Legendary promoter Bob Arum, speaking about the upcoming unification fight in lightweight (up to 61.2 kg) between Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko (14-1-0, 10 KO) and American Teofimo Lopez (15-0-0, 12 KO), compared it with the third meeting of heavyweights Muhammad Ali and Ken Norton.
From time to time, there are periods in the American boxing market when the pay-to-play (PPV) scheme is no longer profitable due to various economic factors that divert public attention to other television platforms. The job of the promoter is to capture this moment and rebuild.
“I have been in this business for a long time. In September 1976, we had a fight between Ali and Norton, and cable TV did not give us anything. This scheme really screwed up, but CBS helped me out. They had a delay in broadcasting, which caused them had to pay. Cable TV is killing the fights in stadiums [поскольку заплатить за трансляцию боя выгоднее, чем посетить его]… If you organized fights on commercial TV and suddenly decided to show the event for free, then you will spoil the fan forever.
Now we are at a stage where only the biggest fights in sports will remain on PPV, and all the rest will go to free networks, ESPN + and DAZN, and people will not have to empty their pockets. It’s time to move boxing to free TV, and that’s why the fight between Lomachenko and Lopez is so important, “said Arum.