As we approach the one-year anniversary of the PBC coming to our televisions, it is time to think about the two questions many of us asked before the PBC made its television debut: what is Premier Boxing Champions and what is its purpose? Well, let’s start with the first question: What is PBC?
This question might be the most difficult question to answer in boxing today. Nobody really knows what the PBC is. I don’t even think Haymon knows what the PBC is at this point. We all have our guesses and estimations, but nobody can put into words what the PBC is.
As of now, this is my best definition of the PBC: a series of boxing events displayed on regular cable featuring the top fighters from the stable of boxing manager Al Haymon. The fighters are paid extremely well compared to other fighters at similar levels. The series has featured a few exciting, memorable fights, but several mismatches have been shown as main events. The series has also given the opportunity for several young up and coming prospects to be on television and to be the A-side in co-main and sometimes main events of big cards: That is the best PBC definition I could come up with.
Has the PBC been the home to a number of memorable main events this past year? Well, let’s go through a rundown of some of the big fights that have happened on PBC. Broner-Porter was pretty brutal to watch, mostly because of Broner’s lack of a game plan but regardless it was not pretty. Lee-Quillin was quiet throughout despite the two exchanging knockdowns. Garcia-Peterson was decent, but it was a tale of two fights: Garcia winning the first half and Peterson the second, not a ton of back and forth action, and Santa Cruz-Mares was a fun scrap but not FOTY material like we all thought it would be.
Have there been some great fights on PBC? Absolutely. Huck-Glowacki was one of the best fights of 2015 hands down, it was also the front-runner for Upset of the Year until Tyson Fury dethroned Wladimir Klitschko in Germany. The inaugural main event fight for PBC was an extremely entertaining affair between Keith Thurman and Robert Guerrero, despite Thurman winning by large margins on the scorecards. Khan-Algieri, Arreola-Harper, and Rodriguez-Seales were all terrific to watch as well.
However, all those fights were months ago, and now the biggest fight on the PBC schedule for the first four months of the year is Spence-Algieri: it’s unbelievable. Thurman-Porter is one of the best matchup’s you can make in boxing but, of course, that has been delayed due to Keith’s accident, and unfortunately, we can’t declare the fight back on until there’s a contract signed and the new date announced.
So the PBC hasn’t thrived in the realm of big fights, and that is not their fault. But where has the PBC thrived? Showcasing their prospects: and that is what the PBC should be from here on out. I have enjoyed a lot of what the PBC has delivered, especially in terms of prospects getting T.V time in solid, competitive fights. The cards on Spike, FS1, Bounce TV, and NBC Sports have all been extremely enjoyable due to being able to see young prospects that we aren’t used to seeing on t.v.
It has been fun for boxing fans to watch a young fighter progress throughout fights, and to see them make improvements or take steps back. There have been several prospects who have gotten their name out there when they were virtually unknown to even some boxing fans.The young fighters have also been matched tough in several cases, facing either tough veterans or fellow highly touted prospects.
Erickson Lubin, Jamel Herring, Caleb Plant and Sergey Lipinets are all prospects who I have enjoyed watching should be fighting on PBC. Deontay Wilder, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Amir Khan, and Danny Garcia should be fighting on Showtime (and hopefully HBO soon enough.)
Showtime has the potential to have a successful 2016 with all the big fights they can make on the horizon. Showtime struggled for the most part of last year due to the amounts of big fights they lost to PBC, which should not be the case this year.
So that answers the second question: What is PBC’s purpose? The purpose of the PBC should be to showcase young fighters on network television who will eventually fight on Showtime if they become stars. The success that Showtime has had recently in terms of putting on solid main events has convinced me even more that the PBC should be PBP: Premier Boxing Prospects. It could work, right?