For some strange reason it is only in football where the resale of tickets for profit is illegal.
So let’s put this another way.
Someone who has no interest in boxing whatsoever has every right to buy as many tickets for a fight they don’t want to go to that will no doubt sell out so that they can sell them on at an extortionate price.
Now one point of view is that this creates opportunities for people who struggle to make money anywhere else to earn a living and it’s a very valid point but unfortunately they are making money at the expense of someone else. Where a fair price for a show may have been £30 for an average seat, a tout would usually buy at least 10 of these tickets and then sell them on for up to 10 times their face value.
Many boxing fans do not come from privileged backgrounds or are in a position to pay above the odds when it comes to entertainment. So when a loyal fan who regularly spends his hard earned money on shows, television coverage, pay-per-views etc it seems only fair that when a big fight comes around like Froch vs Groves 2 did in May this year that they be able to get their hands on one of 80,000 tickets at their face value.
This was not the case. Many ticket resale sights were already advertising tickets for 3 to 5 times their face value before they had even gone on public sale meaning that they were effectively selling a product they didn’t even have yet.
The when they did go on sale within an hour every ticket had gone whilst the regular punters who were more than likely at work at 12 noon when they went on sale were left wondering how they can get a ticket.
I was fortunate enough to be on night shift and battled the web queues in order to get 3 tickets for the group I went with. Some of my friends who are lifelong boxing fans who weren’t willing to miss a world title fight at the national stadium paid in excess of £150 for tickets that were originally £25.
There was a public out-roar on social media sites such as twitter and Facebook with people blaming the promoter. Unfortunately the blame really lies with the people willing to pay above the odds as it encourages ticket touts to go out and do it again.
As the opening statement says it is not illegal to re-sell tickets for profit at any events in the UK other than football.
In the aftermath of the complaints about the ticket availability for Froch Groves 2, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom sport introduced Matchroom Fightpass for his customers. For £29.95 a year you get 10 exclusive live streamed shows online, a Matchroom t-shirt, access to the Matchroom online video archive, other extras like downloadable wallpapers and most importantly priority ticketing for all Matchroom shows. This one-off fee could be less than the extra you would have to pay a tout for a ticket on top of the face value.
I hope that all boxing promoters take a look at the situation and do something similar to reward their loyal fans.
But more importantly I want the UK government to recognize that ticket touting is unfair and unjust and should be illegal at all events and not just football.
If you do find yourself missing the initial sale of tickets and you don’t want to miss the fight I encourage you all to buy resale tickets from third-party websites that have a face value policy only so you don’t get ripped off and you don’t encourage those who are already trying to rip someone else off.
You can always invite your mates around and watch it on the television where you get the benefits of replays, better views and cheaper beer!
Check out this group of Filipino nannies who rallied round to watch Pacquiao pick up the win last weekend.
Success breeds success. It’s not just a saying. It shows. Just look at Gallaghers Gym in Bolton and there long running successful stable of British, Commonwealth, interim, international and world champions.
In the United Kingdom over recent years we have had a flourish in lightweight talent. Amir Khan came back from his unexpected knockout loss to Breidis Prescott by 2 fights later winning a world title at Lightweight. Continue reading →
Who is to blame for the current state of ‘World Title Boxing’.
Week in and week out I am asked the same questions ‘When is Froch going to fight Ward again?’, ‘When is Mayweather gonna fight Pacman’ or even more in the UK when will ‘Frampton and Quigg sit down and agree to fight each other’. My answer is always the same.
‘I just can’t see it happening’.
It is a real shame when I think about the fights we miss and the fights which happen after the fighters have passed there primes. But I put the question to you.
Who is to blame?
I think nearly every fighter wants to be the best some accept the level they are and avoid people who will best them openly and honestly and I admire their bravery in that. Darren Barker once said the only way he would get in a ring with Golovkin is with a baseball bat.
I can’t argue with that either.
So do Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather want to fight each other?
I believe so. Just for financial reasons alone they would be mad not to.
There are a hundred reasons that this fight hasn’t materialised while both fighters were in their primes and now if it does happen there will still be the question of what if it happened in 2009 or 2010 etc….
Have your say…
So who are the leading contenders to shoulder the blame?
In the USA the leading sports networks try to sign the top fighters into multi fight contracts for example Floyd Mayweather had a multi million dollar 6 fight deal which still has 2 fights left on it. So when a fight isn’t mandatory and therefore doesn’t go to a purse bid like Pacquiou vs Mayweather wouldn’t one broadcaster or another would have to give up their rights to show the fight and its lucrative undercard.
In the UK our 2 main broadcasters for boxing are tied in with promoters leaving it to them to decide whether to allow their fighters to fight on each others shows or not.
In America the biggest reason for top fights not taking place in the last few years is the feud between the top 2 promoters. Between light-welter and middleweight there is a long list of potential mouth watering matchups that we have missed out on.
In the UK due to Matchroom Sport having an exclusive contract with SkySports, other promoters either have to deal with Matchroom to fet their fighters on Sky or go their own way to get exposure for their fighters. This has lead Frank Warren Promotions to start their own television station in the form of BoxNation TV.
Terrestrial TV station Channel 5 also now shows some boxing cards usually promoted by Hennessey Sports. I believe the situation is better in the UK with promoters allowing fighters to fight on each others cards in able to compete for titles or to get regular fights.
One reason the ‘super fights’ aren’t happening is the ranking systems used by the top 4 governing bodies. IBF, WBC, WBO & WBA. Often domestic fighters and B level fighters are put in the top 10 rankings by governing bodies giving them a good chance at getting a world title shot. This often leads to mismatched one sided matches which are not value for money for the paying fans.
Another question im often asked is ‘Why are there so many titles’.
I really can’t begin to answer. With regular and super world champions as well as interim, silver, international etc I can only think that the governing bodies are creating more titles in order to charge more fees to sanction bouts.
What I think would create the most revenue for everyone involved in the sport is 50/50 fights.
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao would sell out any venue almost instantly and will double the ppv records in my opinion. The money would be rediculous. There would likely be enough for both fighters to have their biggest pay day by far as well as the relevant governing bodies, promoters and tv companies getting their huge cut.
This would also bring new fans to the sport increasing revenue for future events.
Froch vs Groves 2 is the perfect example. The fight the people wanted happened and it sold 60,000 tickets in less than an hour and then sold another 20,000 even faster and now Wembley Stadium want to hold 2 more boxing events in 2015.