Boxing Keeps Searching For Growth As Mayweather Remains Key Draw
After “wobbling for decades,” boxing continues to “fight for its financial life as one of America’s oldest traditional sports,” according to Jon Saraceno of USA TODAY. Lack of “substantial sponsor support by major U.S. corporations continues to create head winds for the industry.” TV nets “find it difficult to attract major sponsors,” and “so do promoters.” Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said that the “involvement of O’Reilly Auto Parts, Valvoline, AT&T and Corona Extra" for this past Saturday's Floyd Mayweather-Robert Guerrero fight “demonstrated the sport’s economic viability.” But Top Rank Chair Bob Arum said, “Boxing is not growing in the United States.” Saraceno writes “signs exist that the worst for the industry might be over, particularly on an international basis, where there is growth, most notably in Asia.” Boxer Bernard Hopkins said, “Boxing is in better position now than 10 years ago when it had its own recession. But when will we get the next superstar? Maybe there’s one around the corner. But so far nobody has proven to bring in the (pay-per-view TV sales) Floyd has.” Canelo Alvarez, a potential opponent for Mayweather in September, “might be that guy one day” -- as could Adrien Broner. However, boxing globally is “anything but banished to a neutral corner.” The sport “remains immensely popular in other parts of the world, including Spanish-speaking countries, Europe and Canada," while China is “a developing market” (USA TODAY, 5/6).
COMING UP NEXT: In Las Vegas, Steve Carp notes the Mayweather-Guerrero fight “attracted a crowd of 15,880” and “produced a live gate" of $9.99M. That will cover the $3M Guerrero earned "but won’t put a dent" in the $32M payday for Mayweather. Mayweather said the fight was “another steppingstone” in his deal with Showtime. Mayweather: “We’ve got five more fights, so we’ll see where I go from here.” Schaefer said that Alvarez “will fight at the MGM on Sept. 14," the same night Top Rank plans to have Timothy Bradley Jr. fight Juan Manuel Marquez at Thomas & Mack Center. If Mayweather “decides not to fight that night, Miguel Cotto is a likely possibility for Alvarez" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 5/6). Also in Las Vegas, Case Keefer reported Mayweather “promises” his next fight will come on Sept. 14 at MGM Grand. He is “determined to keep his six-fight contract with Showtime rolling.” He said that a hand injury incurred in the Guerrero fight “isn’t serious enough to sideline him” (LAS VEGAS SUN, 5/5).