Back in the good ol days, you would have those rare occasions where HBO and Showtime would schedule boxing cards on the same night. Now, this was really a problem before the days of being able to DVR programs, or having the ability to stream multiple shows on different devices at the same time.
But nowadays, it's actually rare to have a Saturday night where this is only one major show on from either ESPN, Showtime and DAZN. There have actually been weekends where all three televise boxing at around the same time.
The reality is, in the era of major promoters all having exclusive output deals with networks, this is pretty much the norm.
This upcoming Saturday, Top Rank has a card from the Theater at Madison Square Garden for the junior welterweight championship between Josh Taylor and Teofimo Lopez. While DAZN has a card from the Toyota Center in Ontario, California featuring Jaime Munguia-Sergey Derevyanchenko, that is being staged by Golden Boy Promotions.
Courtesy of GBP/Cris Esqueda
Eric Gomez, the president of GBP tells SNAC.com, "We try not to go on the same date, but look, they're networks, they have their calendars, they have this, they have that. So the best we can do is to stagger the start times. Our start time will be at 5 pm (PT).
"So we're hoping to be done by 8 pm. So the main event on the other side, people can watch it."
While not perfect, it does suit both entities.
"Look, it's not a good thing," admitted, Gomez. "You never want to do that. You don't want to conflict with somebody else because it will effect you, also."
The main portion of the ESPN card with Top Rank is scheduled from 7 pm (PT) to 9 pm. So there is a very good chance that Munguia-Derevyanchenko, could then lead right into Taylor-Lopez.The reality is that on a network that showcases other programming, when a date is doled out, the promoter has no other choice but to go with it, and make it work.
Top Rank/Mikey Williams
"Yeah, pretty much,'' said Bob Arum, the head of Top Rank. "They give us the dates, and if there is a conflict when we get the dates, we tell them, and we adjust accordingly. But then if somebody else puts a fight on after we have gotten the clearance on a date from ESPN, we just proceed."
There are instances that common sense prevails. ESPN had given Top Rank a slot on July 29 to feature Seniesa Estrada, but as the undisputed welterweight showdown between Errol Spence and Terence Crawford was consummated, Top Rank and the network decided to move that card to the night before.
"We had an arrangement with 'the Palm', and obviously with the big fight in town, they were happy to move the date one day earlier," said Arum. "Because everybody will be in town and ESPN had no conflict. So they went along with it."
The promoters are always mindful of what other shows could land on certain dates, and where. But these network dates are finite, as our weekends. Sometimes you have to go with what you get. Also, the availability of venues will often dictate that a promoter stick to a date, regardless of what else is taking place on Bash Blvd.
"They fill up fast," said Gomez, whose company has used various buildings in the Los Angeles-area in 2023. "You have to try and get out way ahead because people are coming out, now. There's concerts, there's shows, a lot of competing things -- especially in Southern California. It's very hard."
There's been some much deserved criticism of the recent opponents of Munguia, who is now facing a Derevyanchenko, who's certainly been put through the meat grinder in recent years (Gennadiy Golovkin, Jermall Charlo and Carlos Adames).
To many pundits, this is a career moving backwards. At age 26, with over 40 fights (41-0, 33 KOs) and being a former world champion, he can no longer be considered a developing young fighter.
So what's ahead for him?
Gomez answered, "Get him the biggest fight possible. there was some interest in (David) Benavidez, that's a fight Munguia likes. He wants to go after Benavidez. We'll look into that."
So if you're on Twitter, I'm sure you saw the recent spat between the founder of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya, and the biggest name in his stable, Ryan Garcia.'
This has been a tumultuous relationship for years with the often bratty Garcia, and the sometimes absent, De La Hoya publicly sniping at one another. You get the feeling that Garcia is looking for a way out of his long-term promotional contract, while Golden Boy believes that they have an iron-clad agreement.
You could argue that Garcia is a spoiled and entitled fighter. There is also a fair argument in saying that Golden Boy coddled and enabled all this for years and now have created a monster (Ryanstein?) that they can no longer control.
Both can be true.