Sky did it again.
I’ve talked before about how my subscription to their Sports package has allowed me to enjoy their coverage of Spanish football for the first time. Now recently all I was getting build-up to of late was the Haye-Klitschko bout. With most of the boxing belts in the heavyweight division on the line, it was a good chance to unify most of them. You’ll notice, though, that I’m not really into boxing. Up to and including the fight itself, I was not bothered about watching the match – especially as it was on Box Office thus requiring expenditure on my part. I had a passing interest in the result on the merit of Haye’s comments building his chances. That is not to say I was supporting anyone in particular. As I said all of this was just out of interest.
This is where Sky played a blinder. Apparently there was a technical glitch in presenting the bout which left people disappointed to miss part of the match. So as to apologise for the inconvenience the replay of the match on Box Office broadcast the next day was shown for free!! Now even though I’m not a boxing fan, the chance to see a fight previously charged at a funny price now available for free was something I was not going to turn down. So for the first time in well over a decade, I sat down and took in an entire boxing match.
Boxing is not completely alien to me. My Dad enjoyed the occasional match and I had some interest especially because of Muhammad Ali, even though he’d been retired for years when I took some interest. I knew bits and bobs about the sport and was intrigued to see how this unification bout would crack off.
One of the things I noticed was how much of a big deal the match had become as a spectacle. No longer did a boxer just make his way to the ring, but now there’s a virtual theatrical introduction to the boxer featuring a famous old pro escorting the contender to the outskirts of the main venue. That was hilarious, as was the security’s efforts to swat any fan who made the mistake of trying to impede the boxer’s route to the ring so he could get his mug on telly.
The match itself was almost a mis-match. For all of his bravado beforehand, Haye barely registered a knock of any significance. His strategy for what it was failed miserably. Brave though he undoubtedly was to endure the advantage his opponent had in height and size, he almost played into Klitschko’s hands with his tactics. As for the big man from the Ukraine he was efficiency personified. Gaining the points round after round, he went about his business almost like an accountant totting up the figures. In as much as he made the most of his advantage, he didn’t convince me that he had the raw aggression to finish haye off with the KO.
As a matter of fact, this bout did not do much to promote boxing as an exciting pastime. It most certainly would have constituted a waste of my money if i had purchased the thing. In as much as I appreciate tactical boxing, I am looking for something more in a boxing match – there has to be more to boxing than that match.
My era of interest saw the rise and fall of Mike Tyson. Love him or hate him in and around his prime he brought an excitement to the sport that is sadly missing now. With due respect to the klitchko brothers who deserve their status in the sport, they don’t hold a candle to the tyson era and now the interest surrounds who will
replace them and if there is someone who can put the spark and excitement in the sport. You know it is in dire straits when the highlight is Mike the Announcer saying ‘Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!’
So it was very good of Sky to show this pay-per-view event for free, but next time even those prices might not entice me to watch a match until there is a contender capable of bringing on the rumble.