As the co-host of Tha Boxing Voice’s twice weekly live internet radio show/podcast, I’ve come to realize that everyone has their own idea of what makes a real boxing fan. Some say that keeping up with every weight class big or small makes you a real fan. From the rarely showcased flyweights to the oblivious cruiserweight division, a real fan will at least be aware of the most impressive fighters in each division.
I do not necessarily agree with that notion, but it makes more sense than other “real fan” tests offered up by TBV callers.
According to some of the more unrealistic callers, “real fight fans” recognize Floyd Mayweather Jr. as TBE (The Best Ever). To others, only “real fight fans” know that Floyd Mayweather Jr. will never be TBE when compared to “Sugar” Ray Robinson, “Sugar” Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali, and others. You can see the inconsistency and how it creates a vague sense of what makes a “real fan.”
Still, there are certain thresholds for what makes a mere fan of boxing a real hardcore. For example, recognizing the best fights in boxing, both the theoretical matchups hindered by politics and the actual fights scheduled on the boxing docket. Knowing what fights to be excited for without the influences of promoters promising the best fights in every single promotion and regardless of the network’s push of a particular fighter with inflated designs built behind big budgeted propaganda.
However, knowing which fights is only half the battle because there is another aspect that goes into identifying a real boxing fan.
First, you have to know which fighters fall into the category of must-see-TV. Despite the opposition, real fight fans only need a few looks to detect a fighter’s level of excitement. Some call it the “eye test” while others refer to it as the “it factor.” Knowing which fighters are guaranteed to deliver will prove your authenticity, especially to the casual fight fans.
If you tell your friends that they “must see” a fight on HBO and it ends up being a dud, then you look like an uneducated fan. But if you know what fighters produce every time out then not only do you look like a genius, but you’re an actual contributor to the betterment of the sport with the possibility of transforming casuals into hardcores.
Also, making sure you watch the fight is an important aspect of being a real fan. I’ve been known to reschedule anniversary dinners around big fights. Skipping weddings, birthday celebrations, and other obligations is the sign of a real fight fan. Of course, some things are unavoidable and catching the DVR recording is not criminal, we’re all forced into those situations from time to time.
But what about PPV fights? A real fan isn’t satisfied by reading the results, and it is not acceptable to plan on watching the fight for the first time a week later on the HBO/Showtime replay. A real fan will make every attempt at watching the PPV live, or at least ordering the PPV to watch later that night if a previous engagement interferes.
With that logic in mind, which PPV will you recommend to your casual friends if they could only choose between Gennady Golovkin-David Lemieux on October 17th and Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Andre Berto September 12th?
Forget the latter for a second; will you make sure that you are watching Golovkin-Lemieux? Some fans have complained about the fact that Golovkin’s fight will be on HBO PPV. They have gone so far as to say they will not buy it because they don’t believe it is worth paying for, despite the fact that the price has yet to be officially set, but it is already known that the cost will be cheaper than your typical Mayweather fight. It will certainly be considerably less than the $100 price tag for Mayweather-Pacquiao.
According to trainer Virgil Hunter, who will be training Berto for his Showtime PPV clash with Mayweather, the Golovkin-Lemieux fight is a test for the real fight fans. Hunter says that only real fight fans will shell out the cash because it is that kind of fight. Furthermore, Hunter believes if you willingly miss it out of spite for being PPV then you are not a real fight fan.
“I’ll pay to watch it because I’m a real fight fan. I’m a coach, but I’m still a fight fan, so I’m going to pay to watch it. Now, if somebody else don’t pay to watch it then they’re not a fight fan,” Hunter told Fernando Pimentel of Tha Boxing Voice.
Hunter’s logic is pretty sound, and he has a unique comparison for fight fans supporting their sport versus other fans of other sports.
“If you’re an Ohio State football fan and you’ve got season tickets, you don’t care if they play a D-1 school or a D-4 school. You’re going to be right there cheering with your red colors on and your Ohio State hat.”
Hunter is right. Golovkin has proven himself to be a genuine star. He is the equivalency to a major sports team, and even if you’re not a diehard fan of Triple G as a fight fan you can’t miss a major event involving such a big time star.
Regardless of whether or not you agree with Hunter, you can’t argue his status as a real fight fan. He understands the problems that real fight fans have with casuals.
“The only people who say that [they won’t watch the Golovkin PPV] are the people who are not really fight fans because the true fight fans realize they can tune into Telemundo, Azteca, and the [former] Friday Night Fights and see a fight. Real fight fans are going to watch fights. People who are not real fight fans, they’re not going to watch, or they’re not that enthused anyway.
“These are the people that you make a mistake of inviting over to your house to watch the fight, and you can’t even watch the preliminary fights. They’re only interested in the main event. They’re ‘event seekers’.”