Amazon’s Prime Video era in boxing has begun

By Mauricio Sulaimán
Son of José Sulaimán / WBC President

This past weekend, the first boxing card broadcast by Amazon and its Prime Video platform took place.

Spectacular boxing card unlike anything seen in a long time. My memories took me to that golden era when Don King created wondrous galas, with three, four, and even five world championship fights on the same card. Very similar last Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena, and the World Boxing Council was present with three memorable battles. A thrilling crescendo.

Our flyweight world champion, Julio César “Rey” Martínez, retained his championship for the seventh time, against a Venezuelan warrior, Angelino Córdova, who sold the defeat dearly, since this was by majority decision, where two judges scored 114-112, and the other 113-113. It was a close, nonstop action, and dramatic fight. Martinez scored two knockdowns in the third round, which at the end proved to be the difference to allow him to retain his green and gold belt.

Another spectacular battle was the interim super welterweight championship in which the Ukrainian Serhii Bohachuk won in a slugfest with iron jawed former monarch Brian Mendoza. It went to a 12-round decision and Bohachuk won unanimously. This victory will bring a beacon of encouragement to that country, which is suffering from the war with the Russian invasion, which over the course of two long years, has killed countless innocent people.

Ukrainian boxing will be on the worldwide scene as Vasiliy Lomachenko will travel to Australia to face George Kambosos Jr., Oleksandr Usyk will fight WBC champion Tyson Fury in Saudi Arabia, and Oleksandr Gvozdyk will do so against David Benavidez in the U.S.A. Will this victory by Bohachuk inspire his countrymen in their respective fights?

Back to last Saturday night. In addition, two more world championship fights. Erislandy Lara won by knockout against the official challenger. Nobody can explain how Michael Zerafa was the mandatory challenger. He was knocked out in just two rounds by Cuban Lara.

Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz swarmed, overwhelmed, and knocked out Rolly Romero, who had tried to ridicule him with insults during the months prior to the fight. Champion Rolly Romero made fun of the Mexican, who was simply smiling and tersely advising him: “We will talk in the ring.” Romero even called Cruz a Chihuahua dog. The eventual tale was very different.

Well, Pitbull won categorically and in a spectacular manner, electrifying the fans. This fight reminded me of one of Julio César Chávez, when Edwin Rosario insulted him and J.C. demolished him, or that great one when Salvador Sánchez did his thing against the loquacious Wilfredo Gómez. Mexico has a hero in the making who made a resounding statement, winning an all-out battle against a brave Romero.

The main fight was one of the most dramatic and bloody fights ever seen for many. Australian Tim Tzsyu, son of the legendary champion Kostya Tszyu, faced the former Interim champion, Sebastián Fundora, known as “The Towering Inferno,” since he is 1.98 meters tall!

Tszyu started strong, but at the end of the second round, an accidental clash of his head against Fundora’s elbow opened one unusual and one of the strangest cuts ever seen, as the jagged divot ripped deep into his hairline and he bled profusely throughout the fight. All the rounds were close and the drama of Tim’s blood faucet, plus Sebastian’s constant nosebleed, had the audience perched on the edge of their seats until the final bell. Sebastián won a split decision before a sold-out crowd at the T-Mobile Arena. Sebastian and Tim must be praised by the world of sports as their determination, courage, and valiant efforts to win the fight are humbling to all.

I wish to congratulate the Nevada State Athletic Commission and its chief doctor, as well as referee Harvey Dock, as they allowed the fight to continue, making a memorable event to all. The cut was consistently monitored, and the assessment was always there. Congratulations to these two warriors of the ring, there will certainly be great interest for this fight to take place again.

Now Amazon becomes one of the platinum platforms on which boxing will be shown with highly important events, since PBC has a large number of elite champions and interesting match ups in a star-studded calendar for the rest of 2024.

The history of boxing is closely linked to television companies. Boxing went from thousands of fans in arenas and stadiums to millions on television, and has generated global audience records over the years.

In the United States, the ABC, CBS, and NBC networks broadcast Muhammad Ali’s big fights in the 70s, as well as many of the great stars from those years who fought in the free television stations. Then HBO arrived, becoming the King of Boxing for decades, as this cable tv company aired so many legendary fights, and Showtime also established itself as a world power, also on cable, and went toe-to-toe with HBO for many years. There was always ESPN, which remains one of the leading networks, along with ESPN+.

In Mexico, Televisa has had its traditional Saturday show from the Arena Coliseo for 47 years without interruption. In 2006, Televisión Azteca began broadcasting and established itself as La Casa del Boxeo.

Currently there are many networks that show boxing in their respective countries, and the leaders that hold the reins worldwide are: ESPN, DAZN and now the mega platform Amazon, with Prime Video.

DID YOU KNOW…?

HBO was an ordinary cable network when open television dominated the world with free programming. It was boxing that propelled it from 10,000 subscribers to hundreds of thousands, having broadcast the legendary fight between George Foreman and Joe Frazier from Caracas, Venezuela as Foreman knocked out Frazier with seven knockdowns in just two rounds.

TODAY’S ANECDOTE

My dad was always a visionary throughout his life, and that led him to lead, with the World Boxing Council, the change and adaptation of multiple rules and programs to make boxing safer, global, competitive, and entertaining.

One of his last dreams was stymied due to lack of technology, when he wanted to implement the creation of a platform where promoters could broadcast their boxing performances through what is now known as Internet streaming. This concept and pilot program was presented to all the promoters about 13 years ago, without finding anyone interested in it. SULJOS TV was too early in the real world. There was no technology to support its goals.

Today, it’s a reality and the DAZN, ESPN+ and Prime Video platforms are the ones who control world boxing, taking it to all corners of the world. Don José died without seeing his inspirational idea come to fruition, but today, it’s a brainwave, airwave reality.

I appreciate your comments at [email protected].

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    • Don’t forget to add the arrogance, self-absorbed entitlement, and the “full of BS” demeanor are all part of the group as well.

      Fightnews.com really caters to Jose for his articles for bragging rights since they publish his material. For us fans, it’s simply an outlet for us to badger and mock an writer simply full of himself.

      • Somebody better do a fact check for Don Mauricio. George Foreman knocked out Ken Norton, not Joe Frazier, in Caracas, Venezuela. There weren’t 7 knockdowns either.

        • You are correct. It was Norton and he was down 3 times. Amazing that this fool (Sulaiman) puts these lies under the heading ‘DID YOU KNOW’. Truly embarrassing.

          • Foreman did KO Frazier in 1973. Great fight-believe he knocked him down six times.

  • So, rolly what do you have to say about the amazon prime asswooping handed by putbull? Rolly: happy easter everyone!

  • I just missed which is for me the best Mexican prospect elija Garcia who aparently was sick and his fight was cancelled
    I hope I see Garcia back to the ring very soon

  • zerafa was the mandatory for lara the way yildirim was the madatory for canelo . what a hypocrite , Mr S. – Please! have some self respect.

  • so what were the numbers before we start saying a new era has begun? It’s real easy on a streaming platform to see how many people paid to watch.

  • Exactly. How many people tuned into the event? Btw, I was at the weigh-in, and it seemed like all the former Showtime people are now working for Amazon Prime.

  • What does this have to do with ngannou being a human punching bag making millions per fight. What a big unathletic stiff with no ability. Boxing today and ufc are jokes

  • Does that Sulaiman guy own this place or what?

    “My memories took me to that golden era when Don King created wondrous galas…”

    There are videos online, former Mafia gangsters talking about how Don King set up meetings with them to fix fights. This so-called sport is so corrupt with the Don Kings, Maury Sulaimans, on and on. If boxing judges ever render an honest decision in a high profile fight, especially in Mafia Vegas, I fall off my chair.

  • Good points Mauricio. Amazon did a great job with
    its first boxing card and we look forward to more of
    the same in the future. But the ones who deserve
    the most props in all this is the fighters themselves,
    who put their lives on the line whenever they step in
    the ring.

  • – I am planning on marrying into the Sulaimán family so that I can write articles on FightNews (plus all the other perks)…..

      • “Please send me an invite to the wedding.”
        – No problem.
        – Make sure you wear a new suit.
        – And thanks for the laugh.
        – Take care.
        – Gary G.

  • So he doesn’t force Canelo to face his mandatory’s, but yet he tries and fails at talking about historical eras in boxing! Self absorbed prick

  • mr. s., “clean your own house” before criticizing other organizations mandatory challengers. all boxing organizations , some promoters, and for sure the n.s.a. commission are corrupt.

  • He finally mentioned something that peaks my interest. First off I was GLAD to see Pitbull stop Rolly. Congrats to him and as an investor in Amazon. I love the cheap plug for Amazon Prime boxing. Tszyu and Fundora need to run it back. Tszyu gave him a chance with 12 days notice when most star boxing would cancel. Fight again and let the best man win.

  • so his dad “invented” streaming ? wow, i am so impressed . he probably saw it on the “simpsons tv program “

  • Since Sulaimán is being critical of the WBA installing Michael Zerafa as No.1 middleweight contender, I wonder if he can explain how the WBC ranked Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr as WBC No. 1 middleweight contender in 2011?
    As for his mixing up Joe Frazier and Ken Norton and then getting the number of knockdowns wrong – much more of that and people will be calling him a ‘casual.’

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