In a discussion on a Fanpost concerning Adrien Broner I mentioned how I thought Broner was a casualty of the Cold War. I want to expand on that thought and provide a quick overview of who I think the winners and losers are of this Cold War. Please provide your comments, insights, and thoughts in the comments.
The fans were both winners and losers. While the Cold War forced SHO and HBO to step up their game it also made good fights not happen. 2013 was such a stellar year with so many good fights that it is easy to overlook what didn’t occur. The pessimistic side of me believes that in 2014 we will begin to really miss the fights that the Cold War takes away. There’s only so many combinations of upper tier fights that can be made and I don’t think there is enough for another full year of excitement.
I am beginning to view Adrien Broner as the biggest casualty of the Cold War. He began 2013 as "Mr. HBO" and ended the year with his first loss on SHO. Soon after HBO announced they would no longer do business with GBP and Broner would have to make his mark at Showtime. My assumption is that due to the SHO budget and glut of Haymon fighters there is the distinct possibility that Broner would not be getting paid the same as he was at HBO to dominate lightweight. This forced a move up to stiffer competition. The decision was made to face Paulie. This accomplished the twofer of bypassing tough competition at 140 while keeping the Broner hype machine going with winning a trinket at 147 (three titles at three wight classes, jumping two weight classes, etc.). While its feasible that Broner-Maidana was floated as PPV based upon SHO budget concerns, I do think that Broner, SHO, and his handlers were all sold on Broner being a PPV attraction by the end of the year or very early 2014. They kept up this charade even with a subpar effort against Paulie. In retrospect there was some bad decision by his team but in some ways those decisions were made because Broner was no longer at HBO.
Floyd moving to SHO and fighting twice in one year completely overshadowed any Manny story for the year. Manny came back to HBO PPV for a tube-up against Brandon Rios but had dismal numbers while Floyd broke records and took on a young fighter in Canelo that was considered a risky move. Manny’s light is shining a little less bright and the fact that his options are rematches against JMM or Bradley or taking on Provodnikov isn’t saying much about what’s available for him within the HBO or TR ranks.
No way for Quillen to prove he belongs as a top MW when all other top MW’s fight on HBO.
Rigo is stuck in TR limbo and HBO had low ratings when they provided him with a main event. If the Cold War didn’t exist maybe we could have gotten Rigo-Mares or some other more palatable match-ups. The Cold War is certainly not helping Rigo get good fights.
Approved by HBO due to being a realistic option for Bradley he is the Breakout Fighter of the Year. After taking out Alvarado HBO wants to be in the Provo business and all indications are that he will stick with them.
As much as I loathe to give Floyd this much credit, he is to boxing what Reggie Jackson was to the late 70’s Yankees: the straw that stirs the drink. (As an aside, Reggie was another athlete I loved to hate, although I did love the Reggie bar, if anyone remembers those.) Floyd deserves both credit and blame for the Cold War but as always he comes out on top.
GGG and Sergey Kovalev
This one I am poaching from somewhere else. Someone else wrote about how HBO may not have aired these guys if they had other options. I like to think that both made their mark in the ring and would be on out TV’s regardless of the Cold War but it may be the fact that HBO would rather air Americans.
Haymon was forced to make fights between his fighters. His response seems to be for him to sign almost every GBP fighter so he has his hands in both cookie pots for most big fights.
That’s what I can think of off the top of my head. Let me know what you think!