WBSS, Poxon Sports, HayeMaker Ringstar, Small Hall 
  
What an exciting week in boxing eh?  The numbers got filled up for the World Boxing Super Series – the only thing left to find out now is who will be seeded in the positions 1-8.  Word is that Callum Smith will take pole position in the super middleweights bafflingly, but let’s not get too hung up on the ordering and instead, praise a concept that is matching some of the best talents in the world at cruiserweight and super middle, while also adding in some of that much needed drama to the process.
 
Saturday night in Monaco, streamed live on the WBSS website, the top 4 seeds will hand pick their opponent.  That’s right, not names in a hat, but physically choose who they want to fight (apart from seed 4, who gets the, presumably, least appealing opponent).  What a great concept.  We see this kind of thing on reality TV all the time, so praise be to the WBSS organisers for injecting something different to boxing proceedings.  Will fighters pick the perceived easiest option?  Will their Trainer have had an input, or the Promoter?
 
Talking of Promoters, how does the business side of this work out?  The money is already decided (although not announced publicly) per contestant and where they finish – so has the Promoter signed over their fighter(s) for the duration, for the fights to be promoted by WBSS?  They need to recoup their money somehow, so presumably it is through the show/advertising/TV revenue.  The money must be significant for the likes of Hearn to risk getting involved in a potential Cox/Smith vs Eubank situation – or can Hearn just step back from those negotiations now and let all that be settled by the WBSS?  All questions to be answered.
 
Money wise, $50 million prize pot per division, presumably set amounts are put aside per finishing position.  $50 million goes a long way.  One hypothetical would say the money gets split:  1st round losers $2.5mil, Quarter Final losers $4mil, Semi Final losers $6mil, Runner-up $8mil, Winner $12mil.  You can start to see why it’s an attractive prospect to enter.
 
Interesting fact in this, the only American out of the 18 in total is Rob Brant.  The undefeated super middleweight may be under the radar somewhat, but the fact that he is the sole entrant from the US tells you where Al Haymon’s priorities lie at present.  Nobody should be too shocked he isn’t entering anyone; his own PBC brand is strong enough to do their own American shows and invite boxers in when they require; the WBSS is essentially a Best of Europe + selected others.
 
The cruiserweight line-up is just ridiculous.  The 4 world champions plus some ex champs and then the likes of Kudyrashov all involved (full line-up below) is as good as anyone could have hoped for and more.  While someone here will secure their legacy, Tony Bellew is still out searching for an extension to the David Haye circus. 

Speaking of David Haye, an announcement is due on Wednesday 12th July in London from HayeMaker Ringstar Promotions.  What we have been told is that they are sharing “some exciting announcements”.  Plural.  So expect one of them to be a TV deal, and the other to be someone to headline the TV deal.  Haye has his background with the domestic channel Dave from his comeback in 2016 and the numbers were said to be good (even if the production and opponents perhaps received less praise) – so it would seem logical to assume that we will see them come back into the boxing TV market.  In terms of signings, there has been one Olympian that has gone quiet on us, an exciting silver medallist that neither Hearn nor Warren have managed to sign up.  Joe Joyce.  He would seem a perfectly logical choice to be part of the emerging stable. 
 
Joyce would have his own lane of traffic if he signs with HayeMaker Ringstar.  At Matchroom you have Joshua, Whyte and potentially Bellew.  With Warren you have Dubois making waves and perhaps (who knows what is going on here) Hughie Fury.  At least you have Hughie Fury on Saturday, who knows after that?  Were it not for the chequered past between the Fury team and Haye, you may suspect that Hughie’s world title fight with Joseph Parker in September would be ideal for HayeMaker to get their hands on, but that is perhaps a stretch too far for now.
 
Saturday night sees another of the domestic channels showing a great matchup of two undefeated prospects in Josh Taylor and Ohara Davies.  The kind of fight that fans are desperate for, but what this has proven is that it is just that.  A fight for boxing fans, not the ‘casual’ sports fans.  The amount of hype around it is minimal, despite it being on domestic, free-to-air TV (Channel 5).  Part of the blame has been apportioned to Matchroom/Hearn/Ohara Davies for their refusal to build the fight publicly, seemingly only doing the minimal contractual requirements. 
 
That’s a two sided argument really.  Why should Matchroom associates hype a fight they aren’t promoting?  Their fighter gets a set purse, no incentive for them to draw in viewers, sponsors or revenue.  Why help a rival?  On the flip-side though, it is such a good fight that you would think as boxing people, they would want the masses to be aware and see it.  After all, Davies is still their fighter.  What harm can it do if they helped get millions to tune in and see Davies lay Taylor out on the canvas (not to say that is my prediction by the way)?  A potential domestic star is born, fans who will potentially follow him back to Sky.  The opportunity is long gone now though, their bed is being lay within.  If Taylor does score the victory, an enormous opportunity has passed by everyone at Matchroom
 
One fight that is getting a lot of coverage is Chris Eubank Jr vs Arthur Abraham next weekend on ITV Box Office.  Seen a lot of comments about it not being PPV worthy.  The problem here is that the water has been muddied so much with regards to ‘what is PPV worthy’ that we are unlikely to all ever agree.  Does it need a huge main event and shitty undercard?  Or a good main event and very good undercard?  Or does it need a huge main event and huge undercard?  Pass.  What is clear though, this main event will be a very fun fight.  Eubank brings excitement and Abraham bring a teak toughness.  On top of that, the undercard has some fantastic fights.  Lee Selby defending his IBF title against Jonathan Barros will be good and Martin J Ward vs Anthony Cacace is a battle of two undefeated super featherweights for a British title that settles some domestic arguments.  Throw in Robbie Davies Jr and Kid Galahad being given step up fights, this card is beyond solid for me.
 
The production values have taken a step up too from ITV and Poxon Sprots.  Some fantastic 350 degree camera footage of Eubank down at his Brighton gym with the ever polarising views of Eubank Sr thrown in too.  Each of the main undercard fighters have also had short documentary videos filmed, each of which have been fascinating to view.  A very well created product that has been made by all involved.
 
One slightly less impressive product was this afternoon’s weigh in process for the card on BT Sport Saturday night.  Streamed live on Twitter from what looked a TV studio, it seemed to lack the kind of appeal that Eddie Hearn has mastered to draw in the casual fan.  A good looking card, with Smyle vs Williams and Ekundayo vs Corcoran the picks for me, this is however a list of fights that will be a hard sell to the ‘casual fan’.  Therefore, to do it in a sanitised setting of a TV studio with just a bunch of men in suits, a set of scales and a brief face off seems to suck any atmosphere from the ‘event’.  I realise a weigh in, by nature, is incredibly boring, but that is why Hearn has made a spectacle of it in modern times and makes it part of the build up, the excitement.  Doing it in a TV studio in front of some Board Members that resemble a Marks & Spencers advert plus Frank himself really did take it back to an age where ‘INTENSE BEED’ related only to your Sunday roast.  Perhaps some prefer it that way, but the viewing figures are hardly going to shine because of it.  The innovation of WBSS should be noted. 
 
Final shout out to the small hall scene this week.  Unfortunately I can’t be at York Hall for what is a cracking weekend of boxing, but hats off to Goodwin Boxing.  They are another team who are innovating and this time, running an entire weekend of boxing down there with shows on Saturday and Sunday.  Not commonly seen, hopefully boxing fans will come out in their numbers to support the initiative.  The Sunday card, Epsilon, in particular is an absolute quality line-up.