Boxing, on TV, for FREE?! That’s what I said when I heard NBC was brining back prime-time boxing. Based on the scheduled future bouts, it seems that this will be an on-going thing for at least a few more months and will likely continue or sink depending on that very important thing in ‘free TV’: ratings. I think it’s a long time coming, and this will certainty fuel some interest, or at least peek the curiosity, from those want-away boxing fans that can’t afford/refuse to pay those ridiculous pay-per-view fees. So how did the bouts go? I won’t analyze the actual fights, but instead will look at what was good, bad and ugly from the program (just picture Clint Eastwood narrating this article).
Did I mention the fights were free? Now, there were only 2 fights that were televised. I’m assuming there must have been some sort of undercard since the fights were at the MGM in Las Vegas, or maybe the crowd was treated to discount tickets since there were only 2 fights and neither were championship fights. Now, the Keith Thurman v Robert Guerrero fight was an entertaining bout (Thurman victory by unanimous decision). Neither of them held their punches, and both took a literal beating, just check out their faces after the fight. It was a stark contrast to the first fight of the night (Adrien Broner v John Molina Jr., Broner win by unanimous decision). Thurman did run around a bit near the end, a tactic which ensured that he saved energy while simultaneously avoided Guerrero’s power-punches. Overall, most boxing fans will be pleased with what they saw from these two men. Another positive is the next scheduled event: Andy Lee vs Peter Quillin and Danny Garcia vs Lamont Peterson on April 11. This sounds like another 2 solid fights for prime-time boxing.
The opening fight left a lot to be desired. Broner was defensive, and Molina Jr. played it safe for too many rounds before realizing he needed to rock Broner or else would lose the match. His frustration was seen near the end, but to Broner’s credit, Broner did what he had to do to win the fight. ‘The Problem’ Broner recognized that his tactics weren’t the most entertaining for the crowd and apologized to them, but he passive-aggressively said that he didn’t fight for the crowd because the last time he fought for the crowd, he lost. He sure did!
Adrien Broner. I get it, you’re playing Mayweather’s “Haters gonna hate cause I’m THAT good” angle. But just like I don’t fit in a size 7 Starter cap, you look stupid doing it. Here is one post-fight interview quote that makes you roll your eyes, “While we were fighting, I was talking to him (Molina), every shot he missed I was telling him, ‘Oh really? try that again’…”. Then, he made another quote, which made me cringe a little given Broner’s history of unfortunate comments, “Like I said before, anybody can get it, afri-cans, mexi-cans…”. Kudos to NBC for cutting him off right then. Coincidentally, it was against another Molina that Broner uttered the infamous quote “I just beat the fuck out of a Mexi-can”. As an aside, I don’t take this as a racist statement, but I can see why many people were offended by it. I just think Broner is an equal opportunity idiot. Another ‘ugly’ was that bump/welt on Thurman’s head. Rodriguez caused it, but it’s unclear if it was the product of a punch or head-butt.
I will say that, while searching for this image, I found vastly uglier welts out there. I’d give Thurman’s welt a 5 out of 10, but it’s still ugly.
Overall, I would have to say it was a successful return of prime-time boxing. I’ll be looking forward to the next event. I can get used to this, but I guess I’ll also have to get used to seeing commercials between rounds. I hope NBC finds the right balance to do this since there isn’t a lot of time to show replays unless it’s between rounds. I encourage you all to check out the next event on April 11th. Excelsior!