Feast or Famine: A User’s Guide

By Robert Ecksel on June 16, 2015
Feast or Famine: A User’s Guide
Depending on one’s perspective, this is an embarrassment of riches or an embarrassment.

With the sudden interest/reappearance of boxing on TV on a regular basis, the aforementioned tradition continues…

Fight fans are a persnickety lot. If they’re not drooling over one fighter they’re taking potshots at another, often without rhyme or reason or a working knowledge of the sport. But of the many things that drive fight fans in our veritable loony bin of a sport crazy, what really sends them up a wall is the tradition of televising fights on dueling networks at the same time.

HBO and Showtime, which kept boxing front and center when the sport was in the doldrums, have set the standard in this regard and it’s as unsatisfactory now as when it was first introduced. It’s not that we haven’t gotten used to it. What haven’t we gotten used to, given enough time and too few options? And while it may make sense from a financial perspective, it flies in the face of desire, the unwitting accomplice of our never satiated needs, especially when all we desire is solid fights between evenly matched competitors.

With the sudden interest/reappearance of boxing on TV on a regular basis, the aforementioned tradition continues and with abandon. This weekend, for example, specifically on Saturday, there are three main events being televised at the same time. NBC gets things started with a fight between Adrien Broner and Shawn Porter (8:30 PM ET/5:30 PM PT). BET is televising a fight between Andre Ward and Paul Smith (10 PM ET/7 PM PT). And last but not least, Fox Sports 2 brings us a fight between David Lemieux and Hassan N’Dam (10 PM ET/7 PM PT) for the vacant IBF middleweight title.

Depending on one’s perspective, this is either an embarrassment of riches of just an embarrassment. Granted, with the wonders of TiVo, YouTube, and endless reruns, there will opportunities galore to catch the fights one was forced to miss. But for those hardcore aficionados who want it all and want it live, you, or perhaps we, are out of luck.

I’ll look at each of these fights separately, examining their virtues and in some cases flaws, in Feast or Famine installments to follow. The old saying “Two heads are better than one” has never gone out of fashion. But on Saturday we need three heads, and no amount of genetic engineering will make that possible, not with so little time at our disposal.

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