Change isn’t coming. It’s here. Triller win purse bids for Lopez v Kambosos

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.

Charles Dawin, Biologist, 1809-1882

I asked, we all asked. It is reflective of the inherent demographics within this sporting perversion that is the boxing industry that we had to. Those of us with teenage children were closest to source, able to access the information required most swiftly. Those of us surrounded by contemporaries had to resort to Google. We’ve grown. Once we would have ‘Asked Jeeves’.

For those still waiting on a definitive answer:

Triller is an American video-making and social-networking service owned by Proxima Media. It allows users to automatically edit and synchronize their videos to background tracks using artificial intelligence. Triller was released for iOS and Android in 2015, and it is currently led by President and CEO Mike Lu.

They will also be broadcasting the Lightweight World Championship fight between Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos having won the purse bids to do so with a bid of more than $6m. Almost double the offers submitted by Matchroom Sports, and Top Rank who promote the 23 year old.

Triller is a company with five years of trading history, it has outbid two of the sport’s most dominant and longstanding entities to secure the next fight of arguably boxing’s most valuable long-term commodity. No one event ever represents a rubicon, and the entrance of Triller is neither definitive or no assured to succeed. Just as DAZN was meant to end PPV, it didn’t. It is hard to foresee the advent of new platforms, like Triller, but Youtube and other entrants are present too, ever erasing PPV from the landscape. That said, it would be shortsighted not to concede that for however long they Triller believe boxing to be a product or vehicle that suits its current objectives, the economics of winning purse bids has changed.

The bid itself, cynics will argue, shows a poor grasp of a fight’s value. It implies there participation will be short lived, the assumption being it is unsustainable.

In a closed bid system, promoters have to edge their bets, assessing the sellable value of a fight to broadcasters, sponsors and advertisers. For those parties, like Top Rank, with a fighter of their own in the mix, they are duty bound to bid sufficient to appease their fighter’s contracted fee or their own sense of market value. The winning bid will typically be deconstructed across agreed percentages for both fighter’s and their respective associates. It is a delicate equation and, in the current financial reality, ever harder to pitch, win and profit. As with most things in boxing, it’s complicated.

For the barnstorming Lopez, who outworked and beat the previously imperious Vasily Lomachenko in 2020, establishing himself as the leader of the classic Lightweight division and a superstar in the making, he will receive a career high purse. The platform will also project him toward a newer, younger audience. Exactly the new impetus boxing needs if it is to remain relevant in the century ahead. Well paid fighters is also something all of us support and have long campaigned for. From the pungency of contracts doctored to suit promoters that left world class heavyweight fighting for peanuts in multi-million dollar shows, to the bankruptcy and poverty of those that went before them, whether the celebrated Joe Louis or the unnamed warrior who fought in obscurity, it was time the talent earned more of the pie.

From this point, whether today is that gateway to a new world or merely a stray balloon fight fans watch drift and dip toward the horizon, there is no longer the stability in these processes that there once was. New forces are here, top line fighters may be less inclined to sign long contracts, perhaps preferring to take their chances in an open market. More fanciful still, could this lead to more of the fights we all crave, could new entrants post a number, name two fighters and offer their platform?

At times like this, anything can seem possible, any interpretation or forecast could be conceivable. Those of us with experience of the past, well, we tend to assume that far less will change than ever the ambitious and optimistic would propose.

For now, for all the shock we feel, consider the expressions that fell on the faces of those powerful men accustomed to getting their own way.

They would have been priceless.


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