Winky Wright returns to the ring on December 11 in Puerto Rico, and it'll be on American pay-per-view. What other blockbusters can you pay money for in the last quarter of 2009? (Photo via www3.pictures.gi.zimbio.com)
With TV spots for boxing so few and far between as most of the American fights are on HBO and Showtime, with ESPN2 chipping in Friday Night Fights for part of the year and Versus picking up the occasional fight, boxing promoters are often left with the unenviable task of trying to sell budget-style pay-per-views to the hardcore boxing audience. Top Rank's Latin Fury series goes for a closer-to-standard PPV price tag of $39.99, but there is a small slew of shows coming up that will be in the $25-30 range most likely.
I also don't think it's any great travesty that these shows -- or the Latin Fury events -- are on pay-per-view. Frankly, I prefer to live in a world where if I feel like it, I can plunk down some cash and watch a "minor" show. If you don't want to order it, you don't order it, and nothing is hurt, least of which is boxing should nobody buy any of these fights.
Here's the minor PPV lineup in the coming months.
October 24: Kermit Cintron v. Juliano Ramos
This is without question the worst of the bunch, and will only be available on Dish Network, I believe. Cintron (31-2-1, 27 KO) faces Brazilian Ramos (15-2-1, 12 KO) in Puerto Rico, Kermit's first-ever fight on the island. This was meant to be teamed with a Carlos Quintana stay-busy fight, an attempt to poke at the Puerto Rican fanbase's wallets, but with just Cintron being too well-known at all, promoter Lou DiBella is probably going to take a small bath on this one. Cintron-Ramos is a nasty mismatch considering Cintron's power and the fact that Ramos was stopped by Mike Jones in his last fight.
October 30: Hector Camacho Jr. v. Yori Boy Campas
Let me tell you something. I watch a lot of boxing. I pay out the backside for HBO, Showtime and PPV events. But this disgrace of a fight isn't even worth stealing online, that is if anyone in the world is going to pay for it and then stream it. Camacho (49-3-1, 27 KO) is the owner of one of boxing's emptiest records and has survived 13 years in the pro game on his father's name, while the 38-year old Campas (92-14-1, 74 KO) is just plain shot and nowhere near the competitive fighter he once was. This will be marketed as "revenge" crap because Campas drew Camacho's 47-year old father at a DoubleTree Hotel in Orlando back in May in front of about 12 people. If you order this, you're nuts.
November 6: Zab Judah / Joel Casamayor Doubleheader
Yeah, this one got PPV. Judah was going to fight Matthew Hatton in July before Mayweather-Marquez was postponed, and then was lined up for the same fight in September before backing out. He was then offered a fight with Shane Mosley and turned it down. He set up a bout for this show with highly-regarded sparring veteran Ramon Montano, who once gave David Diaz a fairly tough 10 rounds at lightweight, but Montano is out. Judah will -- for now -- face blown-up Brazilian featherweight Adailton DeJesus (22-4, 17 KO), who has fought once this year at 135 pounds. It'll be a welterweight contest.
Joel Casamayor will also return on the card, facing Jason Davis (11-4-1, 3 KO). Sounds like a party, doesn't it?
November 7: Nikolai Valuev v. David Haye
Hey, alright! One to actually be excited about, at least sort of. This fight certainly deserved the Integrated Sports PPV treatment, and it will receive it. With Cristobal Arreola having been pretty harshly smoked by Vitali Klitschko in September, it's now up to cocky Brit David Haye to crash the heavyweight party and provide excitement, at least in theory. This fight will have the intrigue that all Valuev fights do, as he's seven feet tall and will tower over Haye. As positive as most seem that Haye will win this fight, he's had a dodgy chin in the past and Valuev is just massive. I can't see Haye knocking Valuev out, but if he rips away to the body he could possibly get the giant to give up. This is a more interesting prospect than Valuev's last PPV fight, last December against Evander Holyfield.
December 11: Winky Wright v. Grady Brewer
Wright's planned Puerto Rico comeback is a go, with Grady Brewer being named as his opponent. Brewer, a 38-year old former "Contender" winner, is an ugly fighter in terms of style, and so is Winky. All recommendation to avoid what should be a seriously action-less snoozefest, and potentially a downright stink bomb.
If you're wondering where you can catch the promising Jean Pascal-Adrian Diaconu rematch on December 11, that fight will be handled by GoFightLive.TV, probably for $9.99 as a webcast.
Anyone planning to order any of these shows? I'm going to buy Valuev-Haye and might convince myself to buy Wright-Brewer, but I'm not touching the other three.