As we head towards a new year we've decided to look into our glass balls, our tea leaves and our palms to come up with 20 predictions which will be posted over the coming weeks for what we think will happen in 2020. So far our predictions haven't been the best though they've not all been wrong.
In 2013 we predicted that Naoya Inoue, his brother Takuma and Kosei Tanaka would all win world titles. Between them they've won a few world titles, though Takuma has yet to win a proper world title. That same year we also predicted a growth in Chinese boxing, and this arguably happened despite the fact the Macau side of things has died off. We also predicted a growth in Asian fighters making a name for themselves in the US, this was before Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Naoya Inoue or Kazuto Ioka had fought on US soil, and before the wave of Uzbek's had began to attract US attention.
Unlike the past, where we have made all of our predictions in 1 article, we'll be spreading these ones out with 1 prediction per article, and going more in depth than we have in the past.
Prediction number 6 - DAZN to remain a minor player Japanese boxing market
In the DAZN USA have become one of the major services to watch boxing on, rivalling ESPN, Showtime and Fox Sports. It's a service that has received a lot of media attention, both positive and negative, and is something that has, mostly, been a positive for boxing in the US, and some other regions.
Whilst their are calls for DAZN UK to begin sooner rather than later, due to what it offers and the lack of PPV shows, there are countries where the boxing content of the service has been woefully lacking. That's been particularly notable in Japan.
Firstly let us start this by pointing out there has been boxing on DAZN Japan, there has been some pretty big bouts on their such as Ryota Murata's first bout with Rob Brant, Jamie Munguia against Takeshi Inoue and TJ Doheny against Ryohei Takahashi. That however is about it for DAZN fights featuring Japanese fighters. They've had other boxing content, but in reality with out Japanese fighters being shown on the service it's going to be very, very difficult for the service to build momentum in a market place where boxing is available on terrestrial TV, and traditional satellite channels, such as WOWOW and G+.
What DAZN has done well in Japan is offer a lot of content, with J League football, or Soccer for our American readers, and Nippon Professional Baseball being among their big hits. They do have deals with UFC and Golden Boy and Matchroom, but the reality is that the shows aren't geared to the Japanese audience, and even then some of the content you would expect to be on DAZN Japan isn't. A great example being the upcoming Andy Ruiz Vs Anthony Joshua rematch, which will be on WOWOW. Another example is the WBSS, which was available on free TV, though Fuji, 8K TV, though BS8K, and through WOWOW on tape delay.
There has long been talk of Matchroom Sport and Eddie Hearn planting a flag in Japanese boxing. The reality however is that it's a very complicated market, and DAZN aren't going to be the platform to shake things up in Japan. The countries biggest stars are on free TV, with Fuji TV and TBS being the biggest players in the Japanese TV market, that's where the viewers are, and it will be very, very difficult to pull fighters from free TV.
Whilst like channels like Fuji TV and TBS are free to watch they are commercial channels, and they have seen the audiences they can draw. Those numbers dwarf the numbers that DAZN reportedly have in terms of subscribers, worldwide.
The issue for DAZN could get even more tricky if prediction #5, NHK becoming a major force in Japanese boxing, comes true. If that happens DAZN will struggle to make a mark post Tokyo 2020 in terms of signing up Japanese Olympians.
The prediction here is simple, but one that really seems obvious. DAZN Japan will struggle to make a mark in the Japanese boxing scene, in 2020 and 2021. In fact it could be a very, very long time before this changes.
This is just an opinion, maaaan! It's easy to share our opinions, and that's what you'll find here, some random opinion pieces