Influential manager and adviser Al Haymon's Premier Boxing Champions official merchandise consisting of gym bag plus water bottle and wrist band.
About The Premier Boxing Champions Series
Premier Boxing Champions (PBC), was created for television by Haymon Sports, LLC, in January 2015. The PBC is a boxing series that returns the sweet science to its rightful place atop the sports pantheon.
Featuring today’s best and brightest stars in their toughest, most anticipated bouts, Premier Boxing Champions is broadcast live and free to air on NBC, NBC Sports Network, ESPN and ESPN Deportes, CBS, FOX Sports 1, FOX Deportes, Spike TV and Bounce TV.
PBC takes boxing back to its roots. This is boxing, pure and simple, where what’s brought to the fight, mentally and physically, is what determines who goes home the winner, and who just goes home.
Bouts featured within the PBC Series are promoted by licensed promoters, with each bout in accordance with applicable regulatory rules and regulations.
Premier Boxing Champions is part of an effort by Al Haymon—best known as the representative of Floyd Mayweather, Jr.—to bring mainstream prominence back to the sport of boxing. In the United States, although popular among a niche audience, most major boxing events are relegated to premium television channels such as HBO and Showtime, or pay-per-view, limiting their mainstream exposure to those who are willing to pay. The mainstream popularity of mixed martial arts has also had an impact on the popularity of boxing within the young adult demographic; the UFC's broadcast rights contract with Fox Sports allows some of its cards to air on the main Fox network—which have proved successful in overall viewership. In a survey conducted by Haymon, only 2% of the 35% of viewers who identified themselves as fans of boxing had watched it.
PBC 's chief operations officer Ryan Caldwell acknowledged that when broadly distributed, major sporting events can attract a large number of live viewers as event television, and in turn, advertisers: he explained that they were "whacking our key demographic with a lot of fees on premium cable and pay-per-view. Broader distribution is key. When you look across other sports, there's a reason they aren't pay-per-view distributed." Caldwell also noted the success of WWE Network, which similarly subverted the professional wrestling promotion's traditionally PPV-oriented business model by offering its premium events and other archive programs as part of an over-the-top subscription service. PBC 's vice president of operations Lamont Jones explained that the goal of the promotion was to build loyalty, believing that "the [same] way the customer goes to the grocery store and sees USDA on the steak and wants to buy it, we want the boxing fan to see to PBC on the telecast and know they can expect high-quality, competitive match-ups."
PBC is distinguished from other promotions by its overall presentation and atmosphere; executive producer Michael Marto felt that the in-arena experience of boxing events had been compromised by the focus on their television broadcasts, leading to a lack of "entertainment" for those attending in person. As such, the environment of PBC events is designed to improve the experience for both in-arena and television audiences. PBC events feature a concert-style stage setup known as the "Ring of Honor"; inspired by the Colosseum and the stage setup of U2's 360° Tour, its centerpiece is a Jumbotron-like rig above the ring with an ultra high definition scoreboard screen and a circular marquee display. The screens can be used as a scoreboard, and to play instant replays and other features. At the end of the arena is the "Wall of Thunder", which features a stairway and ramps that fighters use to enter the arena on their way towards the ring. The wall consists of two displays at 18 feet (5.5 m) in height, which flank a central display that is 32 feet (9.8 m) in height. There are three different variations of the stage components, which are optimized for different venue sizes. Film composer Hans Zimmer was commissioned to create theme and soundtrack music for the events.
New technologies were also developed for use during PBC events to provide improved insight and second screen experiences to viewers; Aqueti developed camera technology for use during the events, such as a headband-mounted camera for the referee, "Round-a-Bout"—a circular frame with 36 cameras that can be used to provide a 360-degree view of the ring below and "bullet time" effects, and 250-megapixel "microcameras" consisting of multiple digital camera processors linked together. Gloves and shorts are equipped with sensors for measuring the force of punches and other medical data respectively.
As opposed to most major boxing events, Haymon sought carriage for the Premier Boxing Champions cards on mainstream cable networks, and on the United States' major television networks. Haymon reached multi-year deals with NBC Sports (NBC and NBCSN), Viacom (Spike), CBS Sports (CBS, CBS Sports Network) and Bounce TV to air PBC cards through their outlets on either weekend afternoons or in prime time; rather than having the broadcasters pay the promotion a rights fee, the telecasts are brokered by Haymon to the networks in exchange for a cut of advertising revenue. Prior to these deals, boxing telecasts on the major networks in recent years have been limited to occasional one-off broadcasts. PBC cards on Spike are broadcast as part of the network's combat sports-focused block Friday Night Lights Out; Antonio Tarver, who serves as a member of Spike's broadcast team, explained that "I remember back in the day when fighters started their careers on NBC. Network TV. That's how legendary stars were made. I think NBC and Spike are going to do the same for today's fighters."
Under its contract with NBC, Haymon pays the broadcaster $20 million per year; NBC Sports' first 20 Premier Boxing Champions events include nine prime time cards on NBCSN, and five prime time cards on the NBC network—marking the first time in thirty years that NBC had broadcast a boxing event in prime time. The first PBC card aired on March 7, 2015 on NBC, and featured Keith Thurman in a welterweight bout against Robert Guerrero, and Adrien Broner against John Molina in a junior welterweight bout. Al Michaels served as the host, joined by Marv Albert and Sugar Ray Leonard as commentators. Viewership of the premiere broadcast peaked at 4.2 million viewers; NBC claimed that it was the most-watched professional boxing telecast since Fox's March 1998 Oscar De La Hoya's Fight Night (which reached 5.9 million viewers).
On March 19, 2015, ESPN announced a two-year deal with Premier Boxing Champions, in which the network will air 12 cards per year, with eleven prime time cards on ESPN and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes (airing under its Noche de Combates brand), and an afternoon event on ABC. ESPN's inaugural telecast aired on July 11, 2015. Concurrently, ESPN announced that after a seventeen-year run, it would end ESPN2's boxing series Friday Night Fights; its on-air staff of Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas were carried over to ESPN's PBC telecasts. On August 4, 2015, Fox Sports 1 announced that it would air 21 PBC cards, lasting from September 8, 2015 through June 2016; the telecasts will air on Tuesday nights, be branded as Toe-to-Toe Tuesdays, and simulcast in Spanish on Fox Deportes. The announcement came following the end of a contract with Golden Boy Promotions.
On April 7, 2015, PBC announced a deal with SiriusXM to broadcast several of its cards on satellite radio via its Sports Zone channel.
Alan Haymon is an American boxing adviser/manager. He is adviser to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and has twice won the Boxing Writers of America Manager of the Year Award.
Haymon was raised in Cleveland, Ohio and studied economics at Harvard.
His main career start was in music promotion, where he promoted such acts as M. C. Hammer, New Edition, Whitney Houston and Mary J. Blige, and he branched out to other entertainment areas, such as when he worked with Eddie Murphy.
Around 2000, Al ventured into boxing when he managed Vernon Forrest. Over the next decade, Haymon gained considerable influence in boxing, mainly due to his connection to Floyd Mayweather Jr. In 2005 and 2013, Haymon won the Al Buck Award (Manager of the Year) from the Boxing Writers Association of America.
Criticism And Controversy
Haymon is rarely seen and never interviewed. Greg Bishop of the New York Times suggests that Haymon functions as both promoter and manager, against the principles of the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, which was designed to separate boxing promoters from boxing managers.
Haymon's influence has been seen as gaining fights for his fighters' prime spots on HBO, but these fights are seen as less-than-quality match-ups and instead easy fights to get exposure for his fighters. This influence has been questioned by Max Kellerman of HBO Sports.
Notable Client List
Fighters who are currently or were previously represented by Haymon include:-
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Julio Caesar Chavez Jr.
Gary Russell Jr.
Leo Santa Cruz
John Molina, Jr.