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"Every time I attempt to get into boxing, I come away disappointed," is a common complaint that's echoed amongst prospective new fans, along with, "Do the good fights ever happen?"

Be assured that they do happen, but as with any sport, it takes a bit of knowledge to find a good match up. If you want a more rewarding boxing experience, here's a handy guide on how to separate the wheat from the chaff. But first, let me answer what seems to be the most obvious question:

Why am I not watching the good fights?
If you're from North America, the juggernaut of boxing broadcasting is HBO. For the past few years the content on HBO has been suffering. The reason for this is Ross Greenburg, president of HBO Sports from 2000-2011.

Ross Greenburg has never been a boxing fan, and has never liked dealing with boxing promoters. In fact, it's commonly known in the boxing world that Greenburg loathed building good boxing match-ups, and gave boxers who didn't deserve it high paydays -- even though they didn't bring in high ratings.

Thankfully, Greenburg has been fired from HBO, replaced by Ken Hershman, the guy responsible for taking Showtime from zero to hero in the boxing world despite having a significantly lower budget than HBO. This means better fights are on the horizon. Unfortunately, the fights booked on HBO are still on the agenda for the rest of the year; the good fights won't be seen until 2012.

HBO Sport's ex-president, Ross Greenburg, hates boxing.

Where can I find the good fights now?
For American viewers, the best boxing fights are broadcast on Showtime, followed by ESPN2. While the talent is not necessarily top tier, it is close and offers more entertainment value than the hyped fights on HBO.

But if you're unconcerned about top level talent, and just want to see a good show, there's more options. Telemundo, Fox Deportes, and TeleFutura are all American Spanish TV networks that regularly match up-and-comers with grizzled vets. The result is often knockouts, upsets, and assorted fireworks.

If you are more adventurous, and want to seek out what the International scene has to offer, find a BoxNation stream. It is a British TV channel that offers 24 hours boxing content. Other great channels are TyC in Argentina, Main Event in Australia, TV Azteca in Mexico, and RTL in Germany.

Frank Warren's Box Nation streams UK and international fights.  When the stream works, that is.

Do talented fighters make good fights?
Not necessarily. Good fights are about good style match-ups, not good fighters. If you put two boxers in the ring and their styles don't "gel", the result will be a snoozer. What you need to find are two fighters with opposing styles that complement each other.

Understanding styles may take time, but for a good introduction to this topic, please see Wikipedia's article on boxing styles.

How often do good fights happen?
Literally every week. Nearly a hundred fights happen each week, so there's bound to be a few of them worth watching.

The reason these fights don't necessarily get a whole lot of love is because boxing is a sport with international appeal, so finding a good fight is kind of like globetrotting. Thankfully, with the Internet, every high profile international fight is a click a way, and is often available on YouTube within 24 hours.

What's the profile of a good fight?
Before tuning in to a fight, see if the fighters in question are out to prove themselves or just want a payday. Reading this blog would be a good start there. If one fighter is on the edge of retirement and has successive losses, the fights not going to be good. On the other hand, if there's a lot on the line, and a win promises bigger and better things, chances are there will be fireworks.

Another factor (as previously alluded) is styles. If you match two counterpunchers together, as in Mayweather vs Marquez, the result will be a snoozefest. However, if you match a boxer-puncher against a counterpuncher, as in Pacquiao vs Marquez, the result will be fireworks. Brawlers are almost always crowd pleasers, even against themselves - as was the case with the Gatti-Ward trilogy.

Finally, look at a fighter's resume. If you see that a particular boxer fought a few noteworthy names, even if the result was a few losses, it may be because he leaves it all in the ring every time. One example of such a fighter is Michael Katsidis. Though he's had consecutive losses against Juan Manuel Marquez, Robert Guerrero, and Ricky Burns, he always pushes his opponents to bring out their best.

If a fight is a Pay Per View, does that mean it will live up to the hype?
No. Pay-per-views are based on the names on the main event, not the quality of fight. As mentioned before, good fights are based on styles match-ups, not names. This is why certain high profile PPVs, such as Pacquiao-Clottey, ended up as disappointments. Or in the case of Hopkins-Dawson, you don't even get two rounds of action.

In contrast, there are fights between no-name fighters, broadcast on free TV, that become legendary. A good example of this would be Wolak vs Rodriguez I, which was broadcast on ESPN2 for free. This was a classic styles match-up between an out-boxer and swarmer.

So am I saying that it's never worth it to buy a PPV? Not at all. Look for main events that are sequels, as well as an undercard with good styles match-ups. This will insure that your PPV is enjoyable every time.

Do Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson owe fans their money back? Maybe.

What about potential legendary superfights?
Sadly, few of them ever live up to the hype. Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson was a potential superfight that broke pay per view records. It resulted in a ho hum match. Oscar de la Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather broke Tyson-Lewis' record, but has since been lowly regarded due to de la Hoya being over-the-hill.

That said, there are a few that do live up to the hype. Marvin Hagler vs. Thomas Hearns has since been regarded as the definitive fight of the 80s. Likewise, Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier has attained mythical status. The key, as in all fights, is the styles match-ups.

How do I get started?
Keep informed. The best way to start is by gauging what boxing fans think of a fight, not what the promoters think of it. Beyond that, check up on post fight analyses, then keep them under your hat for future reference. A good place to start is Boxing Scene as well as Fight News.

Finally, go into a fight with an open mind, and be prepared for anything.

Posted with kind permission from youhavethenerve, a member of the Reddit boxing community. Visit /r/boxing here and get involved in the fight talk.