BLK Prime have big plans for their boxing brand in 2023, after jumping into the pool with their Dec. 10 Crawford vs Avanesyan PPV event.
Their second event will come on Saturday, Feb. 25, with Adrien Broner facing Ivan Redkach in a 10-round welterweight bout in Atlanta, and they believe it’s all just the beginning.
“The plan in 2023 is to make the most compelling fights in boxing,” said Chester Johnson, Vice President of BLK Prime Boxing. “The fans deserve to see the best fighting the best and we will do everything in our power to make that happen.”
Johnson also makes clear that BLK Prime does not intend to hoard talent and create another shop that closes ranks.
“We are open to working with everyone in the sport to bring back the glory days of boxing,” he said. “Our platform is extremely functional and delivers a high-quality stream. Our cable and satellite pay-per-view distribution agreements with our domestic and international partners are in place for 2023 as well.”
The company say that the Crawford vs Avanesyan event “exceeded expectations” for global PPV buys, without giving a specific number. Considering how low expectations were in the general public for buys, that doesn’t mean it was some smash hit, but if they had the same low to moderate expectations — as they should have — then sure, expectations could have been exceeded fairly easily and fairly handily.
“I’m very humbled by everything that’s transpired in our first pay-per-view event,” Johnson added. “Terence Crawford is an incredible fighter and proved he’s worthy to be showcased on the pay-per-view stage, as our buys did exceptionally well. Furthermore, we didn’t give away any outstanding complimentary tickets, so our gate did fantastically.
“2023 will be a big year for BLK Prime. We plan on implementing some innovative features to our shows that I believe will make our events more entertaining for the fans. I’m looking forward to kicking off the new year with an amazing event.”
Whether BLK Prime will be here to stay remains to be seen. Speaking honestly, a lot of entities have tried to crash the gate in the boxing world, and more fail than succeed. In these early days, their approach appears to be what DAZN tried early on, paying large purses to attract talent to a fledgling platform, but with PPV instead of a subscription model.
As far as presentation and all that goes, though, their first broadcast was very professional, plenty slick, everything was strong in that regard, so they appear to be serious.
We’ll see if it sticks and works out. Extra actual competition would not be bad for boxing, but then Crawford-Avanesyan and Broner-Redkach are also not exactly fights the boxing world has been clamoring to see.
So there’s a lot to consider. Basically, it’s probably fair to expect it will come down to how much money they have to burn before potentially truly catching on. DAZN have hung around; Triller, on the other hand, basically felt into irrelevance the minute Jake Paul took his wares to Showtime. This is not an easy business to crash.