The same old song …
One would think that Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm (31-2-3, 9-KOs), the current IBA & WBF lightweight welterweight champion, who is set to fight a world title defense on December 7, 2012 against Diana Prazak (11-1, 7-KOs) on a much ballyhooed card called “Fire and Ice” would command the attention of the boxing world enough to land the fight on HBO Boxing, Showtime, ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sport, PPV — heck ANY sports network that broadcasts boxing.
But no …
This much-anticipated bout, following on the heals of Holm’s two tough, hard-fought contests against France’s own Anne Sophie Mathis which should have promoters beating down the door at Fresquez Productions will not be aired.
And this AFTER the Olympics when women kicked serious butt and the US women’s team brought home not one, but two medals courtesy of Marlen Esparza (Bronze) and Claressa Shields (Gold).
So what gives? What’s a “girl” got to do to get some friggin’ air time in the United States?
If fighters of the caliber and quite frankly fame of Holly Holm can’t get a fight broadcast, up-and-coming fighters don’t have a “prayer” to gain any visibility beyond a loyal crowd of followers and the potential for a local cable station to broadcast the fight card and/or video streaming of the event with the hope that it gets loaded on to YouTube.
No one’s talking either.
Meanwhile when it comes to MMA, women routinely fight on nationally broadcast fightcards such as Strikeforce — and even UFC is planning on adding women to their PPV fight cards in 2013. UFC in particular is readying to promote Ronda Rousey, who won acclaim and a lot of fans when she captured her women’s bantamweight championship belt on Strikeforce. Rousey’s championship fight in August of 2012 also drew big numbers to Strikeforce, no doubt playing an important part in the calculus of UFC’s decision to bring her over as a UFC fighter on a PPV fight card. (See Dave Meltzer’s excellent piece here.)
But not so with boxing.
Is it that the sport itself is too stale and out of ideas on how to creatively promote itself in a way that can include the talent, heart and boxing savvy that women bring to the ring?
Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of answers — mainly just frustration and disappointment that yet again, a fabulous outing will be lost to viewers aching to watch it unless they can manage to glean a video stream.