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Spoilt for Choice or Bad Scheduling?


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Three UK cards this Saturday! My VHS recorder is gonna be busy!

DAZN card. Promoter: Matchroom
Start 19:00 UK/ 14:00PM EST / 11:00AM PST

Mauricio Lara (26-2-1 19KO) vs Leigh Wood (26-3 16KO) 12 rounds for WBA featherweight title
Jack Catterall (26-1 13KO) vs Darragh Foley (22-4-1 10KO) 10 rounds junior welterweights
Terri Harper (13-1-1 6KO) vs Ivana Habazin (21-4 7KO) 10 rounds for WBA junior middleweight title

BTSport card. Promoter Top Rank & Queensberry Promotions
Start 18:30 UK/ 13:30PM EST / 10:30AM PST

Luis Alberto Lopez (27-2 15KO) vs Michael Conlan (18-1 9KO) 12 rounds for IBF featherweight title
Nick Ball (17-0 10KO) vs Ludumo Lamati (21-0-1 11KO) 12 rounds for WBC Silver featherweight title
Anthony Cacace (20-1 7KO) vs Damian Wrzesinski (26-2-2 7KO) 12 rounds for IBO junior lightweight title
Padraig McCrory (16-0 9KO) vs Diego Ramirez (25-9-1 6KO) 10 rounds light heavyweights

SkySports card. Promoter: Boxxer
UK Start 19:00

Lawrence Okolie (19-0 14KO) vs Chris Billam-Smith (17-1 12KO) 12 rounds for WBO cruiserweight title
Mikael Lawal (17-0 11KO) vs Isaac Chamberlain (14-2 8KO) 12 rounds for British cruiserweight title
Sam Eggington (33-8 19KO) vs Joe Pigford (20-0 19KO) 10 rounds junior middleweights

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This is what sets boxing apart from most other sports, to its detriment. Most sports have an association among franchises - in boxing the franchises would be the promoters. The association would strategically schedule events to avoid a night like this Saturday where the franchises are eating each other alive. But boxing promoters don't associate with each other except on a one-off basis. Why are some weekends empty while others have as many as three simultaneous events? Because the scheduling decisions are made by broadcasters. And they all work from the same handbook. Their market studies show certain weekends draw a larger audience than others. That doesn't explain how choosing the same weekends maximizes an already diluted audience. It's utterly senseless. Too many decades have passed to think promoters would suddenly form an association that would make scheduling decisions. Everything down to who fights whom, where, when and for what stakes. That would mean flushing the alphabet bodies into oblivion. The promoters have made their own bed. Forty years of driving the industry into a niche entertainment product speaks for itself.

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It's feast or famine isn't it? Nothing for weeks then this. The promoters are meant to be businessmen but they spend all their time trying to shaft the audience. It's so short-sighted. The 80 and early 90s model worked, appear on free TV then move to the more lucrative networks. That way boxers build a fanbase. I bet most general UK sports fans don't know any boxers other than Fury or Joshua. If you pushed them to name an international fighter they'd say Mayweather or Pacquiao

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