The boxing world was set abuzz with the recent announcement that Showtime, a key player in broadcasting boxing matches for over three decades, would cease airing not just boxing, but a sports division as a whole after 2023.
The news saw to mega-star in the sport of boxing speaking out on the matter, as Ryan Garcia, a professional boxer with a huge social media following as well as fought Gervonta Davis on Showtime pay-per-view earlier this year said the following.
“Today is a really important day for boxing...HBO and Showtime defined our sport for a generation and now they are both out. All [of] us boxers need to make this our collective fight. We gotta be thinking about marketing, new audiences, investors, global, all of it. Boxing is still the greatest sport in the world. We just gotta reimagine it," stated Garcia on his social media platform.
Showtime's departure is not unlike HBO's before it as Paramount Global, Showtime's parent company, decided to focus on prioritizing original scripted programming to boost subscriptions to their streaming app over live sports. This was the exact same reason for HBO's exit from boxing five years prior. Now HBO doesn't even exist as it is rebranded to a streaming platform entitled MAX.
Crawford agreed with the words Garcia wrote and stated the following
“I couldn’t agree more [with Ryan Garcia],” Crawford posted on x in response to Garcia's initial tweet. “The system we have isn’t going to fix this. We gotta think [differently]. Look at every other sport is building empires by doing it right. Us fighters need to come together. We can fight in the ring but work together for our sport and our families.”
This comes on the heels of fighters like Teofimo Lopez taking to X to voice his frustrations with the divide and political nature of the sport of boxing. Garcia now is speaking of a call to arms from the fighter to possibly force the best fights so the sport can be televised. Jake Paul, the boxer and social media star even chimed in that he wanted to help.
Garcia responded to Crawford with a quick tweet.
“100% let’s do something,” Garcia responded.
Notably, Crawford emphasized that fighters must play a significant role in shaping the sport's future and business landscape, not unlike what he did in assuming a lot of risk to fight Errol Spence Jr., but what turned out to be a historically important fight. The sentiment is simple - boxing has had too many 'in-house fights.' For the sport to be healthy and survive it needs the best to fight the best - and if that doesn't happen, we will soon see the fight fall off even more platforms in the future.