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List of Articles by Rich Mazon


 

HYPE OR NO HYPE, SAUL AROUSES CURIOSITY FOR THE SPORT

By Rich Mazon
PhilBoxing.com
09 Mar 2011



The title he won might not mean anything on boxing purists. His performance earned mixed reviews from critics and fans of the sport. Bob Arum was not impressed but Bob Arum is not his handler. Oscar Dela Hoya is. And for Oscar, a star was born on Saturday night in Anaheim. His over enthusiasm might not be shared by all given the results of Saturday’s match. It is not that Saul Alvarez was not good, he definitely is. But the hype that he is Mexico’s next great fighter is an expectation not worthy of just a good performance. It is an expectation worthy of a great performance. And in boxing that comes by a knockout or a stoppage. None of which happened in the ring that night. It cannot also be overlooked the fact that his opponent, although undersized and lacking of punching power is not lacking of heart and chin.

Saul Alvarez though showed us that even though he is far from being a great tactician in the ring, he is not far from being a huge attraction to the sport. Already popular in his home country of Mexico, Saul brought in 11,674 spectators with him. It is second only to the record set by fellow Mexican, Marco Antonio Barrera in 1995. A good sell indeed for a relatively young prospect.

And three days after the fight, HBO announced that it was the most watched match in their Boxing After Dark series in the past two years. Not bad for a first time headliner. It also, according to Mexican network Televisa, garnered the highest rating for a boxing program in Mexico. Thus proving his massive appeal on that country. That is good news for Golden Boy Promotions, and is also a welcome news for the sport. The two biggest draws in boxing are Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. Besides them, bouts not featuring any of them will be a hard sell to make in this economy. People are holding on to their hard earned money before spending them on a boxing match either by stadium tickets or pay-per-view purchases. That is why, news like this are good not only for the promoter but for the whole industry as well. Boxing employs thousands, and that is not just the boxers and trainers alone. It is an industry. Once a match makes good money, it gives great joy to everyone involved in it. Just ask Las Vegas how much contribution does a Pacquiao and Mayweather’s bout bring to the table.

Boxing is not in its old days of glory anymore. It is hurting and there are a myriad of reasons why it is hurting. We will never stop debating which one is the main culprit. But one thing is for sure. It comes alive when a star is in its lead. Manny Pacquiao leads the way, his charisma and attitude in and out of the ring is good for business. Floyd Mayweather is too, but he projects a different image other than that of Manny. One thing is certain though, both posses charisma that attract people to watch them in their fights. One can only imagine the benefits of them facing each other in the ring. Saul Alvarez possesses that same charisma. It is clearly evident at his young age and at this early of his career. With that charisma is hope that it results in bringing the fans and public to the fights. He may be hyped up too much but any hype is good for boxing. Especially hype that produces good returns.


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