Antonio Tarver may fight on ABC, is this what boxing could use, some fights on free tv?

Remember the good ol' days when you could see some good matches on a Saturday afternoon on CBS, NBC, and ABC? Fighters like Mancini, Camacho, Arguello, Mugabi, Rosario, and countless others thrilled us each Saturday with good fights? Now it is rumored that Tarver will fight on free tv and that depending on how well the numbers do, boxing could be back on free tv soon. Is this the shot in the arm that boxing may need to get the casual fan more into the sport?


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Pancho ~
In my opinion, you're right! I have heard rumor abound that one of the main reasons other than the unfortunate death of Du Ku Kim that fights went from 15 to 12 rounds is the Networks ABC, NBC and CBS felt that boxing ate up too much time and they were the ones that put the money behind the notion. Blogbaba just asked a question about the Tiberi/ Toney fight that was on NBC. Duran, Leonard, Hearns, Hagler, Benitez, Chacon, Palomino, Lopez, Hamsho and countless other fighters have graced the last decade of free fights on T.V This is a shot in the arm the boxing may need. The only thing that screw this up is, if the was another decision like Tiberi vs Toney. Then we take 40 steps back.

Thanks for the question Pancho.

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Blogbaba remembers. I will always be an advocate for more boxing on free TV. Thank you for this question, it reminded the blogbaba of a particular fight, I'm gonna post a question about on the sight as soon as I submit this anwer.

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Didnt they stop broadcasting on free TV after the whole Emile Griffith thing happened? When that guy got killed on live TV. supposedly it was the first time someone's death was broadcast to a live audience. Not that I think that will be an issue or anything.

I agree that boxing on free tv would be awesome. I love watching ESPN Classic and I've never paid for a pay-per-view event in my life. Not even that I'm cheap its just a hassle.

I hope it is a shot in the arm but I am afraid that UFC is probably the future at least for network TV.

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I think it will do good. Fox Sports has had a lot of fights on "Best Damn Sport Show Period" and they have done well and I guess ABC has also been airing IFL (International Fight League) which is mixed martail arts and since the Contender did so well I think it is in demand. Hopefully it has good enough numbers to bring more big fights to regualr television.

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Boxing is a dying sport. Right now free television isn't going to help it. MMA is popular because FANS GET TO SEE THE FIGHTS THEY WANT TO SEE unlike boxing. If boxing is to right itself it needs to show the fights that the fans want to see, Instead of the the best fighters avoiding themselves.

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nothing would be better for boxing. All this ppv crap has got to go or kiss the sweet science bye-bye, and that would be a damn shame.

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I beleive in 2004 before the Olympics NBC showed a few fights with Juan Diaz and Sergio Mora and a few other fighters who I can't remember right now. But boxing desperately need this for their fan base to improve. PPV is a joke right now and HBO and Showtime have monopolised the market to have any top 30 and below fighter to fight on their network. Telefutura (Spanish station) has some great fights and its free, Telemundo ( Another Spanish speaking station) also has some great fights from time to time. I like everyone else who wrote here grew up watching boxing on regular tv in the 70s and 80s with great announcers like Wallou, Bon Tempo, Clancy, I even rember ex lightweight Tony Baltazar doing a few fights. We as fans need to boycott PPV junk meaning 1 good fight on a 4 fight card and hopefully channels like USA and ESPN get the bulk of the prospect to contender fights.

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The only problem is the general public has no idea who Antonio Tarver is. Tarver's last few fights have been boring grind it out fights. I'm all for boxing on free TV but Tarver is the kind of fighter that makes people watch MMA.

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Its something great.
You can also see fights on regular cable.

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it is a great idea then maybe they will get more of the public 2 watch an start making some money for the sport b4 it goes extinct

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i remember when i could see muhamad ali on abc, benitez on cbs along with mancini , arguello and camacho, and i still went to see the fights live @ msg. it would bring more fans out to see the fights live.

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Absolutely! I was just a kid but I still remember a "fight card" ABC Wide World of Sports put together for broadcast. How about this one folks on free TV; the first fight was Vito Antuofermo vs. Marvin Hagler in the infamous draw fight. Then they switched over to the Louisiana Superdome for the Victor Galindez vs Marvin Johnson Light Heavyweight Championship fight. Then to top it off in the evening you had Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Wilfred Benitez for the Welterweight Championship fight (Leonard's first shot at a world championship). That's what boxing really needs (those type of fights on free TV) to give it a shot in the arm. Unfortunately I don't think it will happen because of $$$$$$$$.

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Putting boxing back on network TV is one solution. Boxing was a staple of TV programming for decades up until the late 1980s/early 1990s.

However, eliminating all these alphabet titles and extra weight classes would go a long way in preventing confusion among fans -- both die hard and casual -- about who the real boxing champions are.

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