Premier Boxing Champions returns to the airwaves tonight at 8:30 pm EST from Brooklyn, with the outfit's second show on NBC and fourth overall. PBC has picked up a lot of buzz, and for some very good reasons. Will tonight's show be worth tuning in to see? Hey, on paper, it's pretty good. Let's talk about why YOU should join us this evening.
1. No belts, no problem
Boxing's title situation is a mess, has been just about forever at this point, and the only thing that suggests that maybe the time of the sanctioning bodies is coming to an end is the fact that Premier Boxing Champions has outlawed those belts and even mentioning the names of the organizations on their TV broadcasts. That's a bigger statement than just Jim Lampley or Max Kellerman saying they don't care about those belts but then participating in the promotion of things being for "the world championship," even if we all know it's a paper belt at stake.
At the same time, a lot of boxing fans seem to want to have it both ways. They realize and will say that the belts don't matter, then as soon as there's a catchweight fight or something that's not for a title but is otherwise a good matchup, they start suddenly caring about these stupid belts they otherwise claim to have no great regard for in the first place. So Garcia-Peterson is at 143 pounds, between two of the best 140-pound fighters in the world. So what? Why is 140 a division and not 143? 147 is. 154 is. 168 is. The contract weight is the contract weight, and whether or not this allows there to be a silly title on the line is not that big of a deal. The only argument for this particular fight is that Garcia is the lineal champion at 140 pounds, however much that means to you.
But either way, this is a good matchup, and that's what matters. How often do guys who are largely considered the No. 1 and No. 3 guys in a weight class fight each other? The three pounds should benefit both of them if it makes any difference at all to the actual performances.
2. Danny Garcia is one of the best bad guys in boxing
It's a weird thing, and I don't want to speak for everyone, but Danny Garcia is just truly unlikable in a lot of ways. There's just something about him that's going to rub people the wrong way. And when watching PBC on CBS last week, where they had no actual commercials so they filled that time with promos for this card, Garcia declaring that the world will love him "and the ladies, too" about 15 times did nothing to change my mind on that.
But this is a fictional sense of "bad guy," too -- the pro wrestling heel sort of thing. Like a really great heel, Garcia doesn't think he's a bad guy. He thinks he's just right, and just good, and if the people don't agree, then who cares? As much as I hate when people say "love it or hate it..." about just about anything, the thing with Garcia is that love him or hate him, he's backed up his words (and his dad's words -- well not all of them) to date. A good heel is also a winner. Garcia is a winner, and he's got a lot of personality that he's not afraid to put out there.
3. Lamont Peterson, on the other hand, is quite likable
Peterson is a pretty laid back dude, and by now you've also certainly become well aware of the story of his childhood. Peterson and his brother Anthony were homeless at one point before being taken under the wing of DC boxing trainer Barry Hunter. Both are still with him today, and both really turned their lives around through dedication to the sweet science. It's a hard life, but boxing has saved a lot of people who otherwise might not have been able to find a way out. The Petersons are two of those guys. In terms of personality, Garcia and Peterson mesh nicely in terms of creating a storyline for a good guy underdog and a bad guy favorite. Or maybe you like Garcia and don't like Peterson. Ric Flair always had his fans, too. There are a lot of people who wear Scarface t-shirts and there has to be someone out there who was rooting for Gene Hackman in Unforgiven. OK, probably not. That slimy SOB.
4. Andy Lee vs Peter Quillin promises action
Neither of these middleweights are exactly what you'd call defensive specialists. Both get hit, both are tough, and both can punch. Quillin missing weight sucks, and may ultimately give him an edge in the fight. But Kid Chocolate isn't exactly a big middleweight, either, and Lee may still be a bit bigger in the ring. We'll have to see. But what's good about this matchup will hopefully still work out in the ring. There's plenty of reason to expect fireworks and a knockout, one way or the other, and that's good TV watchin'.
5. Maybe Marv Albert will be less terrible
PBC first premiered on NBC a few weeks back, and since then has also had shows on CBS and Spike. The CBS team, led by Kevin Harlan, and the Spike team, led by some guys I'd never heard before, both blew away the NBC team anchored by Marv Albert and Sugar Ray Leonard. Albert sounded out of his element or perhaps just woefully rusty calling the fights last time out. If he doesn't improve this time, they might want to see about putting in someone else. NBC has a plethora of good sports broadcasters to go to in case Albert needs to be pulled. Boxing just might not be Marv's sport in 2015. Or maybe he'll get better. Let's find out!