Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Even in boxing. Even after you spend eight figures to get your product on primetime in the United States and a multi-million purse to get your best fighters on the TV screen hoping you are putting your best foot forward. After all the lights, jumbo scoreboards, special stages and all-star on-air personalities, at the end of the day the action inside the ring needs to deliver. On Saturday night in the debut of Premier Boxing Champions on the National Broadcasting Company, better known as PBC on NBC, it didn’t.
In the “first main-event”, a cheap attempt by the slick production to try to be different, featured boxing bad boy Adrien “The Problem” Broner against tough but overmatch John Molina Jr. The fight had everything except action inside the ring. Broner, usually over the top outspoken, looked sedated before in pre-fight interviews as it evident that he was really trying to think of what he said before he said it. Something he probably hasn’t ever done before. In the other corner you had Molina with his now traditional sob story in boxing with the images of two dead people on his trunks, the first the tragic image of a young friend struck by cancer and his grandfather who was his first and most loyal fan.
It was the perfect set-up.
Too bad it didn’t live up inside the ring with Broner proving that he was far beyond the skill level of Molina who didn’t perform like his usual aggressive, defense to the wind, self. It was a lopsided drudging with Broner doing pretty much anything he wanted inside the squared circle except knock out Molina Jr. Maybe if Broner would have taken a bit more of a risk in the second half he would have stopped Molina Jr and given the first hour of the broadcast a much needed boost. Maybe more controversial than the mildly racist Broner post-fight comment of his now usual “Anybody Can get it, MexiCAN, AmeriCAN, etc, etc,” was his admittance on national TV that the last fight he fought for the crowd he was given his first pro loss and that now he would do what he needs to do to get the win.
The “second main-event” between WBA welterweight Keith Thurman, who wasn’t announced as such, and former champ Robert Guerrero, looked to be destined for the same blah conclusion until a right hand in the ninth dropped Guerrero to the canvas. He got up revitalized and gave Thurman everything he could handle plus a couple more bumps and bruises to go along with the huge hematoma caused early on from a head butt.
No comment about the Mares-Santos fight broadcast on NBC Sports in the walk-out bout which was truly a walk-out bout with the majority of the announced ten thousand person crowd heading for the exits.
The rumor is that Haymon is shooting for a UFC-like boxing league with its own boxing belts and image but nobody thought it was going to be the struggling post-heyday UFC that insiders we have now.