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Soklin’s Corner – UFC takeover in Full Effect

Al_Bundy.jpgLos Angeles, CA, May 24 – The big Cinco de Mayo bout has past. De La Hoya vs. Mayweather 24/7 on HBO has come and gone. The fight to save boxing is over. The Mayweather’s are now the first family of boxing, sorry Klitschko’s. Roger Mayweather’s showing on HBO has put that family over the top. The fight has fans split. Boxing purists loved the way it represented the sweet science. Two superior athletes battled and manuevered around each other. They love the ballet aspect of their sport. A more casual fan, me for instance, may have hoped for a Ward-Gatti style, knockdown, drag-out affair and unfortunately they did not get that. The casual fan was looking for more and in my opinion the fight did not deliver. A purist of the sort will never say that was a bad fight. You should stand by the sport you love or hobby or TV show you love. Married with Children fans stuck around after the Seven fiasco showing the type of loyalty that fight fans show to the sport they love. It was a good fight, but did not match the hype or the expectations. That is where the problem is.


I saw something recently that was also reported here on touchgloves.com, that ESPNEWS will be covering the weigh-in this week of the Liddell-Jackson superfight from Las Vegas on May 26th. I am not prepared with a well thought out and thorough preview for the upcoming bout. I, like Johnny Drama, am of the camp that says; “What’s a Chuck Liddell?” ep17_drama_costume.jpg That is a little far fetched, I know who Liddell is but I do not know enough about him to preview the fight. I do know however that between the HBO announcement to air UFC events, although the Albrecht resignation as Chairman/CEO may slow down the process, the success of the Ultimate Fighter and other shows on Spike TV, as well as ESPN’s recent devotion to UFC means trouble for boxing.
I know every major media outlet covered the De La Hoya/Mayweather bout, as they should, it was a major event. However, including a rematch, I don’t see a future boxing event, other than maybe Klitshcko vs. Klitschcko that will draw anywhere near the same amount of interest. The May 5 encounter broke all types of PPV revenue and buyrate totals. I am now convinced that UFC is taking over. That was the plan after announcing the Pride-UFC merger and it is coming to fruition. 0528_mid.jpg The final straw for me was this weeks Sports Illustrated. The issue featured a cover story on UFC. This upcoming Liddell-Jackson bout is getting nearly as much publicity as the De La Hoya/Mayweather bout.
Congratulations to the promoter and fighters of the May 5 bout but it was the end of an era. Boxing had its peak. I can’t help but think that UFC is the future. UFC is being featured on ESPN, HBO’s Entourage, and the cover of Sports Illustrated just weeks after De La Hoya and Mayweather graced the cover. I wrote months ago how UFC was a fad or a flash in the pan. I am starting to believe that I am wrong. Boxing had its chance at a 12th round KO with De La Hoya and Mayweather and I think they came up short. UFC may be the wave of the future. It may be time for me to jump on board the bandwagon. It won’t be the first time I have been called a bandwagon fan.

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5 Responses to “Soklin’s Corner – UFC takeover in Full Effect”

  1. Anonymous says:

    You gotta be crazy to think otherwise. MMA is the wave of the future. Great post!

  2. Bundini Brown says:

    The exposure UFC is getting now is the exposure Boxing gets all the time. Mayweather & Oscar were on the cover of Sports Illustrated and ESPN Respectively. The fight that you call boring was the most successful fight in history. Not to mention that a lot of people, not only boxing purists are calling for a Rematch. Oh yea, not to mention Boxing is attracting the largest crowds in its history. Ricky Hatton Fills up arenas in England. Joe Calzaghe sold 35,000 tickets. Morales& Pacquiao had the 5th largest attendence in Las Vegas history. Sorry, but boxing doesn’t “peak”. Goes on no matter what you clowns say.
    So the fight was over hyped,Didnt meet your standard. When does anything ever meet the hype. Is the NFL failing because the Super Bowl didnt meet up to your standards. 99% of the time, the Hype is never met. The Super Bowl, NBA Playoffs, World Series, Rocky 5 etc.. ALL OVER HYPED
    I think we should all watch on Saturday and see what happens. MMA and Boxing are two different sports. People like you want to mix them in as one because you do not understand either sport. You think fighting is fighting. WRONG.

  3. Jeff Soklin says:

    I will have to agree with one point. Most major sporting events or events in general don’t live up to the hype. Movies are a great example. As good as Spiderman or Pirates 3 may be they are not worthy of the hype they receive so that is a valid point you make. The fact that boxing and UFC is getting equally covered by the media, ESPN magazine and SI, like you said, is a huge developing story. I know they are different sports but 5 years ago UFC was not on the level of boxing and if you say they are getting equal coverage than UFC is making tremendous progress. I don’t think boxing is going anywhere. I do think UFC will pass boxing as far as PPV revenues and attendance in the future, boxing does have a place in the sport space though.

  4. GoldenBoy says:

    UFC will NEVER get 2.15 million ppv buys!!!!

  5. Jeff Soklin says:

    Probably right. That is a good point. But will boxing ever do anywhere near that on a PPV again. The De La Hoya/Mayweather bout was a once in a decade spectacle. A big, huge boxing main event will always beat the biggest UFC event. However, I believe UFC will be more consistent and draw more fan interest on a regular basis.

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