FanPost promoted by SC
Leaving aside the frustration I felt about the weight situation, watching the fight in a theater as I did was nothing short of great. I cannot envision a better simulation of physically being at the fight than last night's experience.
Broadcasting in Hi-def on what I estimated to be at least a 20 foot screen versus buying the PPV at home was a no contest. My TV would not have even covered a small fraction of the fight area on the screen. Sitting in bucket seats with camera angles that caught the seemingly 10 foot fighters from the edge of the ropes provided a better view of the action than even the cornermen at the event had.
Normally, I would hate to have people talking or shouting at the screen during a movie. In this case, I welcomed it. Hearing the partisan crowd respond to good shots, flurries and knockdowns with various permutations of applause, boos and shouts of excitement only added to the live fight experience. Like a real fight, the crowd was sparse during the undercard, but continued to filter in and become more responsive as the night progressed. By the time the main event came around, the audience had divided into camps for each fighter and showed their allegiance with cheers or boos for both men. The theater was not packed, but the audience was comparable to a third day showing of a mainstream movie.
I've seen a lot of sporting events including live MMA cards, but nothing compares to the walkout for a boxing match and the butterflies in the gut feeling during the final moments of anticipation when the referee is giving the instructions before the fighters square off. Of course, everyone knows how the fight ended. Even though I am a Mayweather fan, I was rooting for Marquez because of the deal with the weight. But there's no denying how phenomenal Floyd looked and his performance only made me look forward to his next fight.
I will say it again, showing fights in theaters does not diminish PPV buys. Based on the crowd, the fight brought in people that would normally have not bought a PPV. Given the bad economy, showing more fights in an accesible environment like a theater - for a quarter of the PPV price - will only serve to draw in more fans and build up the sport's fanbase. For a sport that languishes on PPV, making it more accesible is what will ensure its sustenance. Here's hoping that Pac-Cotto is also shown in a theater (although that might not be) and makes for another great fight night.