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Thread: Did RJJ Kill HBO Boxing?

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    Default Did RJJ Kill HBO Boxing?

    HBO dominated the televised boxing market for decades, but recently decided to no longer televise the sport due to decreasing interest from customers. Where HBO enjoyed once enjoyed a stable of most of the top fighters, in recent years it watched that stable reduce to Canelo, GGG, Danny Jacobs, and some smaller weight fighters. While many will point to rival Showtime’s superior business model and talent, as well as Floyd’s departure from HBO to join Showtime as the main reasons, I feel that Roy shares some of the blame as well.

    Roy was a phenomenal fighter, an ATG, and a good/smart businessman. Remember that prior to Roy ascending to the top p4p spot you had fighters like Hagler, Chavez, Meldrick Taylor, James Toney, Whitaker, Holyfield, and Tyson taking on top notch competition. Even while Roy was on top you had fighters like Oscar, Shane Mosley, and Fernando Vargas doing the same. After dominating Toney, Roy changed from fighting the best and focused more on minimizing risk while maximizing reward.

    Fans initially supported Roy because he was such a dominant and amazing fighter. Potential super fights against Benn, Collins, Liles, And Eubank never came to fruition at 168. Roy unified at 175, but super fights with his most dangerous rival, lineal champ Darius McZlewski, and potential fights with Jirov and Douglas were left to the imagination as well. Roy, and HBO, eventually suffered a “Roycott” that hurt their bottom line, but did result with Roy facing legitimate threats in Ruiz and Tarver.

    Where I think Roy shares some blame is that he was the first to put business ahead of what the fans and the suits wanted (a good thing for Roy). I don’t blame Roy at all for that, as the sport has left many great fighters worse off after their careers ended. My point is that Roy changed the way the game was played on HBO and they never adapted, which let Showtime steal their position by creating a superior business model.

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    Default Re: Did RJJ Kill HBO Boxing?

    The title blames Roy Jones but upon reading the thread he get partial blame for killing HBO.

    I do not blame Roy, he had long since retired before HBO slowly started disinvesting in boxing and watched their boxing ship sink by all its competitors.

    No one is to blame but HBO themselves. If they were interested and motivated they could easily compete. Unfortunately they are not.
    Do not let success go to your head and do not let failure get to your heart.

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    Default Re: Did RJJ Kill HBO Boxing?

    Rewriting boxing history to fit a personal bias, see it every single day.

    A more plausible argument if you want to cast blame is GofT. HBO has had wild success with created content.

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    Default Re: Did RJJ Kill HBO Boxing?

    RJJ didn't kill boxing on HBO

    He was a prodigy, he fought great fighters in his era, he toyed with great fighters in his era, he won titles from middleweight up to a heavyweight title (and he could have done so earlier against Buster Douglas instead of Ruiz which he had planned on but wow Prime RJJ at heavyweight vs Evander Holyfield WHAAAAAAAT would have been crazy). At light heavyweight he ruled supreme and was untouchable until he came back down from heavyweight and from there his career sucks.

    He missed some big fights, but hell half that wasn't his fault...Benn, Collins, Eubank...I don't think they wanted him. To some those fighters were more concerned with success in the UK rather than worldwide success. Ottke didn't fight outside of Germany, Michalczewski wanted the fight in Europe, Calzaghe wanted to fight in England, and for whatever reason he didn't even dip a toe in the cruiserweight division...Jirov, Toney II. He never got to fight Gerald McClellan who was injured or Watson who was injured.

    Could RJJ have had those bigger fights...yeah I guess, but hell I can look at anyone's record and see where names are missing.


    What killed boxing on HBO wasn't Roy at all it was a lack of star power (not great or good or fun to watch fighters, but true STARS), promoters, the rapid rise of UFC and their guerrilla promoting style, and the cards as a whole sucked whereas UFC has worked to build good cards first and superstars second. Boxing doesn't have the stars so now we focus on the cards or we should...and it ain't that other fighters shouldn't be stars like right damn now, but it's that boxing drags behind the time and fans wait until a boxer is finished to lavish them with praise and honors....it's screwy that way.



    Also Max Kellerman is a douchebag....where's my old school boxing announcers? Papa, Bernstein, hell I'd take Larry fucking Merchant over Max Kellerman (and I was a dude calling for Kellerman to replace Merchant!!!!).....man how wrong I was. Max Kellerman is just God awful at calling a fight now...I dont' know if ESPN has got to him or Lampley has or what but holy shit he sucks now.
    "Drown in a vat of whiskey.....death where is thy sting?" - W.C. Fields.

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    Default Re: Did RJJ Kill HBO Boxing?

    Quote Originally Posted by El Kabong View Post
    RJJ didn't kill boxing on HBO

    He was a prodigy, he fought great fighters in his era, he toyed with great fighters in his era, he won titles from middleweight up to a heavyweight title (and he could have done so earlier against Buster Douglas instead of Ruiz which he had planned on but wow Prime RJJ at heavyweight vs Evander Holyfield WHAAAAAAAT would have been crazy). At light heavyweight he ruled supreme and was untouchable until he came back down from heavyweight and from there his career sucks.

    He missed some big fights, but hell half that wasn't his fault...Benn, Collins, Eubank...I don't think they wanted him. To some those fighters were more concerned with success in the UK rather than worldwide success. Ottke didn't fight outside of Germany, Michalczewski wanted the fight in Europe, Calzaghe wanted to fight in England, and for whatever reason he didn't even dip a toe in the cruiserweight division...Jirov, Toney II. He never got to fight Gerald McClellan who was injured or Watson who was injured.

    Could RJJ have had those bigger fights...yeah I guess, but hell I can look at anyone's record and see where names are missing.


    What killed boxing on HBO wasn't Roy at all it was a lack of star power (not great or good or fun to watch fighters, but true STARS), promoters, the rapid rise of UFC and their guerrilla promoting style, and the cards as a whole sucked whereas UFC has worked to build good cards first and superstars second. Boxing doesn't have the stars so now we focus on the cards or we should...and it ain't that other fighters shouldn't be stars like right damn now, but it's that boxing drags behind the time and fans wait until a boxer is finished to lavish them with praise and honors....it's screwy that way.



    Also Max Kellerman is a douchebag....where's my old school boxing announcers? Papa, Bernstein, hell I'd take Larry fucking Merchant over Max Kellerman (and I was a dude calling for Kellerman to replace Merchant!!!!).....man how wrong I was. Max Kellerman is just God awful at calling a fight now...I dont' know if ESPN has got to him or Lampley has or what but holy shit he sucks now.
    Kellerman is a douche. IMO Steve farhoud on showtime is quite good but they only utilize him for scores

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    Default Re: Did RJJ Kill HBO Boxing?

    Quote Originally Posted by walrus View Post
    Kellerman is a douche. IMO Steve farhoud on showtime is quite good but they only utilize him for scores
    Farhoud is solid!

    Hell look and listen to Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan or whoever else they have....they hardly ever bash fighters or a fight, they talk strategy, they don't pick a side and cheer, they call/called it pretty straight....where is that in boxing? Is there nobody that does that.


    Tessitore is great about that, Teddy Atlas is a classic color commentator HE gives the opinions, he breaks down the strategy, Tessy calls the match and asks some digging questions to Teddy, they do great. Teddy could work on his analogies, but he's better than anyone HBO has.
    "Drown in a vat of whiskey.....death where is thy sting?" - W.C. Fields.

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    Default Re: Did RJJ Kill HBO Boxing?

    What killed boxing on hbo was that they didn't have the stamina to keep scouting. They had previous looked for young up and coming talent (bojado, ricardo williams) to fill their ranks later on and they just stopped and just started renting themselves to big fights for guaranteed money. A couple of events I would link this too:

    The departure of ross greenburg to showtime after 33 years. Hes probably someone responsible for the groundwork that showtimes operating on now.

    The wane of the heavyweight division and the onset of fighters trying to win Olympic style fights. When stuff started getting boring is around the same time that HBO refused to pay fighters to televise boring fights/styles. The Klitchskos, Ward and Rigondeaux are people i remember being particularly boring.

    And the aforementioned rise of homegrown programming
    They want your @$$ beat because upsets make news. News brings about excitement, excitement brings about ratings. The objective is to bring you up to the tower and tear your @$$ down. And if you don't believe that, you're crazy.

    Roy Jones, Jr. "What I've Learned," Esquire 2003

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    Default Re: Did RJJ Kill HBO Boxing?

    i think about how HBO conducted business during its heyday, and remember the business model being elite fighters signed to exclusive, long term contracts. It worked when you had a sweet pea Whitaker who moves up to 140 after cleaning out 135 and white washing the #2 fighter (Pineda), before moving up again to face #3 p4p McGirt to force #1 p4p Chavez to fight him. It works when Oscar fights Sweet Pea, Ike Quartey, Tito, Mosley, Vargas...etc., and his “easy” fights are against Miguel Angel Garcia, David Kamau, and Oba Carr.

    That model broke when Roy was signed to a long contract and didn’t fight his topped perceived threats after James Toney until the Tarver fight. This is not to say Roy was solely to blame, or even wrong for his mindset and business savvy. This is just to point out the different perspective Roy brought and how that changed the game with how fighters viewed the risk of fighting consistent top notch competition.

    As for some of the comments on bias and Roy fighting and toying with great comletition: get a grip. Some facts about Roy:
    1. He never completely unified any division he was in (Darius was lineal champ and they never even fought).
    2. The only p4p ranked fighter Roy ever beat (while they were ranked p4p) was Toney.
    3. Roy is the only elite fighter I can remember who was boycotted for fighting sub par opposition. This isnt me being biased, this boycott was orchestrated by a number of fans who felt as a collective that Roy was ducking Benn, Eubank, Collins, Liles, Nunn, Darius, Graciano, Jirov...etc.

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    Default Re: Did RJJ Kill HBO Boxing?

    Shit I blame Vladimir more than Roy. It used to be the heavyweights who turned on casual fans but clinchko turned everyone off.

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    Default Re: Did RJJ Kill HBO Boxing?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeeod View Post
    i think about how HBO conducted business during its heyday, and remember the business model being elite fighters signed to exclusive, long term contracts. It worked when you had a sweet pea Whitaker who moves up to 140 after cleaning out 135 and white washing the #2 fighter (Pineda), before moving up again to face #3 p4p McGirt to force #1 p4p Chavez to fight him. It works when Oscar fights Sweet Pea, Ike Quartey, Tito, Mosley, Vargas...etc., and his “easy” fights are against Miguel Angel Garcia, David Kamau, and Oba Carr.

    That model broke when Roy was signed to a long contract and didn’t fight his topped perceived threats after James Toney until the Tarver fight. This is not to say Roy was solely to blame, or even wrong for his mindset and business savvy. This is just to point out the different perspective Roy brought and how that changed the game with how fighters viewed the risk of fighting consistent top notch competition.

    As for some of the comments on bias and Roy fighting and toying with great comletition: get a grip. Some facts about Roy:
    1. He never completely unified any division he was in (Darius was lineal champ and they never even fought).
    2. The only p4p ranked fighter Roy ever beat (while they were ranked p4p) was Toney.
    3. Roy is the only elite fighter I can remember who was boycotted for fighting sub par opposition. This isnt me being biased, this boycott was orchestrated by a number of fans who felt as a collective that Roy was ducking Benn, Eubank, Collins, Liles, Nunn, Darius, Graciano, Jirov...etc.
    So it’s Roy’s fault fans are stupid? Who cares what P4P rankings say, BHop was great long before people knew it. He was great when Roy fought him, regardless of ignorance.

    Roy never said he wouldn’t fight his subordinates, he said he needed to be paid accordingly. Everyone should have been chasing Roy, anyone that wasn’t desperate to fight the top guy is at fault. The guy in the lead doesn’t chase those behind him.

    Lots of people hate Roy because he was so damn good. They invent nonsense like saying BHop was better because he was good longer, it’s gibberish because he was never as good. That’s how you tell how good someone is, by how good they are. Jirov, Jirov, we’re really talking about Jirov hahahaha

    Roy Jones is the most talented fighter any of us has ever seen live, by FAR. Appreciate it

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    Default Re: Did RJJ Kill HBO Boxing?

    How would Roy singlehandedly have had so much as a role in it? He disappeared from the upper echelon of the sport 15 years ago... HBO has had plenty of top fighters and shown plenty of top cards since then, but they were slowly phasing boxing out for ages. I don’t know how theyre doing overall, but as was said they’ve always had far more lucrative programming.

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    Default Re: Did RJJ Kill HBO Boxing?

    Roy Jones has been a fine commentator/analyst. I always appreciated his insights.

    Max Kellerman is awful though. I'm sure he's one of the reasons for HBO boxing's demise, he's so fake and disingenuous - he turned a lot of people off.

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    Default Re: Did RJJ Kill HBO Boxing?

    Losing Greenburg to the rival was massive and the inundation of so many forms of competition followed. I think partially hbo got to full of themselves and fans helped them do it thinking it was THE only platform of star potential and massive fights. In fairness it was to a degree but they lost their way when they started thinking they knew what was best for fans by effectively black balling top caliber fighters. Remember when they tried using Ed Lover to host a KO hbo brand or something? That certainly didn't help them. They had a bad run of trying to microwave potential phenoms to star class as mentioned. Bojado, Williams, and even Vargas to a degree and at the end were trying the same failed process with the likes of a Cletis Seldin and calling him a Mike Tyson ffs. Roy Jones was given a red carpet and at the time had the largest contract they had ever afforded and they shipped in one to many rotating 'mandatories' all in the name of Roy covering himself in a layer of belts. Hyping the whole two sports schtick and rolling him out literally on a Broadway stage and allowing middleweights like Otis Grant to be butchered for the lt heavyweight title. I don't blame him completely as he just milked the cow that was given to him but still fans fell for what were some guaranteed mismatches and just yelled greatness. In hindsight you get the feeling the writing was on the wall for hbo for some time but they kept plugging along riding a ghost ship and went out meek.

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    Default Re: Did RJJ Kill HBO Boxing?

    Quote Originally Posted by p4pking View Post
    How would Roy singlehandedly have had so much as a role in it? He disappeared from the upper echelon of the sport 15 years ago... HBO has had plenty of top fighters and shown plenty of top cards since then, but they were slowly phasing boxing out for ages. I don’t know how theyre doing overall, but as was said they’ve always had far more lucrative programming.


    Yeah I'm gonna agree with that. HBO Boxing was too big at its peak to be "killed off" by any one commentator, analyst, etc. HBO bigwigs said it themselves. They just felt boxing wasn't the attraction it used to be. So they moved on. I likened them to the girl at the bar who will leave with whoever has the nicest car and I still feel that way. It's a cold business, with no room for melancholy. To me, some marketing gurus up there must've whispered in the executives' ears that extreme sports, documentaries, and whatever else HBO is into now... that's where it's at.

    IMO, blame lies with boxing itself, and also the fans to an extent. Boxing has done itself no favors with shitty decisions, questionable treatment of cheaters in boxing, favoritism, and other issues. Fans are by large a fickle bunch with a "what have you done for me lately" mentality. Unfortunately we can't have 3-4 mega fights a year like in the golden days. Maybe it's because we don't have the star power boxers we used to have.... maybe it's because promoters are a greedy bunch of bastards sucking the blood out of boxing while the boxing fans turn away... who knows.

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    Default Re: Did RJJ Kill HBO Boxing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
    Roy Jones has been a fine commentator/analyst. I always appreciated his insights.

    Max Kellerman is awful though. I'm sure he's one of the reasons for HBO boxing's demise, he's so fake and disingenuous - he turned a lot of people off.
    I’m the opposite. I actually don’t mind Kellerman. He has some annoying things about him, but I don’t mind him. Roy was insufferable as a commentator. Extremely biased and always seemed to want to argue. Couldn’t stand him. I really hope no one picks him up.

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