This used to be a common practice. From AP-
Boxing is coming back to the big screen.
Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s eagerly anticipated showdown with Juan Manuel Marquez on Sept. 19 will be showcased live in about 170 theaters nationwide, promoters announced Monday. The fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas will also air on HBO pay-per-view.
Richard Shaefer of Golden Boy Promotions said he’d been considering theater feeds for several years, ever since a trip to the movies with his kids. Unaware that live boxing has a long history on the big screen, Shaefer’s children asked him whether it was possible today.
Mayweather (39-0, 25 KOs), considered one of the sport’s pound-for-pound kings, will be fighting for the first time since ending a brief retirement. The flamboyant six-time world champion will be taking on a five-time champion in Marquez (50-4-1, 37 KOs), headlining a stacked card that includes two other title fights.
All of the televised undercard fights will also be shown in theaters.
The decision is part of a comprehensive marketing thrust that includes 30-second previews, much like film trailers, shown on about 1,500 screens before the start of movies for the next several weeks. Tickets for the actual fight are expected to be about $15.
The first fight to be publicly shown in theaters was Eric Boon against Arthur Danaher on Feb. 23, 1939, in London. The format gained popularity in the 1950s, after Joe Louis defeated Lee Savold in a fight beamed to thousands from Madison Square Garden, and a young Muhammad Ali earned a tremendous following around the country during the 1960s.
His epic fight against Joe Frazier in March 1971 at the Garden was seen worldwide.
The rise of pay-per-view coincided with the demise of boxing on the big screen, as fans began to watch high-profile fights from the comfort of home. Among the last fights widely shown in theaters was Ray Leonard’s infamous “no mas” victory over Roberto Duran in November 1980.
IMHO boxing needs to be more public friendly. Most big championship fights are not on free television, basic cable, or even HBO. Due to this I can count the fights I’ve watched one hand in the last twenty years. To me, I won’t pay $50-60 to watch less than an hour’s action.
I might pay $15 to watch a fight in a movie theater. Dear Wife would also, if Manny Pacquiao was boxing.
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