This past weekend’s fight between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones JR. was perhaps the biggest boxing event of 2020. It was a scored exhibition match that ended in….. a Draw!
What else could it have been? Need to keep those records clean for the LOL! Yes, the Legends Only League.
No sport does pre-event hype as well as boxing. Sure, the NFL has Super Bowl week, and the NBA All-Star weekend is usually beautifully done. I should say that no sport does its pre-event publicity in as interesting a fashion as boxing does.
Of course, an exception needs to be made for anything that features Connor McGregor.
From Floyd Mayweather’s money to every fight in a Rocky movie, the best boxers know how to play the audience. Both for the immediate event and the future.
Boxing is the ultimate star-driven business. The top PPV events of all-time overwhelmingly feature the biggest stars like Mayweather, Tyson, and McGregor. It makes sense. Boxing doesn’t have well-defined leagues or even tournaments. It is the wild west of sports.
Matchups only occur when the money is right.
It isn’t even about the money being right. The money and the likely outcome have to be right. Boxers (promoters) have long understood that what happens in the current fight affects the payday for the next fights.
Maybe it is because of the individual combat nature of the sport that being undefeated is so important. The ideal boxing hero is invincible or the “baddest man on the planet.” A major element of fandom is that there is something aspirational. What is more aspirational than being the toughest man in the world?
Then we add conflict. Usually, it’s trash talk – the opposite of the football coach talking up the opponent. Batman needs the Joker. The Globetrotters need the Generals (I know they were missing for a while). Every hero needs a villain. There needs to be an external threat to reinforce a fan community – (Alabama v Auburn, Michigan v tOSU, etc.)
Having something aspirational and something to root against might be the key to ALL sports marketing and fandom. This might be the true brilliance of Floyd Mayweather. Think about the typical lead up to a Mayweather fight. Floyd Mayweather sitting at a table of cash being offensively superior. And then the actual fight happens. Guess what. Mayweather wins the fight by being more elusive than punishing. Not being the hero and not giving the fans the action they want.
He is the Joker with a 50-0 record.
I can’t decide who is the GOAT of sports marketing. I’ve always thought Jordan. But maybe it is Mayweather.
Tyson is up there as well.
I think the LOL is Tyson’s third act. I’m intrigued to watch it play out.
The idea of the promotion is a senior league for the legends of boxing.
On the plus side – he can pull in genuine stars. He can bring in folks with track records of the biggest PPV events of all-time.
Some likely names and ages.
Mayweather is 43.
Holyfield is 58.
Pacquiao is 41.
De La Hoya is 47.
Unfortunately, George Foreman is 71.
The demonstrated Pay-per-View success of the seniors blows away the current stars.
The danger, for the sport, is if the LOL crowds out the current stars.
A final example of the beauty of boxing promotion. From the CNN preview article
“Despite the isolation and tribulations COVID-19 has caused, Tyson and Jones Jr. have shown us that when a person embraces a positive mental outlook, turns on his or her positive mental switch, all challenges can be overcome which is why we have created a one of a kind commemorative belt created specifically for the occasion,” WBC President Mauricio Sulaimán
The fight was to help society overcome COVID19. The perfect final touch.
Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.
Mike Lewis 0:17
Okay, welcome, everyone. Welcome to the Fanalytics podcast brought to you by the Emory Marketing Analytics Center. Much more content is always located at fandom analytics.com. My name is Mike Lewis and I am joined by Doug Battle. How are you today? Doug? How is you are? How was your holiday? your holiday part one?
Doug Battle 0:39
Yeah, it was good. Mike. First off, my New York Giants sitting at number one in the NFC East after Thanksgiving weekend, cowboys took a very impressive four and seven. So they got that 36% winning percentage. And they are looking at a home playoff game. If they can stay in the spot they're in so just phenomenal. Especially without Saquan Barkley, and Daniel Jones getting hurt as well. So we got the Giants doing that. Georgia Bulldogs got another picked up another w that was expected. But you know, it was a revenge game for Georgia. So good week for my teams. And then for sports as a whole... Not too many shut downs this week, obviously got a little Ohio State situation. Florida State continues their issues with COVID. But as a whole, you know, we're still getting lots of football, basketballs on the brink college basketball that snuck up boss that just came out of nowhere. My family pulls for Virginia. So they had a disappointing, upset last open the season. I know Kentucky was upset yesterday as well. So we got some some mid majors making noise early in college basketball season. It's honestly just nice to have it back after losing March Madness.
Mike Lewis 1:57
Okay, so you know, we've talked a little bit about this. My favorite two leagues probably in in the fall season of football are the big 10 and the NFC East. I think you said it all with the NFC East. Yeah. The big 10 there's some great storylines there. I mean, you know, Ohio State, refusing to play the line Iyou know, sort of just waving that waving that probable probable defeat, sets them up for a really strange situation, potentially, if and I don't know, you know, it's like Jim Harbaugh has obviously struggled at Michigan, and I don't know how hot that seat is, you know, maybe it has nothing to do with Harbaugh's buyout. But harbach could potentially Michigan is actually in a position to keep Ohio State out of the college football playoff. If they can simply not play the game.
Doug Battle 2:58
It's it's a dream scenario for Michigan because they have no chance of beating Ohio State and everyone knows that. But it's the first time in Harbaugh's tenure, where they can actually not win by losing but win by not playing in a win win for Michigan in this sense. Is Ohio State not making the playoffs? Not making the conference championship. And so yeah, I think that's I think Michigan has no incentive to play that game.
Mike Lewis 3:25
Yeah, no, every incentive not to it is um,you know, it doesn't seem like it's that big of a story, which is a little bit strange, given how big of a story COVID is in all aspects of life. But it does seem to be really taking a bite in terms of sports, you know, the, like the Steelers are playing, you know, well, when this airs, they will have played the Ravens last night. I think the Ravens are kind of decimated by COVID set outs.
We've got all sorts of COVID issues throughout the world sports, but it seems like the adjustment is complete. It's not a story anymore. People are just going to keep moving forward.
Doug Battle 4:07
Yeah, Mike, I'm not gonna lie. That sentence kind of tripped me out a little bit. It's like we're in the movie tennis. I don't know if you've seen that yet. Phenomenal film. But talking about a game that happened tonight as fast though we haven't seen it yet. Yeah, Michigan State also another big 10 storyline, Michigan State with their second upset of the year upsetting Northwestern which is crazy that that's an upset but Northwestern was the favorite team and that one. So I personally is George fan. Michigan state's head coach used to be our DC dog fans love that guy. So it's always fun to see him get away and see a little little shake up in the big 10
Mike Lewis 4:50
what is the I'm gonna legitimately ask you what is the situation with the other college bowl games are all the bowl games playing this year. I mean have, you know, rubbing salt in the wound, but have the Georgia fans resigned themselves to playing? You know, somewhere in Florida on January 1, again, someone like Northwestern
Doug Battle 5:14
as far as I know, uh, well, I said, I started to say things haven't been canceled, there have been individual games that will be canceled, like on their own validity. So it's not something where like the NCAA decides, okay, no ballgames. But like, I know that the pinstripe bowl decided, you know, we're not doing it this year. So that these games, and I guess their sponsors are deciding to back off. So we'll see how it unfolds. But it's definitely not a widespread thing at this moment. There's certainly plans at the moment for bowl games beyond just the playoff. Honestly, I don't really care about bowl games beyond the playoff. And so like, I think fan interest is definitely down. And then it's even more down this year, with sports interest kind of been down as a whole, as we've seen, so we'll see what happens.
Mike Lewis 6:07
Well, in. It's a, I think he used the word, but it's definitely a word on my mind after this last weekend, and we'll sort of get to this topic in a little bit. But you know, that the bowl games are essentially exhibition games. Yeah, and exhibition games, you know, they've they historically, you know, look back in the day, it's all what college football was, right? It's sort of they were all exhibition games, but they had more of a, you know, a grand finale kind of feel, then when the college football playoff came in, I think all those other games sort of took a much larger step backwards. And so then the exhibition games have some they got some real value right there. There's still opportunities to build the program, few extra weeks of practice. And perhaps, you know, one of the other one of the other key elements to these, is this, this sports marketing one on one, right. So you know, you've got, you know, everything from the craft fight hunger bowl to, you know, every bowl has a corporate sponsor this, I believe every bowl still has a corporate sponsor. I don't know if the Rose Bowl actually added one. But these are opportunities for the teams to build their brands by putting their names out there for another, you know, three, three and a half hours and an opportunity for corporate America to attach itself to transfer some of the glow of college football to their, to their individual brands.
Doug Battle 7:37
Yeah, they they get to benefit from a free workforce. Yeah, that I think you summed it up nicely, by ballgames I personally think have more to do with the marketing side of sports branding. I do think it's good for colleges to build their programs. I know it's, it's viewed as a big win, you know, for recruiting standpoint to win your bowl game and kind of in the season on a win. Beyond that, though, the significance is is definitely highly questioned by many fans. Okay, so
Mike Lewis 8:10
two key stories get into the, to the heart of the episode here two key stories this weekend. One of which I hate in the other of which doesn't get any better for me, you know, being a guy that studies and is obsessed with fandom, the mike tyson Roy Jones fight and what is likely to come afterwards is you know, that's my sweet spot. Love that stuff. But before that story I hate and I'll explain why hate as I go on, as we go into it is the Vanderbilt football program. So the Vanderbilt football program, Vanderbilt had a kicker. Correct me on any of the details I get wrong. Sarah Fuller, the goalie on the soccer team. So COVID related absences. Sarah Fuller, tried out made the team became the kicker. And this was covered. As I look, I saw multiple people talk about it as this was a historical kind of breakthrough for the SEC. So she was the first female player. And this is where it gets a little This is starting to get into why kind of dislike the story. So that looking at the coverage, there have been a couple of other women that had played division one football, but she was our FBS, but she was the first one that had played in a power five conference. Right. So it's this kind of moving of the goalposts as it were to make this a historical first. what I hate about this story, well, let me ask you a question and then I'll tell you why. what I hate about the story, though, is probably pretty obvious. Do you want to talk about that? The story or do you feel like you got to tread carefully?
Doug Battle 10:04
definitely got to tread carefully in this day and age. I did watch the game that she was a part of. And so I do have my thoughts on Well, I like your part in the game and how it was covered. I mean, it certainly was. I personally felt like watching that game. The play for Vanderbilt play Missouri, and they lost by like 40 points. And I kind of felt like it took away it was almost as if nothing was discussed the entire game from a commentary standpoint, other than the fact that she might kick at some point. And there was a game going on. We're one team was destroying the other teams it was, it was a bit humorous. In my opinion, from that standpoint, we didn't really get to see her attempt to like a legitimate kick, like no pa T's no field goals. And the one kickoff was like a pooch kick that was apparently designed according to the head coach who's now been fired, by the way. Not not related to this, but purely because of the kind of career or I don't know, wins losses records over the years. So it was kind of like, I feel like everyone wanted to see her boom, it and just, you know, see if she could kick it through an end zone or to the end zone or whatnot, or kick a 40 yard field goal, and didn't come close to that. So it was very anticlimactic build up.
Mike Lewis 11:29
Yeah. Well, and I think that, you know, like, I can hear the trepidation in your voice. And I think this is, this is what I hate about the story is that there is this feeling towards it. And this is the problem with any kind of politics entering into sports. That, okay, in some ways, it's like love to debate politics, and historically love to debate different, different issues. But in the current era, this becomes almost a dangerous conversation. And so what I want to talk about is sort of this the issue of these dangerous kind of conversations around sports, you got the feeling very quickly that this was a historical breakthrough, feel good inspirational story. And that was the only opinion that was going to be there was going to be tolerated. And in fact, I saw some stuff that the SEC saw reports, and I don't have first hand knowledge of this, and then spent a lot of time on Twitter, that the SEC was essentially blanking out any comments that were critical of the event. And so you've got this very strange situation where something happens, it's of incredible interest, right? I mean, it was the story of college football. And a good part of the conversation is shut down because it doesn't fit the narrative, or it doesn't fit almost the marketing story that that people wanted to put out there. And I think that is a that's a very bad sign for it's a very bad sign for sports or for commentary, or any of this type of discussions we have about the role of sports in, in culture, you know, so an inspirational story. And by that I mean that, you know, a story that captured a lot of folks imaginations. Absolutely. I mean, you can see very real emotion on people, you know, the few people in the stands and I think they're the emotions of for a lot of the commentators were entirely real. But it did feel a lot like a forced narrative and where dissent was not and this is, again, this is why I find the whole conversations so frustrating. The fact that I just said descent, about a college football kicker, probably sums up everything that's crazy with present day with present day media.
Doug Battle 14:09
Yeah, I certainly enjoyed Twitter on Saturday keeping up with it, especially when, when she did have that pooch kick because there were people that thought that she was trying to zoom in on that one and just whiffed on it. And then there were her defenders and people acting like it was the best kick that had ever happened. I think the reason why the SEC censored some things, it's because they knew that there would be comments that were rooted in certain stances that aren't tolerated and I think from as a brand and you know, how they want to portray their fan but fandoms and, you know, I think it's a business move for them. I really do. With that said, I certainly understand criticisms of, I guess the situation. Vanderbilt was in They were they were at that point. I mean, I, Derrick Mason after the game, I watched this postgame interview, which is like when do I ever watch a postgame Vanderbilt interview when there's a girl kicker. So like you said, like this is something that generated a lot of interest. And he, in his words, she was their best option, given the fact that they had several guys out due to COVID due to injury. And he didn't speak as though, you know, she was not limited. He kind of spoke as it like, they asked him why she did the pooch, kick. And he said, we wanted to do something we knew she could do, essentially. And so, you know, looking at it that way, I I can understand the theory that oh, this was a you know, a PR move or you know, them just trying to get Pat's on the back for for bmpcc. But also can understand the fact that I mean, you got a six foot two kicker, that is clearly a competitor. And she pretty much was holding it down while they have some guys out. And I think it did make for a nice storyline for soccer players and girls who maybe felt that they never could compete at that level. And maybe they won't, you know, I don't really see it becoming a regular thing like this is breaking a barrier, you know, like becoming the first black running back in the NFL. But I do think it, you know, it made for a great sports story that generated a lot of interest. And for ESPN, that's a win. I think it's a win for Vanderbilt, given that they lost the game by so much they got something that generated positive view of the program. And it's just a really interesting story. That Yeah, if definitely felt overblown, while watching the game, given that there were a lot of other things happening, that we're not being covered. But I can't be critical, the young lady who's who's clearly a competitor, and just had an opportunity to go out there and and try to be a college kicker, and you know, did her best. So Well,
Mike Lewis 17:02
I think that's the nice summary and a lot of ways because you're right there, there's no criticism directed at Sarah Fuller, she had an opportunity to do something really interesting. And she did it. You know, I did the coaching decision of starting, you know, being down a lot of points and trying to pin the opponent at the 35 yard line might be a little bit questionable. But if there is indeed the call, she executed very well. Right. There is a lot of weirdness to the story. And then I think I saw a comment that she's gonna stick with the football team. I don't know how many games they have left.
Doug Battle 17:41
Well, I will say this they do they do play Georgia this okay.
Mike Lewis 17:45
So she had Well, there's probably not gonna be doing a lot of kicking off in that one either. But so she has stuck with the team longer than the the the coach that they brought her in. I think where people get into trouble, right is you know, and look, maybe she was the best one to, to show up at the tryouts. But, you know, in the present day and age, I think a lot of people could, you know, rightly question that because it really did feel a little bit like a publicity stunt. Look, Vanderbilt football got a lot more coverage on Saturday than they've gotten for the entire year. There, there's a long history of, you know, and again, like I said, I'm gonna say this over and over again, I hate this story. Because it feels like you're about to touch a live wire and have real trouble, the words are gonna be taken out of context separated. But, you know, sports, the sports world has long loved kind of the novelty act, right. And so you can imagine that that word that she's not a novelty, she's a competitor, they were really kind of upset, but but something designed to attract publicity. Very often. And look, you go down through the ages, I grew up in Chicago, where the White Sox Bill veck was known for this stuff of, you know, putting the I was gonna say, I don't even know what the right word is. Someone with a greatly reduced strike zone, right. He was known for this or I, you know, it was just the way that almost the carnival Carnival atmosphere of sports. Now, the other story and this one I love over the weekend, was the fight between Roy Jones Jr. 51 years of age. And Mike Tyson at 54 years of age, that included everything, including Snoop Dogg doing color commentary. And I think, what was the I'll referred I'll, I'll let you know give you a second. In here, what was the fight with some social media guy that was on the undercard?
Doug Battle 20:07
Oh, Mike. That that was the talk of all of social media and even sports this weekend. Jake Paul versus Nate Robinson, the former NBA slam dunk competitor and winner. Okay,
Mike Lewis 20:22
let me ask you interjected question so and then you can tell me who this Paul guy is. So my I should care. Why is Nate Robinson boxing? A social media personnel I never
Doug Battle 20:35
I never read up
Unknown Speaker 20:37
Doug Battle 20:38
undiscovered examine exactly why he was out there, I have no idea why he decided to do this, to me, is just the dumbest decision. Because now I truly think because of the means and all that is has become that fight that when people hear Nate Robinson, they're gonna think of him laying on the ground, with his face to the ground, like a loser. And when I think of Nate Robinson as a basketball fan, I think of a five foot eight guy that went in the NBA and took over games to cover playoff games even. So I don't think it was a great thing for Nate's legacy. And I'm not sure exactly what he was thinking, getting himself into that situation.
Mike Lewis 21:15
Okay. But back to this. What I found myself thinking about with the Tyson Jones fight, and what legacy alluding to, what may come after is who is the greatest? Who is the sports marketing goat. Right, Jordan? Okay, Michael Jordan, and that is, you know, the name that comes to my mind. But as I'm watching this, as I'm watching the everything surrounding this fight, you know, makes me think that in some ways, boxing does hype better than anyone else. And made me you know, give me some thoughts about who is the goat Jordan is obviously up there. But how about a different name? How about Floyd Money Mayweather as the greatest sports marketer of all time?
Doug Battle 22:12
Wow. And it's definitely driven some he's driven some interest in some event, some events that did not live up to expectations.
Mike Lewis 22:21
Well, and I'll put a picture of it out there on the on the website for the little article to go along with this episode. But to me, the classic thing in boxing with Mayweather is in the pre fight hype, you know, he's gonna get out every Rolls Royce that he owns, it's gonna sit down at a table full of cash, he's going to have, you know, it's like, right out of a rocky movie, right? He's gonna have solid gold fountains and anything he can think of right? He's gonna put it out there, put it in people's face that he has, he has more than you do. He has more than everyone has. And then he's going to show up to the fight in the fight is going to be boring as all hell for the vast majority of the audience, right? It's like and not only that he's going to get so people so wound up that they're going to set records. If you look at the top pay per view events of all time. Well, there are three names that really dominate it, but there is one name that is head and shoulders. It's you know, Mayweather, Mayweather, Mayweather. He's gonna, you know, people are going to show up to the pay per view. And like I said, it's going to be a boring fight. He's not going to let the other guy hit him. And then 910 rounds into it when the opponent is tired or maybe goes to distance. He's going to win on points. And so in some ways, he's, you know, he retired 50, you know, largely recognized was the greatest boxer or one of the greatest boxers of all time, infuriating to fans and a personality that sets people off. It's as if the Joker went undefeated in his career against Batman. Right?
Doug Battle 24:05
Yeah, I think that's a great way of putting it like Mayweather I don't know anybody that's ever enjoyed watching Floyd Mayweather fight adult. Maybe that's because the casual boxing fans only watch those those big pay per view events where it's Pacquiao Mayweather, Mayweather McGregor, but nobody watches a boxing event to watch someone dodge punches for 10 rounds, and then went on technicalities. So he often is I think people watch him in hopes of seeing him get knocked out because of how he portrays himself and how he is undefeated in spite of the fact that he wouldn't I've watched him rarely gets a knock down or anything of that nature. And so yeah, it's it is like the Joker beating Batman 50 and oh, and If he comes back and finds another one people are going to see, you know, can he drop to 50 and one, so he drives a lot of interest or someone that that people don't necessarily enjoy watching.
Mike Lewis 25:10
Okay, so this is what I love about the Tyson Jones fight. And there's a website out there and I think there's a business plan in motion for something called the legends only league. And so the idea and it might even be called Mike Tyson's legend only league that the idea would be that they would essentially do these kind of fights on a regular basis, Tyson versus Jones and you know, as just the very beginning of it. The other thing I love about boxing, right is I think Tyson visually and you got to be careful visually, Tyson won the fight. And by visually I mean, you know, Tyson was more of the aggressor. And so if you know it, when fans are watching this rather than than watching as a, when you're watching as a fan, rather than watching as a judge, the aggressor gets more credit, which makes in some sense.
Doug Battle 26:09
But it was a split is why people often feel that Mayweather wrongfully one. Absolutely.
Mike Lewis 26:14
Absolutely. And but this is, but the fight, in some ways could only have ended in the draw that it ended in, right. Because if you're running a boxing promotion, you're not just thinking about the current fight. Right? You have to think about fight to fight three, you have to keep going down the road. And there's nothing better than an undefeated boxer in terms of, you know, building hype, right. It's one of the things I love about boxing, and especially in the in the context of fandom, right, we just mentioned part of it, right, this idea of like heroes versus villains. It's also this nature of something aspirational. And, you know, Tyson was beloved as the baddest man on the planet. And part of that, a lore, he's, he sort of has to maintain being he has to maintain that perfect record, right? This beast that everyone kind of aspires to, and who doesn't want to be the baddest man on the planet? Right? And so you've got this kind of this, this need to protect the records because the records influence subsequent demand. And so Roy Jones, Jr. Mike Tyson, guess what? It's an it's an exhibition, but they're both undefeated.
Doug Battle 27:29
Yeah, that's a great point, Mike. I definitely know. Like, I remember seeing Pacquiao lose to Mayweather and then after that, when Pacquiao was fighting, like being half as interested in it, just because I'd seen him lose before. And it was like, you know, you're not watching the goat at that point. And so yeah, I think it's interesting. Another interesting thing about this whole storyline, and especially the Jake Paul, fight against Nate Robinson, is the fact that there's probably 1000 boxers in the world that would absolutely destroy, like Mike Tyson, at this point in his career, or after his career, guys who are in their prime, and yet they generate not a 10th as much interest as Mike Tyson. And then on the flip side, I are I guess, taking that even further, Jake, Paul verse, Nate Robinson is all I have heard about on social media, from people my age, my demographic, as if that's the biggest fight that has happened in the last 50 years, it has been talked about so much, and there have been so many means and so many videos, just so much content related to that fight. It's amateur boxing, it's not professional boxers. And so it's it's just showcasing how important brands are because people would rather watch two big brands that aren't good boxers fight one another, and two great boxers who aren't big brands.
Mike Lewis 29:01
Okay, so that I think that is spot on. And in fact, one of the things I had done in my show prep here was pulled some ages have sort of the the biggest brand name boxers. You know, I referenced it a minute ago in terms of if you look at the historical pay per view results in terms of what what who's really driven the business. You see a lot of Mayweather you see a lot of Tyson you see some hollyfield one of my favorite names and all this, you see a lot of Conor McGregor and McGregor is actually best moments are I mean, look there. McGregor is a pay per view beast. It's kind of amazing how dominant he is in that. But you know, his biggest pay per view event was an exhibition against Mayweather. I think that's the second biggest event of all time, Manny Pacquiao also on that list frequently now This is kind of key right that the Tyson's business plan. Look, I'll give you some names and I'll give you some ages. Holyfield is 58. Can he come back to the legends only league?
Doug Battle 30:15
I seen him in. I've seen him in person and he certainly can.
Mike Lewis 30:19
Yeah. Pacquiao is 41. Mayweather is 43. Oscar dela Hoya is 47. Now unfortunately, George Foreman is 71. But these are major. These are bigger boxing brands than the current map any out there, right? Yeah, well, yeah. And so I pulled up the pound per pound rankings, and this is from CBS Sports. And they got canillo Alvarez, who is I think the media star in that league with a lot of and it's kind of an interesting one. Alvarez is a Mexican boxer. And so a lot of his appeal is, is segment based in terms of, you know, the Hispanic population in the US and in Mexico, some of the other names on this and look at the guy that I think is the best boxer out there. Vasily loman chenko he can't pull off a pay per view. He can't you know, he can't drive the revenue like, these are like you said it yourself. He has Tyson many people cannot box Tyson at age 54. But Tyson can put more butts in seats, or more, you know, pay per view buys than almost anyone on this list. One of the names that's looking at this pound per pound list is Tyson fury. Current heavy and it you know, it gets so confusing with how many championships are out there, but one of the current heavyweight championships. I think he's 610, Englishman, you know, may have maybe starting to grow some real appeal, right? The being a heavyweight is always going to be helpful in terms of capturing the public interest.
Doug Battle 32:01
Yeah, looping back to what you were talking about earlier with undefeated and how valuable that is for boxers. I know Deontay Wilder out of he's, he's from my home state of Alabama. And I watched him a few times as he was building his brand. And they would put him in the ring with these guys that had no business even being in a boxing ring. You look at the guy, and you would say, Oh, my gosh, what is this guy? You know, it's like if you put your me out there, and in the ring with LeBron James, or something like that, like as far as the caliber of athlete. Yet he built this ridiculous undefeated record that generated a lot of buzz when he started fighting bigger names, because it was like, wow, this guy's undefeated. But in my opinion, they can they can kind of build that brand, not by fraud. I mean, he's he's undefeated, and who knows how he would have performed a bet against some better fighters. But you can build a pretty nice record that that gets you some clout, as the kids say, without facing any kind of real challenge.
Mike Lewis 33:10
So you know, it's interesting, because, you know, I just pulled up Wilders record and he some 40 to one and one. And so it does highlight how quickly the glow can come off of some of these individuals. I think you're you're capturing one of the really kind of interesting things about boxing as a sport, right that there isn't. Tampa Bay had to play Kansas City this past weekend, right? It's not like you could hold. It's not like you could hold mahomes and Brady back and sort of build the resumes to set up a massive pay per view event, right? It's
Doug Battle 33:47
Yeah, you can't play Kansas City against Alabama a&m, and Tampa Bay against Middle Tennessee State to go undefeated.
Mike Lewis 33:57
Right. But that's what they do in boxing and then you realize that you've got that people really aren't even in the same league, right? That it's, they're different promoters, and they have their families and their stables of boxers. And they view this is probably a portfolio of brands. And so the the crossing of lines only happens when everything is right. I mean, you think about it, it's almost like if you had two sports agents, one has fury as their client, the other has Wilder is their client. They need that matchup to be correct because that they essentially have to make a lifetime worth of dollars in their one fight because otherwise, you know, one of those guys is going to come out of that with a damaged asset with you know, far lesser earning potential going forward. Now, I will say this that the one thing in boxing that is probably even better than maintaining an undefeated record though is when you can set up the three fight sequence, right? So if you got two guys with tremendous credibility, one loss, you know, draw in there he sort of setting up the rubber match. That's probably the are your best case scenario?
Doug Battle 35:15
Yeah, absolutely. So moving forward with with boxing leagues, what do you think? Why do you think we're going to see more? Obviously this legends league is coming along. But as far as celebrities and seeing the success of Jake Paul vers Nate Robinson had, I mean, do you think we're gonna be seeing Justin Bieber versus Zac Efron in the ring? And in the coming years for millions of dollars in generating lots of pay per view, purely because of the brand names? Do you think that's something or somewhere that we're boxing is is moving and maybe diluting the true sport? In a sense? Unfortunately, I
Mike Lewis 35:57
think that's probably that's probably true. Um, yeah, look, I, I could imagine the you know, so we just, we just think about this, right? So you could form one pay per view card with Canella. Alvarez. And you know, maybe you can get Triple G to come back and sort of one more go around. flesh out that card with a, you know, let's say another guy in the top 10 pound per pound list is how is that going to sell compared to a car that has Tyson Holyfield at the top of the card has? We can all hear Conor McGregor, I mean, McGregor still kind of young, but in terms of some of this kind of novelty act, put Conor McGregor on that against Manny Pacquiao. And then add a couple of social media or one of these What are they the Paul boys Logan Paul. Okay. So add one of those Paul boys up against some other social media celebrity. I don't think there's any doubt which card is going to dominate in terms of the sales. So it's, yeah, it's it's unfortunate. And it's tough. I mean, but you could definitely imagine a scenario where the senior League has more brand power than the regular league. Now, that being said, there is a question of where out. I don't know how many times your generation wants to see. I mean, maybe they're setting up. I think you said they're their brothers. Is there any chance of Jake Paul could fight Logan Paul?
Doug Battle 37:31
Yeah, that's already been discussed. Also, Jake Paul, publicly challenged Conor McGregor after beating Nate Robinson, which is hilarious to me. Because that's quite a step up for him. But yeah, I think we'll see more him in the ring. Whether it's it gets his brother against someone like Conor McGregor, so the natural boxer. So we'll see. But yeah, I mean, it's one of those things where it feels at this point inevitable. And so I think the league's are going to have to adapt to it. And whoever adapts best is going to succeed because you could imagine if you're trying to build a big brand, for a modern day boxer, who's a phenomenal boxer who does not have the brand power of Jake fall or whatnot. If you put Jake Paul against whatever other celebrity or Semi Pro fighter or whatnot, as a lead up to your big match between two great boxers, that maybe you're still building brands that you're trying to get eyeballs in front of it, I guess dazzle fans with with their performances and build their brands that way, once you got their eyeballs on the screen,
Mike Lewis 38:42
it there is a question and all this in terms of like how much stupid is you know, when does the stupid stop being intriguing and just become flat out stupid and kind of like demand? You know, like, and again, you know, forgive me, is it? Logan Paul or Jake Paul? That's the fighter. Are they both fighters?
Doug Battle 39:01
Mike Lewis 39:03
So Jake Paul versus Conor McGregor? You know, be careful what you ask for. Right? Oh, yeah. You know, the good way to get legitimately legitimately hurt, right? Yeah. And sort of just a matter of what McGregor wants to do to him. Like I remember back in the end, look, this is this is something that has always been prevalent in combat sports, always this kind of level of silliness. I mean, there you can go back to an exhibition between Muhammad Ali and I think it was a Japanese Judo master where the Japanese Judo master fought the entire bow sort of on his back almost in some weird sort of crab like pose. You know, in art, imitates real life you've got you know, Hulk Hogan, fighting Rocky Balboa in Rocky three. I remember a few years ago, when there was Whether it was Ronda Rousey publicly challenging Mayweather for a buck for for for some sort of fight I assume she wanted to do though. Yeah. And so it is always that, you know boxing needs to maintain something so it doesn't become professional wrestling.
Doug Battle 40:22
Yeah, I think so. Hey, you mentioning Rocky Balboa made me think are we going to see Sylvester Stallone in the ring again, in a real boxing match against some other celebrity or some old boxer guy? I want to be shocked.
Mike Lewis 40:38
Um, how about Balboa versus dinero as part of the legends only league right? Why not?
Doug Battle 40:43
Yeah, yeah, I think I think that would I think it'd be a one time thing like there is a certain element where it's it's a bit of a fad. But hey, one time make a buck. You know, a couple million bucks. I think. I think a lot of people would be in on that. Yeah.
Mike Lewis 41:01
Okay. So as we move towards the end of today, anything you're looking forward to in the next week a sports man, I'm
Doug Battle 41:08
excited for college basketball to be back. We're slowly getting closer to the NBA season returning which is weird to say. It's weird just to think about the fact that we're normally in in mid swing of NBA season. And college basketball and college football. We're normally playing conference championship games this week coming up? well as some teams I was watching a PAC 12 game and both teams had only played two games so far this season. So they're just kind of starting their season of I'm interested to see what happens with Ohio State, whether they get enough games in to make their conference championship and what the playoff implications are there with so many undefeated teams. I'm going to the Georgia Vanderbilt game I'll be interested to see obviously see if they get in a field goal position if they attempt something with blanking on her name, but I honestly think if she went and boomed if she went and boomed a 40 yard field goal, I think the Georgia crowd would go nuts. Just because it would be awesome to see. But actually, I don't foresee that happening either. I just don't have the
Mike Lewis 42:15
watch. Would they go nuts if it was to end the game?
Doug Battle 42:20
No. That would make people sick. make people sick. But it's hard to imagine that being the case. Having watched both teams play this last weekend.
Mike Lewis 42:32
Okay, well, you know what I'm gonna I'm I'm almost at a loss at this point. I find myself thinking more. Just as we started the show thinking more about COVID and some of the strangeness of depleted and rosters out there. I think, you know, California the bay area has shut down all contact sporting events, which leaves the 40 Niners in a strange place. So I'm, you know, I'm interested in almost just sort of an observer now, looking at how the next couple of weeks are going to play out. Following Thanksgiving. Are we going to see a COVID spike and so we're coming up at a very interesting time. playoff run for the NFL, the start of college basketball, the end of the college football season? And you know, are we going to reach something you know, the the COVID induced shakiness How is that going to play out? Okay, so, as always, everyone a lot more content ad fandom analytics.com. And as they were, they always say hit the like and subscribe button please on the podcast.
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