Golden Boy and Facebook Watch—Not Bad for a Blind Date

By Marc Livitz on August 13, 2018
Golden Boy and Facebook Watch—Not Bad for a Blind Date
The stream would freeze during the contest between Rojas and Diaz. (Photo: Courtesy)

Many seemed upset, however not completely shocked, that a night of free boxing would come with a few strings attached…

By now, it may be safe to assume that most of us are connected to the rest of the world through our respective devices, regardless of whether they are handheld or carried in a shoulder bag. It’s also forced us to come to the realization that smartphones have turned some people of all age groups into robots and shallow individuals devoid of an attention span greater than five seconds. This writer offers mild apologies, but some things need to be mentioned from time to time. As many may well know, a fight card put on by Golden Boy Promotions was held this past Saturday evening at the Avalon Ballroom in Hollywood, California.

Five professional contests made up the card and fans were treated to four of them on a new media platform, Facebook Watch. The telecast began with welterweight prospect Aaron McKenna earning a four-round, unanimous decision victory over Rolando Medivil. Later that night came what ended up being the most competitive and entertaining contest of the night. In a tightly fought bout between undefeated super lightweights, Jonathan Navarro stopped Damon Allen in the seventh round of a scheduled eight.

Throughout the entirety of the earlier matches, in other words the ones which preceded the main event, fans were able to post their comments across Facebook’s social media stream. Many of them were almost a play-by-play commentary of the contests, while some others were pure disdain for the pair of announcers, especially one who will go unnamed. This writer had no trouble with either one, mostly because the mute button always brings the golden silence and judging fights on one’s own is often easier without the interference of sound.

Of course, there were also comments towards the evening’s ring announcer as well as the in-ring personality, the latter of which happened to be female. Most kept their input on the tasteful side, while a handful may have been irritated that mom and dad finally told them to move out. Regardless, the biggest attraction, as in snafu, was held for the main event, which was the WBA world featherweight title clash between Jesus Rojas and Joseph “JoJo” Diaz.

In the upper left corner of the screen on the stream provided by Facebook Watch, a counter was on display to let viewers know how many individual hits the telecast was receiving. At its peak, the number never seemed to go beyond say, fifty to sixty thousand. This all changed during the main event. As if the blind date between Golden Boy and Facebook could long avoid any awkwardness, the signal would go in and out. In other words, the stream would freeze during the contest between Rojas and Diaz.

This would usually happen for a few seconds before the kinks would let up. As time went on and the rounds in the championship contest were in the history books, the previously mentioned comment section ranged from frustration to outright vitriol, aimed mostly at Golden Boy Promotions. Many seemed upset, however not completely shocked, that a night of free boxing would come with a few strings attached.

Some viewers weren’t as flustered and put in their respective two cents. “Hey, what do you want for free?” many of them reminded fellow fight fans. Some went as far as to suggest such a mishap would serve as the death knell for Golden Boy’s foray into streaming its contests on one of the world’s most visited websites. Others felt they’d remedy the issue by charging a fee for the next telecast.

By the time the bout entered its final moments, the number in upper left hand corner of the screen would have led one to believe that the five digits (two digits followed by a ‘K’) had dropped all the way down to four, to the point of just a small percentage. Many wondered why the bout couldn’t have simply been put on network or cable TV, but perhaps the date with Facebook Watch was finally the point to be made.

Only time will tell and surprisingly enough, the internet didn’t seem to be set alight by Sunday or even Monday morning with venting and huffing. To be honest, it wasn’t all that bad. Imagine if we’d paid $69.99 for it. Imagine if the target number of viewers of over one million had rung true. We’d likely had seen a more exciting contest on cave paintings. Keep the faith. Things can only get better, right?

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  1. fan 08:03am, 08/18/2018

    To make sure that boxing is on Internet path, boxing should have tweetfight.

  2. ceylon mooney 06:59am, 08/14/2018

    you didnt mention the stream shut down around halfway through the fight.

    you should include that in your coverage.

  3. Paul Magno 07:19pm, 08/13/2018

    Mark, the live stream actually died for most of us (I was assuming all of us)...it went out for five full rounds and that’s why viewership fell from 57K to 10K

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