The (super) middleweight showdown between Gennady Golovkin and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will be a great fight, assuming it gets finalized. Seriously. Despite the praise that has been heaped on Golovkin, who is affectionately called "Good Boy" by his fans (remember, that's short for fanatic), Chavez will be the best fighter that he has stepped in the ring with. For all of the criticism Chavez has received, mostly well-deserved, he has a head that has survived more damage than Tony Thompson's wife's hips, and he still hasn't gone down. Granted, having a cement block for a head isn't the best way to start out describing a man's chances in a boxing match, but it gives Chavez a better chance than the Osumanu Adama's of the world.
Golovkin will be there for Chavez to hit too. Heck, even Gabe Rosado was able to land something on GGG. Chavez is bigger (only by about three weight classes) and better than him. It's going to be a war, maybe even a Fight of the Year candidate.
And you'll be able to watch it all in HD from the comfort of your living room for a small sanctioning fee, I mean pay-per-view cost, of $60 (or more) payable to Top Rank and HBO.
I can understand the viewpoint of putting Chavez - Golovkin on pay-per-view. For one, as previously stated, it could be a great fight. Secondly, Chavez is popular among the valuable Mexican-American audience. But how popular is he, really? His rematch with Bryan Vera drew a good rating on HBO but the live attendance was poor, topping out at around 7,000, hardly the makings of a superstar. And we've seen people who can draw solid TV ratings not be able to produce big buyrates when it requires an extra $50 or more to see them ply their craft. With Chavez's reputation for weight struggles and the fact that he has tested positive twice for banned substances in post-fight drug exams, it could be a little risky to pay good money in the faith that he shows up in one hundred percent condition. As for Golovkin, he too is able to draw solid ratings on HBO, but do you think he could draw anything on PPV?
The main fight to use as a barometer could be Chavez's bout with Sergio Martinez in September 2012. It was the first major PPV either man had headlined, and it ended up doing a little over 400,000 buys. That was pretty good when we consider that neither was a proven PPV draw and it was widely considered to be a mismatch coming in.
So what's the main difference between now and then? Timing. When Chavez and Martinez met, the PPV schedule was more slim than Tommy Hearns' arms. Floyd Mayweather had last fought in May and wouldn't fight again until the following May. Manny Pacquiao had fought in June and wasn't returning until December. September, a month typically reserved for the biggest boxing event of the year (along with the first Saturday in May), was wide open for the taking, and Top Rank snatched it for Chavez - Martinez.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you know where I'm about to go with this. The PPV calendar in 2014 is a mess, filled with some good fights and some things that could underwhelm to say the least. Pacquiao has his rematch with Timothy Bradley in April. Mayweather faces Marcos Maidana in May. Martinez takes on Miguel Cotto in June. Canelo Alvarez is penciled in to return on July 26. Mayweather will likely make his return in September. The winner of Pacquiao - Bradley is supposed to fight the winner of Juan Manuel Marquez - Mike Alvarado in the fall, maybe October or November. You get the picture, it's packed.
Where would Chavez - Golovkin fit in with all of this? They're shooting for July 19 which is exactly one week before Canelo's target return date. Are they (meaning Top Rank and HBO) attempting to stick it to Golden Boy/Showtime by placing their own PPV with a popular Mexican one week before theirs? It's very possible. It's also very juvenile.
A fight between Chavez and Golovkin would be terrific for a sagging HBO brand, but is the kind of fight that would wilt on PPV in this climate. It's not worth the little extra cash grab in the short-term to only upset subscribers even more by putting a desired fight on PPV. Subscribers to HBO have gotten precious little for their money this year, they shouldn't have HBO stick it to them even further by placing a can't-miss battle somewhere that forces them to go even deeper into their pockets. It would be a slap in the face to the people who haven't cancelled HBO, sticking with it through the thick and thin.
If they must begin putting Chavez and Golovkin on PPV because of their STAR POWER or whatever, wait until after they have fought each other. A victor will emerge in front of a sizable HBO audience, one that even casual fans will want to see again. Hopefully, the winner could get a fight with Martinez, assuming "Maravilla" defeats Cotto. Or maybe the winner moves on to Andre Ward or Carl Froch. Who knows?
But HBO doesn't need to kill Chavez - Golovkin by putting it on PPV. If they do, they may only be euthanizing themselves.