By Dave Wilcox
Last Saturday night, I went old school and dropped my 75 bucks on the Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury Pay-Per View bout. It was easy to order and right there on my 60” HD television.
Moving forward, it appears in the current dynamic of boxing, the PPV model might be going the way of the dodo bird.
In the last few years the trend with boxing telecasts has been what the youngsters refer to as streaming or apps. Being the middle aged, bitter old man that I am, who despises change, it has been a hard transition for me.
For crying out loud, I can hardly figure out how to send a text message on my phone and to this day, I still don’t know exactly what “the cloud” is.
I’ve seen the bouts advertised for Facebook live, ESPN+, amongst others that I’ve noticed, and of course what appears to be the new big brother, DAZN.
My 11th grade education, combined with my 25 second attention span makes the navigation of this process a struggle.
I’m that annoying guy that everyone under the age of 30 is tired of hearing always reference the, “good old days." I can’t help myself, life as a boxing fan was so much easier before the days of yore.
The old TV guide book that was in every Sunday paper never failed me. (Note, a newspaper is that paper product that was thrown on your driveway every morning and you actually held it in your hand and read the news)
It was one stop shopping for me to figure out what was on and when. There were basically three free TV outlets to watch.
ABC had “Wide World of Sports”, NBC had “Ringside” with Marv Albert and Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, and of course my favorite was "CBS Sports Saturday" with the great announcing team of Tim Ryan and Gil Clancy.
HBO came into the picture in the 70’s and was a welcome addition to the fray.
Flash forward to 2018, I figured I had two choices. I could continue whining about this app stuff or I could try and jump on board and join the fun.
My first attempt was in July of 2018 when Manny Pacquiao took on Lucas Matthysse on the app called “ESPN+”.
I pulled out my trusty cell phone and proceeded to “try” and sign up. Thirty-five minutes and three changed passwords later, I was ready to throw my phone in the trash and myself in a lake.
Thankfully, the lovely and talented Deborah Wilcox, swooped in with her red cape and IQ over my room temperature one and was able to secure “Operation app.”
Although I would fall short of calling my ESPN+ outing a success, I did see the fight, so I have that going for me.
I have not tried ESPN+ again and recently cancelled my subscription. By the way, I still haven’t seen the Terrance Crawford vs. Jeff Horn bout, outside of short highlights.
This past September, Anthony Joshua was set to defend his versions of the heavyweight crown against sturdy veteran, Alexander Povetkin, and was slated to be shown on DAZN, which was another app that this pea brain had yet to take for a spin.
I have been and always will be a sucker for the heavyweight division, even though the division has forsaken me for about the last ten years, so I just had to figure this thing out.
Much to my surprise, accessing DAZN was quick, simple and everything was much easier to find on that app than was the case on ESPN+. An added bonus was that my youngest son, who is all knowing about tech crap, plugged it into my big screen and I was off and running with the heavyweight championship bout. It appeared that maybe a new romance might have been formed with me and technology.
Or so it seemed.
In my post Joshua-Povetkin career with DAZN, I have been staring at the links to watch the bouts on the app for a couple months without pulling the trigger. I guess in the end, I just watch to stand up, walk over to the television, adjust the rabbit ears and turn the knob to ABC, NBC or CBS.
The struggle is real.
I’m still a subscriber to DAZN and am in the process of meditation and counseling to teach myself to get with the times and stop being a grumpy old man, but I don’t like my chances.
This new wave of the future is now and is not going anywhere, so myself and others like me better get used to it, or take up rugby….never mind, I think that’s on DAZN as well.
I guess my old theory of, “if I can’t record it, I can’t watch it” does not pertain any longer.
Wish me luck my friends.
P.S: Do they still sell VHS players? I have a butt load of fight tapes that I can’t watch.