ALTERNATIVE PAY-PER-VIEW

Daniel Hughes believes fans would be best served putting hard earned cash into their local small hall scene and describes what they might find at places like York Hall, Bethnal Green..

Boxing is a great TV sport: two fighters meet – hyped or not – and the focus doesn’t drift from the protagonists involved. The quality of production can vary in regard to the money spent on the promotion, but speaking from experience it’s generally better than a quick minute or two build up, ring-walk and the obligatory playing of national anthems that served coverage in the 1970’s which I saw growing up, let alone before and after.

Watching boxing nowadays the complaint can be the commentary: it was better then in my opinion; the fact that the HD quality wasn’t as good as other productions always seems to get a few upset these days, but hey-ho it’s a whole lot better than watching a breaking picture in black and white. Trust me from experience and people of my age and older would also bear witness, we were happy to watch the action, not just listen to it. High definition? Try spending half an hour playing with the aerial..

The general view of anyone north of being labelled or admitting to being a ‘casual’ fan would be to take in a world title fight at one of the meccas of boxing stateside, be it the Garden, Vegas or wherever you choose. It’s a sporting ambition many have and why not? How about the saying ‘running before you walk’?

I would love to see and hear about more people taking it step-by-step. Your favourite boxer pays their dues, builds their career and moves up the ladder. Why not do that as a boxing fan? Take in a small-hall domestic show if you haven’t been. The cards are generally well-matched, the action inside the ring honest, serving up many an unheralded classic witnessed only by the paying public, the hardcore reporters and fight fans.

The one thing I can guarantee is at places like York Hall, Bethnal Green (London) the facilities will not be like the MGM grand, but unless you have a serious roll on you the view you will get will be world class. The balcony or ringside: not a bad view in the house. Very hot inside the venue and the toilets overflowing, just don’t wear your best shoes.

You may catch an upcoming star of the future at one of these shows, now wouldn’t that be something to talk about in the future? You would of course be putting something back into a sport you claim to love; this isn’t the modern premier league where millionaires are made before they have even played first team football at the so-called ‘bigger’ clubs. The fighters are personable generally and appreciate any ticket bought. You may even start to follow a fighter.

The boxing itself? Well, you will hear audible sounds of a good shot landing and you will not just see, but hear, visible acknowledgement of technique and the honing of hard training into what makes or breaks a professional boxer. The fighters at times exchanging industrial language, as do the corners. The ref sweating and always the fact that if you are personable you will also meet knowledgeable fans that go to these type of shows.

Yes HD TV is a marvellous thing. The rankle of many a fan is of course PPV how about contributing by actually doing that?

How about actually going along and supporting your local show and boxers? To me a PPV well worth investing in.