About 21 percent of Americans approve of the job that Congress is doing, according to the aggregate of six major polls, compiled by Real Clear Politics. About 65 percent disapprove.
I suspect that if you similarly polled boxing fans about the job promoters are doing, the numbers would be similar, if not slightly worse.
There are a lot of good things happening in boxing. There already have been several sensational fights that will deserve serious consideration as Fight of the Year, and we’ve already had a number of jaw-dropping knockouts.
In the ring, the action has been very good to excellent.
But as has become the case with boxing, even when things go well, they go wrong.
First, let’s take the case of Keith Thurman, the wonderful unified welterweight champion who lifted the WBC belt from Danny Garcia in a fight viewed on March 4 by more than 5 million people on CBS.
That was a career-defining win, but Thurman hasn’t been heard of publicly since. It was a lost opportunity to help him become a star.
Fighters who win big fights or who compete in outstanding events have a short window of opportunity afterward to capitalize on it. Nobody, though, explained that to Thurman.
There was no post-fight tour. He didn’t appear on the cover of any magazines, or even make himself available the following week for interviews.
Thurman is not only an outstanding fighter, he’s a charismatic personality who is thoughtful and well-spoken. Someone needed to be out there pounding the drum for him after the fight, not just before it, but the PBC completely blew it.
The PBC is doing many great things, but it is beyond horrible at public relations thanks to Al Haymon’s distrust of and lack of interest in the media.
The problem is, those 5 million fans who watched Thurman-Garcia were the biggest prime-time audience boxing had since 1978 and the second biggest overall since 1978. Many of them hadn’t seen Thurman before, and didn’t know enough about him.