Game time is game time. When your team is on, you know it and you don’t care where in the world you are, you just have to watch it. The same could be said about your favorite boxer or a fight you’ve been wanting to catch. So what’s the difference? Unlike soccer, a universally popular sport, it actually can depend what part of the globe you’re on if you prefer boxing. Finding a soccer game on tv for instance is likely to be easier in any number of countries as opposed to a fight. On top of geographical issues, timing can make the process harder as well. Because boxing isn’t traditional with schedules like other normative sports, you can’t plan your annual two weeks off around a fight as easy as you could the Super Bowl. So what are your options?
First things first, know your surroundings. Begin by being aquianted with your time zone. Knowing the exact start time of your fight and its equivalent to your location is key to establishing your deadline. You can often find the exact card times on the promotional and network websites as well as littered all over Twitter with its boxing heavy hashtags. I suggest checking your favorite boxing site like the No Sparring Schedule page as your first line of defense. Now that you know your start time, your next question is: night or day?
Basing the start of the card and its main event to where you are in the world can let you sensically asertain whether or not it could be conceivable to watch the fight in public, or if you’re going to be confined to your hotel room. When I was staying outside of Tokyo for this past Cinco de Mayo I realized that Canelo would begin his ring walk Sunday morning my time. This was actually a pleasant change of pace as I could relate to waking up and watching my Seahawks during football season as opposed to a normal Saturday fight at midnight in New York City when the nachos and chicken wiings have long since been eaten and I’m trying to decide if I can or should stay awake. In this particular time zone I now found myself in I wouldn’t have to worry about that and would also be able to spend the rest of the day anaylyzing the ins and outs of the fight without risk of the zzz’s. Further West of Japan and you might find that its too early for say a pub or restaurant that couldve been in line for a fight showing.
This seems to be the case for a lot of start times for our English friends when they wanted to watch Canelo fight. The start time for the same fight I was comfortably watching over breakfast in Japan was being shown in the middle of the night for them. The English may go the route of either having to stay up at their place, waiting for the fight to begin, possibly platooning with some mates to keep the anticipation and morale high enough so they don’t succumb to sleep, or they wait until the next day to watch the replay or recording.
Without the normal hours of operation destabilizing your path you can venture out into the public in search of a more friendly apparatus compared to the lonely laptop stream (legally of course). Of course all of this is moot if the fight or fighter you want to see is from or currently fighting in your current location . If you’re an American abroad in London and you’re waiting for an Anthony Joshua fight to start, you’ll have nothing to worry about when considering the start time or the amount of televised options you’ll have available to you.
The next question you have to ask yourself is “are you in a boxing favored land such as Mexico, England, Japan, or even Ukraine?” If yes, like mentioned above with Joshua, the hometown crowd will always have a place to catch the action. What about if you’re not? Then this is where it gets sticky. You have two main targets at this point beyond knowing someone personally who’s hosting the fight at their house: 1) a sports bar or a culturally matching place of business that relates to the fighter(s) in question such as a Mexican restaurant with tv’s or 2) having an online subscription to a cable provider that allows you to stream live overseas. This is available with some English companies but not so much in America. For instance, I subscribe to HBO but they neither have live streaming capabilities online for fights or the ability to stream all of their material to international locations.
The sports bar route has many different levels abroad but it’s best to begin by trying one of two general options that fall under a common theme: western owned. Your best bets are an authentic Irish pub or a Hooters. Both are western owned and therefore they’ll more likely have sports tailored for our audience. Hooters is an international company that’s locations all have cable and are broadcasting sports as part of their ambiance at every location. I’ll tell you right off the bat, Hooters Tokyo doesn’t have the required cable package to view fights but you can still watch football come September. The Irish pubs, if western owned, especially if they’re Irish owned, are always showing sports and would never be against televising a good fight, even in the face of soccer (matchups depending).
Disclaimer: If you’re a hardcore fan and are trying to view the rare Gary Russell Jr. bout on PBC you’ll be out of luck and are better off follwing the live updates on twitter or just going about your holiday altogether.
One particular instance, myself and my English buddy were in Lima, Peru and wanted to see what “the truth¨ was about in American, Errol Spence verus the English lad, Kell Brook. A classic USA vs England showdown had our top shelf banter flowing like bad South American tap water.
We set out to follow the steps:
After getting the ring walk nailed to about 5:00pm local time we knew that a public viewing was not only possible but preferable as we didn’t want to stream the action from our hotel rooms on our laptops. We considered our options, continuing to follow the steps. Because Peru isnt known for having a great boxing herritage like they’re known for having famously beautiful and attractive sites such as the natural world in Machu Picchu, we knew our work was cut out for us. A common sports bar would be out of the question as neither Box Nation or Showtime would be a standard channel, both of which were televising the fight. We calculated the odds: in a town of 9 million, what are the chances that we find a pub owned by a true Irish or Englishman? Suddenly we liked our chances. After a quick search of Irsih Pubs nearby we found one no more than five minute walk from our current location. As fate would have it, we were greeted by the head lad, the owner and a boxing enthusiast.
As expected, the channel wasnt readily avaible but he said our chances were still good at a viewing. He just had one concern: the local patrons were all viewing some soccer game that meant something to them for some reason that probably included a cup or dish that goes to the victor. It would be close; the ending of the match should just coincide with ringwalks. Sure enough, as the soccer game came to a close it was ready to be switched which meant no trophy presenatation highlights for the drinkers in attendence. This didnt go over well but was later forgiven when they saw how much myself, the English lad Alfie I call a friend before and after but not during the Spence-Brook fight, along with two other sweet science enthusiasts barside, wanted to watch the USA vs England showdown. That brougt the matter back to the viewing channel. They didnt have one.
A computer stowed in the kitchen was configured into the hardwires of the bar for musical purposes. A simple wire connection between the tv and the laptop was all that was needed for a true pub viewing experience. Granted, we couldve stayed home and gone this route but a fight is also made up of its atmosphere. Being in a Irish Pub in Lima, Peru with a ton of drunk soccer fans seemed as fitting a place as ever to watch the action. Given full control by the owner, Alfie found a reliable online stream and navigated a series of questionable pop-ups before relenting to his stool at the bar for everyone in the bar to watch.
During the second round some online interference caused the feed to stop. Concerned? Never. I had the top lad Alfie who swore by Brook’s power, while he had a simultaneous feed streaming on his phone that was equipped with a reliable Box Nation subscription. Everyone truly concerned peered over his shoulder and waited for the round to end before a restart of said streaming site on the bar manager’s laptop inside the kitchen could be refresehd.
After three more streaming stalls and viewing changes to Alfie’s phone, we saw Spence unrlent some quick combinations on a now depleted Brook who’d been taking body shots since the first stanza. Brook took a knee and called it a night. My (English) viewing companions were crushed but not unimpressed by the new kid in town: Texan, Errol Spence. I didnt gloat as I was just happy to have caught the action. It goes beyond words or an article to describe a sports fans passion but its evident throughout any sport. Follwing some local guidance and knowing your fight info will greatly improve your chances at a successful saturday night… or sunday morning viewing. Good luck everyone.
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