Editor’s Column: ITV Box Office’s own goal could cost undercard exposure
ITV Box Office have back tracked on their earlier suggestion that viewers at home wouldn’t have to stump up £12.95, or £9.95 if you take an early bird offer, to watch the undercard of their Saturday 4 February debut.
Chris Eubank Jr‘s farcical IBO ‘world’ title fight with Australia’s unknown belt holder Renold Quinlan headlines the show at the London Olympia. The likely mismatch has drawn heavy criticism from observers, many of whom are unlikely to pay the fee demanded.
However, the undercard of the Poxon Sports event has been received relatively warmly due to a series of well-matched trade fights. It includes Barry Town’s Andrew Selby who faces WBC International flyweight champion Ardin Diale and a pair of very interesting cross roads clashes in David Price vs Christian Hammer at heavyweight and John Ryder vs Adam Etches at super-middleweight.
A vague press release had earlier led readers to believe that the undercard would be free-to-air and only the main event would be pay-per-view. However, the new channel corrected that notion on Twitter and directed users to their website for more information, which still has little clarification and minimal information on the situation.
It’s a missed opportunity for the broadcaster, who returned to boxing with the ITV4 branch of their platform on Saturday. Liverpool’s talented prospect Robbie Davies Jr was introduced to viewers and benefitted by massively boosting his profile with a ninth round knockout of Zoltan Szabo. It showed the excellent influence of ITV and how it could benefit boxers, especially those on the up such as Andrew Selby.
As a side note, Sheffield’s Kid Galahad faces Joseph Agbeko in an eliminator for Lee Selby’s IBF world featherweight title. Richard Poxon joins Neil Marsh, Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren in giving Galahad another chance following his failed drug test in 2014 when he was caught with a banned substance in his system.
Often in boxing, those who follow the sport closely can become addicted to a negative outlook. Keen to avoid this, I wanted to be progressive and provide a solution to the undercard problem… If you want lTV Box Office to pay for itself, then just bet £1,300 on Eubank to beat Quinlan and use the £13 profit to pay the fee.
You will even have 5p spare. Please spend your money (and gamble) wisely.
Dewi Powell, Editor of BoxingWales.com.
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