Wednesday, March 22, 2023  |



Jacobs, DiBella carry positive mindset into PBC’s Brooklyn debut



Positivity is the desired mindset, Lou DiBella told me on Monday afternoon at the fabled cheesecake factory in Brooklyn, Juniors.

As fighters stared longingly at fruit-topped cheesecake, and saw boxing writers unencumbered by impending weigh-ins tuck into corned beef sandwiches, DiBella talked about the card he’s promoting on April 11, portions of which will run on NBC, in prime time.

The card – which is co-headlined by the Danny Garcia-Lamont Peterson and Andy Lee-Peter Quillin bouts – is part of the “Premier Boxing Championship” series, which kicks off on March 7, and will be one of 20 live “PBC on NBC” events in 2015.

PBC-cheese-cakeBrooklyners Daniel Jacobs, holder of the WBA’s “regular” middleweight title, who’ll meet Caleb Truax, and Gabriel Bracero (to clash with Felix Diaz of the Bronx) gave dagger eyes to the cheesecake.

Heather Hardy, set to collide with TBD, looked at the cheesecake and shrugged, while tucking into a salad with some grilled chicken.

Marcus Browne, of Staten Island, said that he’s happy that his foe, Aaron Pryor Jr., is on a winning streak, because he wants a solid test. He too blew off the cakeÔǪ

Nets and Barclays boss Brett Yormark was present. He was enthused about “all eyes being on the sport, and most importantly, we can draw some new fans.”

Amen; he’s talking my language, as our demo is about right there with that of Fox News, as far as age goes. I kidÔǪsort of. DiBella might chide me for being negative, come to think of it. The New York-based dealmaker told me, when I asked if boxing was back, “Where did it ever go?”

No, he allowed, boxing did dip some, because “the sport needs to develop new fans. PPV and premium cable doesn’t build new audiences,” he stated.

Big fights, on prime time, at 8:30 p.m., with 100 million households up for grabs, when kids can watch, and not fall asleep waiting for late-night cards to kick off.

“This helps HBO and Showtime, because more people will want to watch, and more people will subscribe,” DiBella continued.

He’s subscribing to the “rising tide” theory, in other words…

Jacobs, one of the topmost feel-good stories, having kicked cancer in the ass a few years back, should have been filmed for a commercial when he talked up the sport as a whole.

“People don’t always like to gravitate to us because it’s a violent sport,” he told “But even still, boxing is an art, and if we promote it right, people will take it as that. We are the last gladiator sport in the world,” he said, but “we lack respect.”

More kids will be inspired by seeing scraps on the network, seeing guys like him doing their thing, he said.

“I’m just happy to be part of bringing it back,” he said.

Indeed, there is a new fire in many of the folks I speak to within the sport. People are being reminded of the attributes, of the athletes, of the sport as a whole. Not everyone is pumped, as some people are seeing their pull diminish as Haymon’s imprint grows. But big picture, all can benefit, I think and believe, if we do grow the whole pie of eyes.