworthy boxing bouts.

This weekend however, boxing fans have nothing to be concerned about. The much anticipated Pacquiao-Cotto Firepower match is every boxing fans dream. A fight made in boxing heaven. These two warriors will give the boxing fans what they have been asking for. Blood and guts on the canvas.

The incredible responses from boxing fans and unprecedented international multi media attention have not been seen before. There is palpable excitement. Boxing is very much alive.
Manny Pacquaio has proven that his following has gone beyond the borders of the Philippines and is a phenomenal worldwide boxing icon. Miguel Cotto may not have the rabid following Pacquaio commands but he is definitely highly respected by a throng of boxing experts and of course by his countrymen. Two warriors ready to rumble to the very end.

There is no doubt that the MGM Grand Arena will be filled to the brim with the boisterous crowd mingling with the expected parade of sports and Hollywood celebrities, There is no doubt that this fight has the potential for the "Fight of the Year" award.
But will the excitement that Firepower has generated translate into a PPV bonanza?

Conventional wisdom would suggest that, it is a no brainer. Of course, Pacquao and Cotto will shatter the existing PPV record of 2.4 million buys.

Or will it?

If there is an Achilles heel for this fight, it is the persona outside the ring of these two great fighters. In the ring, they are like wild beasts ferociously battling until the very last ounce of strength is sapped and last drop of blood is drained from their veins.

But off the ring, they are just too nice and too much of a gentleman. Their last press conference was almost like a love fest, a refreshing sight to behold.

However, it appears PPV buyers want controversy, trash talking, dysfunctional personalities and at least one villain.
PPV buyers just like everyday Americans want dirty and crazy antics. The Mayweather family circus does it best. They were the best selling point of the Marquez-Floyd Jr Fight, not the fight itself. It turned out to be a boring fight but a huge PPV success.

We love to see the meltdown of a Britney Spears. The more poor judgment Jon and Kate Gosselin exhibit, the higher their ratings go. Paris Hilton is famous not because she is a lady. The Octo Mom should not deserve any attention but everybody wants to know everything about her. Controversial actions make one a celebrity. Reality TV is getting more unreal and the viewers keep on clamoring for more.

It is so hard to find any titillating tales from Manny and Miguel that HBO's 24/7 had to rehash over and over the only controversy they have, the Michael Koncz - Ariza/Roach feud.
One thing is for sure, it will be one heck of a fight here in Las Vegas come Saturday night.

Let's just worry about the PPV numbers later on, we all have a fight to enjoy.

And yes, it is OK to be a gentleman.

Source: http://philboxing.com/news/story-29522.html

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