WE can all hum the theme tune. We all remember the opening credits. The voices are familiar, the graphics are familiar, and it surely isn’t a fight night without Jim Lampley breaking down in tears, Max Kellerman getting all slow and serious, Larry Merchant grabbing hold of someone, George Foreman belly-laughing, Manny Steward losing his s**t, or Roy Jones chastising some poor fella for not being Roy Jones (or, in the case of a co-commentator, not having boxed before). Ah, the memories.
It’s with disappointment, then, that we discover US broadcaster HBO has decided to end its live boxing coverage after 45 years, responding to seismic shifts in the US boxing landscape and consumer habits.
Call it competition, call it market saturation, but broadcasters ESPN, Showtime and Fox have all secured major deals for premium live boxing content over the coming years, and DAZN, a new streaming platform, have linked up with Matchroom Boxing USA and set out some grand plans of their own.