A 'historic' fight turns into fiasco

Boxing's first world title bout live on the Internet was like watching TV in a car wash.

"This", said a voice from cyberspace, heavy with self-importance, "is a maiden voyage into history. One hundred years from now people will look back and reminisce in the same way as they do about the first radio broadcast of boxing, or the first televised bout. But this isn't the radio or television, this is the Internet, and this is fight night, baby."

"This", said a voice from cyberspace, heavy with self-importance, "is a maiden voyage into history. One hundred years from now people will look back and reminisce in the same way as they do about the first radio broadcast of boxing, or the first televised bout. But this isn't the radio or television, this is the Internet, and this is fight night, baby."

All of which prompted at least three questions. Why can't I see anything? Why is the sound so dreadful? And, perhaps most important of all, who do think you're calling baby? The man in charge of the voice claimed to be called Charles Wriggler, which was something of a worry in itself. But at least it was memorable, which should be useful if, as Wriggler clearly believes, last night's card at the Connaught Rooms in London becomes a staple of sports trivia quizzes.

It was billed as the first world title fight to be broadcast live on the Internet. Zolille Mbityl against Sandro Oviedo for the International Boxing Organisation's world flyweight belt, with all the action brought to you by fightnight.com. Two men you have never heard of, in other words, supported by an undercard featuring half a dozen fighters who took obscurity to new limits, not least because the picture quality was so poor that their own mothers would not have recognised them.

Think of that moment when you are sitting in an automatic car wash and the really serious water guns hit the windscreen. Next, imagine there's a television sitting on your bonnet. You now have a rough idea of the viewing experience offered by fightnight.com, presented in a screen on their web page which was little bigger than a festive postage stamp.

Forget, too, any chance that you might follow the action in a meaningful sense. What they offered was instead a series of still pictures, separated by anything from half a second to five. By the time Pete Long arrived to fight Harry Senior in the third fight of the night, the nagging pain in your eyes had turned into a full-blown migraine. One fighter was wearing black shorts and the other one white, but it was still all but impossible to tell them apart.

"You can almost see the fear on the face of William Webster," the commentator had said during the previous bout. In truth, you could not even see the nose on the face of William Webster. But at least you could hear the commentator. Well, sort of.

There is often a moment, at about ten past eleven on a Friday night, when you have drunk so much beer that the voices and noises of the pub around you blur one into the other, and fade in and out according to the rate at which you are swaying. It is usually a sign that you are about to collapse.

The sound on fightnight.com was just like that. So, the first live boxing on the net was like watching TV in a car wash when you're plastered. Different, certainly. But progress? The referee is probably with the Luddites on that one.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: SAGE Bookkeeper & PA to Directors

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Executive

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map