THERE has never been a better time to support professional boxing.
From the emergence of Australia’s next generation of stars, to the slew of televised boxing on offer from both the domestic front and abroad, the public is now exposed to more content than ever, according to leading broadcaster Ben Damon.
“There is no doubt whatsoever that we are living in the time boasting the most live boxing that has ever been aired on Australian television,” he told Aus-Boxing.
“The commitment Fox Sports and Main Event are showing to domestic and international boxing is not only unprecedented in Australia but unrivalled by any broadcaster on the planet. November was the busiest month of live boxing in Australian history and all of it was on Fox Sports or Main Event.
“From the launch of our new domestic boxing platform – the National Boxing Series – to a domestic pay-per-view event on Main Event headlined by Andrew Moloney’s epic victory for a version of the world title, to countless quality international cards.
“All of these have been screened live and free to subscribers on Fox Sports, and international events featuring stars Canelo Alvarez and Deontay Wilder. December is no different and maybe even busier. Coming up, we have Tszyu-Brubaker, Joshua-Ruiz 2 and Charlo-Hogan, all crammed into one weekend.”
To generate a continued interest in the sport domestically, Australia needs concurrent narratives surrounding each of its most prominent fighters.
With that in mind, the reintroduction of regularly televised boxing has increased the probability of future stars emerging, with hopes to replicate the success of earlier marquee attractions, including the likes of Anthony Mundine, Danny Green, and more recently, former WBO welterweight titleholder Jeff Horn.
Despite being in the infancy of his journey as a televised star, Damon sees parallels in the career progression of unbeaten light middleweight Tim Tszyu, who faces popular Cronulla mauler Jack Brubaker on Friday night.
“For successful boxing in Australia, the key has long been captivating a mainstream audience,” he explained.
“Anthony Mundine did this better than anyone and his rivalry with Danny Green was the showpiece. Jeff Horn broke into that dimension with his incredible win over Manny Pacquiao in front of 50,000 in Brisbane, and already Tim Tszyu has become a familiar face to that broader audience.
“With live domestic boxing, increased content and coverage around our stars, as well as well-matched and enthusiastically promoted domestic events, the new crop is well placed to break through as well.”
In less than twelve months, Tszyu (14-0, 10 KOs) has burst onto the sporting landscape, scoring three high-profile wins, starting with his maiden national title triumph in May, culminating in recognition by several world sanctioning bodies.
The effectiveness of the televised platform has also been highlighted in the unlikely rise of Brubaker (16-2-2, 8 KOs), who gained notoriety for his gritty performances on previous cards headlined by Tszyu, including a Fight of the Year candidate against Ty Telford.
“This year has been a breakout one for Tim Tszyu, he’s become a household name and a Main Event headline act,” he added.
“At the same time, Jack Brubaker has taken his well-established brand to a whole new level, launching himself as the excitement machine of Aussie boxing. Jack’s fight with Ty Telford stole the show on the Tszyu-Camilleri undercard, which was Tim’s first pay-per-view headline outing.
“Jack backed it up against Danny Kennedy in August and all of a sudden he has become must-watch television. Added to his entertaining boxing style is the excitement and antagonism he brings to a fight build-up, it’s undeniable that Jack is the perfect presence in the opposite corner to Tim Tszyu on December 6th.”
The existing line-up of televised content, which has included the World Boxing Super Series among a plethora of recent high-profile international cards, is set to continue in the immediate future.
“Boxing is a legitimate global sport and there’s quality events that can be negotiated for broadcast from all corners of the planet,” he concluded.
“There are some promoters and distributors internationally that we are still trying to break through with, but overall our offering is unparalleled.
“The commitment to this diverse and thorough slate of domestic and international boxing is a statement that if you want to be a well-stocked boxing fan in Australia, then Fox Sports and Main Event is simply essential.”
Photo: Louie Abigail