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Is Boxing’s Promotional Cold War Good or Bad for Boxing?

Golden Boy Top Rank Logo

2013 was a banner year for the sport of boxing, with both cable networks—HBO and Showtime—showcasing bouts with high stakes and up-and-coming rising stars. 

But of the two mega networks, Showtime really stood out. They closed out the year with back-to-back quadruple televised fight cards.

Golden Boy fighters like Keith “One Time” Thurman, Leo Santa Cruz, and Omar Figueroa gained stock and were showcased proudly on Showtime, while one fighter broke the mold and gained super stardom on HBO; Gennady “GGG” Golovkin.

Golovkin–who is promoted by K2 Promotions–was the workhorse for HBO’s new wave, fighting three times on the network, all which ended by knockout. Now, a possible mega fight looms in 2014 with WBC and Ring Middleweight kingpin, Sergio Martinez.

Even with all this glory on both networks, the real challenge and heartbreak for fight fans is the cold war between Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions.

Each company has a stellar lineup of boxing superstars and partnerships with other promotions.  But when it comes to mega fights between the two, South Korea has a better chance of partnering with North Korea than these two ever agreeing to work with each other.

At first glance, the cold war seems to be working, forcing the networks to put on the best fights possible and forcing its champions to take on top contenders and champions under the same promotional banner.

But looking into the future, the cold war is really bad for business and for fight fans in general.

How many years have die-hard fans and even casual boxing fans wanted to see a fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather?

Mayweather-Pacquiao
Photo edit by John Garita/Round By Round Boxing

Yes, drug tests, money and location have been issues, but now it’s clear that Mayweather won’t take the fight unless Pacquiao leaves Top Rank.

But why stop there? Pacquiao vs. Danny Garcia, Canelo Alveraz, Lucas Matthysse or even Adrian Broner would all be mega fights and make millions of dollars for both promotional companies.

How many times can you see a fighter fight the same fighter? Unless egos are pushed aside and grudges are resolved, the cold war will continue and fight fans will freeze from the coldness.

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