The Beltline: Undercards often test the patience of the audience rather than the skills of the boxers who appear on them

Undercards in boxing, particularly in Britain, are often endured rather than enjoyed. They play a similar role to elevator music or the monotonous hold music you hear while waiting. They are something that must be suffered before the main event can be enjoyed.

Not all undercards are bad, but there is always the possibility of a lull before the main event. It is the responsibility of the promoter and matchmaker to create a momentum that builds anticipation for the main event. Unfortunately, promoters often get it wrong, making the undercard too long, scheduling too many mismatches, or featuring fights that go the distance, testing the patience of the audience.

The proliferation of titles and the need for pay-per-view events have made it harder to invest in young prospects and have led to lower quality undercards. In recent years, undercards have become a form of water torture, making it challenging to stay awake through meaningless bouts and dull commentary.

The issue is further exacerbated by the fact that main events often start late, forcing viewers to stay awake longer. This impacts the overall enjoyment of the undercard. It is difficult to appreciate the fare served up, especially when tired and expecting mediocrity.

Instead of showcasing boxers, undercards often feature pundits and influencers who offer little value. Mismatches are approved to protect the unbeaten records of cash cow fighters, driven by fear rather than ambition. Pay-per-view is the ultimate goal, leading to uneven distribution of money.

However, there are instances where undercards deliver exciting matches. For example, a recent event on Channel 5 featured an enthralling light-heavyweight battle in the main event and a stunning knockout in the undercard. This event stood out because it was low-key and focused on competitive action rather than flashy promotions.

In conclusion, undercards in boxing often lack quality and fail to captivate the audience. The focus on pay-per-view and fear of damaging the unbeaten records of star fighters detract from the overall experience. However, there are exceptions where undercards deliver exciting bouts and showcase talented fighters.

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