The night of March 3, an embarrassment of riches will be available to boxing fans in the New York region.
If you are a fan of heavyweight action, you perhaps will travel to Brooklyn, to watch Deontay Wilder meet his on paper stiffest test as a pro, in Cuban strongman Luis Ortiz, at Barclays Center. If a lighter weight and and the Eastern Euro style of combat is your thing, you could travel to Madison Square Garden and watch Sergey Kovalev and Dmitriy Bivol, the current and perhaps future light heavyweight king, ply their trade. But you will not be able to do both. A shame, that…
Media, like me, will also be faced with making a difficult choice, Brooklyn or Manhattan, Barclays or MSG.
The Brooklyn bouts, select ones, will run on Showtime, while the NYC cream of the crop will screen on HBO. Viewers will either have a couple of screens live, or get the DVR cooking, and tape one, while watching the other. Or there will be channel flipping…
Yes, the world will keep turning for those watchers, and, in fact, local fans who like to attend live events and media, too…
But no, this isn’t an ideal setup. Same city, two big fight cards. An embarrassment of riches accumulated, when it would maybe make more sense to spread out that wealth.
Not to mention, what about the fact that those two cards will need to be staffed with oversight personnel from the New York State Athletic Commission. I generally assume a degree of competence on their part, but might they not be stretched a bit thin that night?
To that point, I asked around at NYSAC: Can I get some insight into the NYSAC allowing two high profile boxing cards the same night, March 3, at Barclays Center and MSG? Isn’t there a possibility of diluting personnel? It goes without saying, it isn’t ideal for local media, or local fans, who might like to see both cards, but have to choose...
I received a response, from a spokesperson, not chair Ndidi Massay:
“There is no possibility of ‘diluting’ New York State Athletic Commission personnel with more than one event occurring on the same day. Both events will be appropriately staffed.
“The New York State Athletic Commission provides oversight and regulation for events and is not involved in the scheduling of events, other than approving date requests after ensuring that appropriate Commission staff are available to cover the event(s).
“Multiple events on the same day are relatively common, as there were two events in New York on November 4, 2017. Other jurisdictions (California, Nevada, etc.) also permit multiple events on the same date.”
So, there you go. Nope, not ideal, I don’t think for any of the parties I’ve mentioned. Probably a good deal for local boxers, as a few more will get work, near their homes, because of this clustering of scraps. But, moving forward, might it not be a good idea to stagger such cards…and this goes for the suits, too.
I promise, Stephen Espinoza, and Peter Nelson, and the ESPN gang, you all, too…I won’t cry collusion if you all have a breakfast meeting and plot of what weekends, what nights work best for all involved, so we can stop having these event pile-ups. It’s the right thing to do for fans, it respects them and their time, and the right thing to do for the sport, because it allows everyone’s content to breathe, and stand out, without muffling buzz that we need to stay relevant and perhaps even grow our eyeballs base.