With every different Boxing event that happens, they are all promoted in a variety of different ways depending on several factors such as who is fighting, where they are fighting and what they are fighting for. The PR around a fight can determine how well the event is going to sell or be watched even if it is one of the biggest events around. Advertisement and PR is crucial for promoters such as Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren who want to make the most money possible whilst making sure their event is seen globally.
An example of this is the recent Amir Khan fight against Saul Alvarez for the WBC Middleweight world title. Khan was moving up 2 weight classes to Middleweight for the fight against the Mexican world champion and he was out to utilise his speed whilst Alvarez is known for his explosive power. All the pre-fight talk was about both their main attributes pitted against each other for a world title. Khan said in a variety of different interviews that he favoured his speed despite putting on weight to step up to Middleweight. An example of one of these interviews can be found here.
In the UK, the fight wasn’t advertised as much as you would have thought. A quick trip to the Sky Sports website in the build up to the fight and you would have been disappointed with the lack of content especially as this was one of the biggest fights in the history of the sport, certainly for Britain anyway as Amir Khan was involved. This was potentially because the fight was held in the US and shown on American channels as well as Box Nation, who are obviously Sky’s only rival boxing channel here in the UK. Eddie Hearn who runs Matchroom has an agreement with Sky to show their fights on box office or on Sky Sports 1, Box Nation however is its own separate channel and is run by promoter Frank Warren who has fighters such as Tyson Fury under his control.
With Sky Sports being the most popular way for sports fans to find out news, the lack of articles published due to the rivalry with Box Nation meant that fans who only like to watch the big fights might have not known that it was even on. It was also not advertised much in the UK because the fight actually started at around 4.30am GMT due to the time difference between here and the US making it hard for a lot of people in the UK to watch the fight. The only advertisements I saw for the fight were posters at some tube stations as well as people talking about the fight on Twitter.
The event was mainly marketed in America as Khan is favoured by the American audience and Canelo is a big fighter out there also. Different tactics were used to advertise the fight such as a promotional tour run by the event promoters which took the fighters around America for photos, open gym sessions and more. Photos were taken in places such as New York before the tour finished up where the event would be held, in Las Vegas. The fight was at the new T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas strip which opened just this year so the weigh in was held outside the stadium on the day before the event to give fans a little hint of what the atmosphere will be like come fight day.
I think the fight could have been better advertised to conclude, although I can only speak for people here in the UK. The fight, being mainly advertised to the American audience, looked well conducted in the US with the promotional tour creating a buzz around the event weeks before it was due to take place. The speed v power promotion was a good way to get people interested in the fight as it is two very different skills put up against each other for a world title. I think, despite the fight being on at 4.30am here in the UK, the power v speed promotion could have been better utilised in the UK to get people interested, especially people who don’t have a big interest in the sport. The lack of articles published about the event on UK websites was also a concern. I know Sky Sports is Box Nation’s rival in terms of boxing but when people go onto these websites they want to be given the latest news, there was a lot going on in the build up to the event but only interviews could be found. The customary Sky boxing ‘experts’ didn’t even give their pre fight predictions like they would for fights broadcasted on their own channels (they did it for Fury v Klitschko despite it being on Box Nation). I understand this is just competition, but it’s a poor way to gain more interest in a growing sport.