IF it’s true what they say, that a pay-per-view model is the only way the boxing business can survive, expect plenty of boxers to hate each other and tell you how much they hate each other in the coming months and years. Expect a string of social media spats. Expect the term ‘beef’ to be used more frequently than it would be in a butcher shop or at a Chippendales show. Expect harmless nice guys to rebrand themselves as juvenile loudmouths, all in the name of making noise and stealing limelight. Expect upended furniture. Expect death threats. Expect tacky, misspelt hashtags.
It could get ugly.
One upside of this push for pay-per-view fights, however, is the ‘middle ground’ it will inevitably create. This middle ground, a scary place on the face of it, needs to produce the kind of fights good enough and competitive enough to pique the interest of fans and broadcasters, those predisposed to only caring about the big, bells and whistles pay-per-view nights. Which, by the way, is great news, because if it’s not able to do this, the whole structure, a loose and flimsy one at the best of times, will fall in on itself and British boxing, we’re told, could be in a very bad place.