Thompson Boxing Promotions streams along after 17 years
In its 17th anniversary show (dubbed “New Blood”) Thompson Boxing Promotions scheduled Giovanni Santillan in its main event but, earlier this week, the company announced that, due to dehydration issues, Santillan would be pulled from the card. In its place is a featherweight tussle between Erick Ituarte and Isaac Zarate for the vacant NABF “junior featherweight” title.
And this six-fight card from the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, California, will be the official launch of Thompson Boxing’s streaming service on its website (ThompsonBoxing.com) and its Facebook page. (And for full disclosure, Beto Duran and I will be on the call – so you’ve been forewarned.)
“We’re very, very excited,” Alex Camponovo, the matchmaker and General Manager of Thompson Boxing told UCNLive.com earlier this week. “It’s been 17 years that we’re going to be in the business and this is a new phase in our history, so we’re extremely excited that we’re able to now share – not only with our fans we have on Facebook page – but also the ones that can visit us on our webpage at ThompsonBoxing.com.
“So it’s a great time to start this. A lot of other promoters are doing the same. I think we’re in the lead of this new wave of trying to expose our talent and make it available to all the fans – not only here in Southern California but all around the world.”
Last week, Star Boxing streamed a show from the Mohegan Sun and it’s clear that those in the business are now fully embracing and utilizing the advances in social media. And perhaps, with television dates (those that aren’t time-buys) scarce, maybe they have no choice but to adapt or die.
Camponovo says, “It’s definitely made our way of doing business change a bit. We’ve always had the ability to put some of our fighters on the ESPN platform and ‘ShoBox’ and so on and so forth. I’m not going to say it’s been extremely difficult; we’ve still been busy doing over 10 shows a year at our venues here in Southern California. But obviously the next step is what has to change dramatically, not just for us, but for everybody in the industry.”
In the past, Thompson Boxing had deals with FOX Deportes, Time Warner and other smaller channels. “All those agreements started changing and we had to move from one network to another and now we have the ability to do our own thing. We decide the starting time, what talent we’re going to feature and we’re not limited to the size of the market. We’re limitless,” explained Camponovo.
What has also changed is cord-cutting is now a major factor in the television industry. And with that, boxing has to adjust with the new technology.
“I believe if that we stayed with the same business model as we knew it – we’re going to be like dinosaurs and eventually a big bang is going to come over and we’re all going to disappear,” stated Camponovo. “We also have to embrace the fact that a huge amount of fans now, some of them don’t even have a cable box or satellite and are more than content to watch it on their smart phones, iPad or tablets and they can put it on a smart TV very easily.
“So we’ve got to change with the time. Obviously, everything has changed in the industry and we cannot just be looking at the market the way it was 10, 15 years ago. We have to evolve.”
It’s not clear whether or not something of this nature levels the playing field to a certain degree for the smaller promoters but, for years, Thompson Boxing has been among the most resourceful outfits. Striking up partnerships with Gary Shaw and now Banner Promotions to expose their talent, they have developed Timothy Bradley and a host of other fighters who have been able to fight for world titles and get on premium cable. They’ve done it consistently in the past without having their own television deal.
“The fact we don’t have as many television dates as we had before doesn’t change the fact we have the same market or bigger market as we ever had. So the hunger from the fans to watch live TV, a live boxing match is still there,” opines Camponovo, who believes boxing is far from dead. “It hasn’t changed; it hasn’t died out. It’s just we have to make it available for everybody and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
The next step is then figuring out to monetize these streams.
This particular broadcast begins at 7:45 p.m. PT.
“We’re making the best effort possible to provide a well-produced show with the right talent, with the right graphics, the right type of announcers, good sound. It’s going to be entertaining. We’re going to have interviews with the fighters,” Camponovo says. “We’re doing everything we can to make this a regular show like anything else you’re used to watching on TV. The only difference is you’re not going to have commercial breaks.
”We’re going to have action for three straight hours and we’ll start at 7:45 till the fights end.”
98 PROBLEMS NOW
On this week’s edition of “The 3 Knockdown Rule,” Mario “Scoop” Lopez stated that Miguel Cotto and RocNation Sports had parted ways. On Thursday, Dan Rafael of ESPN.com wrote a blog stating that sources had indicated to him that was the case.
Well, being the intrepid reporter I am, I reached out to the lovely Lauren Menache, the publicist for RocNation Sports, and sent her this email:
“My old friend, hope you are well. Any comment on the parting of ways between Miguel Cotto and RocNation Sports?
“As always, thanks for your assistance and warm-hearted manner.
A few minutes later, I received this response from Ms. Menache:
“Hi Steve –
“I am not sure I care for your snarky tone. We all know the deal here.
“No I do not have a comment from RocNation Sports at this time.
Anyhoo, later on that day, Miguel Cotto confirmed his release from RocNation Sports on his Twitter account:
This week’s edition of “Solo Boxeo” on UniMas will air the fight between WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez and Miguel Marriaga from April 22 …So is there going to be black boxing canvases for sale very soon?…Is it finally warming up in Southern California? I miss my shorts and sandals…I can be reached at email@example.com and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.