Monday, September 15, 2008

Affliction's Gamble

When I first heard the announcement that Affliction and Golden Boy would promote hybrid events featuring boxing and MMA fights, I shook my head in disbelief. It did not surprise me. Companies in trouble often grasp for straws. Affliction could not sell a thousand tickets for their second event. A fatal miscalculation led to their predicament and now the solution is a collage of boxing and Mixed Martial Arts. I just do not get it and neither do most other Mixed Martial Arts fans.

The concept sounds intriguing at first. Combine the two sports and create a mega-event. The problem is the two sports are not as closely linked as people think. Both feature fighting and a referee. The similarities end there. MMA has succeeded because it is not boxing. Boxing events are built around one huge fight and a series of lesser match-ups. MMA uses the pro wrestling formula and builds a strong card from top to bottom. It lives off of the concept that any fighter can win and some day become a star. It is the polar opposite of boxing.

The details of the hybrid events have not been revealed yet. I sincerely hope they think it through and go with moderation. A fight card split between boxing and MMA would be a disaster. The only way I could see this working is if the events feature a series of MMA fights and one boxing match. The boxing match would need to be a huge draw and feature top talent. The one big boxing match would draw PPV buys without annoying diehard MMA fans. Any more than one boxing match and you run the risk of alienating MMA fans, who are usually not boxing fans to begin with.

I am not sure when or where the misconception began, but it grows with each passing year. For some reason, people think MMA fans are also interested in boxing. They think MMA fans are simply disgruntled boxing fans. While there are some who fit this description, the majority of MMA fans could care less about boxing. To me it is like Wimbledon deciding to hold ping pong tournaments at Centre Court.


Lexxy said...

I disagree with the article I think it could work if it was done right. Imagine this Oscar Dela hoya fighting on the same card as Randy couture or chuck liddell I know that won't happen but if it did the ppv buys would go through the roof. I do agree we only need one big boxing match cause I hate there undercards and I usally watch MMA till the Main event anyway.

Blackhawk said...

I like you understand what Affliction is trying to their company. Maybe they thought they were going to have a shot at Randy and others would follow maybe they just thought tons of MMA fans would love to see a new kid on the block that as more legit than EliteXC.

One thing is for sure this is a make or break deal for both really. I am sure Golden Boy is going to take some hits with die hard Boxing fans just like die hard MMA fans will turn on Affliction for this.

But it is a smart gamble. I mean the biggest thing about boxing fans is they don't understand MMA and they really don't give it a chance. Some have and don't like it but others really haven't. This way some fans that want to see some boxers will watch through the MMA stuff in between the bouts they want to see.

Is that going to be enough to sustain them? I am not sure it is but in Afflictions case they had nothing to loose and Golden Boy might just turn more fans on to MMA and save themselves from a real decline in boxing that is coming.

gregalex said...

The toughest part for them is marketing the shows. Will boxing take center stage or will mma? Boxing does their marketing very different. The first show might be a mess. If they can get through it, it could work later. Interesting to watch it happen whatever happens in the future.

lionit said...

It all comes down to who is in the boxing match. Big names in a boxing ring always sell tickets and get ppv buys.