One of the greatest active young boxing champions today is Terence Crawford and he fights this Saturday against fellow undefeated fighter Jose Benavidez Jr. on ESPN, yet the common sports fan has no clue about it.
What saddens me as a boxing fan is the lack of promotion for Terence Crawford an undefeated American boxing champion, who has so much talent and arguably the best pound for pound boxer in the world today alongside Vasyl Lomachenko.
ESPN has him on their roster when they signed a deal with Top Rank promotions, yet they do little to promote him or the sport of boxing in general.
I’ve seen maybe a few commercials here and there, and some YouTube short snippets of Crawford promoting his upcoming October 13th title fight on ESPN.
Even when ESPN had Friday Night Fights with Teddy Atlas and Joe Tessitore, they rarely promoted the show, every other sport it seemed even the Spelling Bee and Hot Dog eating contest had more attention or promotion.
I remember watching the Hot Dog eating contest on ESPN and it had more hype and coverage than any boxing event on ESPN. I wouldn’t be shocked if more people knew hot dog eating champion Joey Chestnut than welterweight boxing champion Terence Crawford.
I was so happy when I heard Top Rank signed a deal with ESPN but I had my hopes to high only to be let down again.
The first fight they had was Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn on July 2, 2017. It had a last minute promotional push on the network for 3 days leading to the fight, and the numbers were good mainly because it was a huge superstar like Pacquiao so his name alone sells.
When you have younger fighters who are not established in the mainstream their name doesn’t carry much weight yet, you have to build them up by promoting them on shows and commercials so people know who they are.
It would be nice to see Crawford built up on the various platforms the network offers, and have boxing talked about year round, it would be awesome to get other younger fighters on a boxing show or podcast.
ESPN has a great MMA podcast and show with Ariel Helwani and Chael Sonnen. They talk about all things concerning the sport of Mixed Martial Arts.
ESPN has no platform like that for boxing, if they had some young vibrant hosts with a weekly or daily boxing podcast show it would help get boxing out there.
The UFC and President Dana White have done an amazing job building the sport of MMA to the mainstream and more importantly to the youth, they also signed a new lucrative 5-year deal with ESPN and it seems that is the main focus for the network and Top Rank boxing will be relegated to taking whatever they can get in terms of exposure.
MMA and Boxing don’t have to compete on ESPN they could mutually help each other by promoting boxing on the UFC shows and UFC on the boxing shows.
Maybe even come up with a show that discusses all things combat sports from boxing, kickboxing to UFC and MMA, that way people can get exposed to the sport of boxing who were not likely to listen and that could spark their interesting and curiosity in the sweet science.
I am an avid fan of boxing and video games. My first fight of memory was watching Prince Naseem Hamed destroy Kevin Kelly. I enjoy all aspects of the sport. My favorite current boxer is Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao. My favorite boxing match is Diego Corrales vs. Jose Luis Castillo 1. I love watching boxing on Pay-Per-View more than being there live because you can really enjoy and watch the action from the best view.