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If you thought Bob Arum and Don King’s reunion was crazy, well dig this. Top Rank, the leading boxing promotional company is taking their business and their big stars from their usual HBO home to rival CBS-Showtime network.
In a breaking news report by FanHouse.com’s Lem Satterfield, Manny Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz confirmed that Pacquiao’s May 7 fight against Shane Mosley will be on Showtime PPV and not on HBO where most of Pacquiao’s fights have been televised. Koncz aluded to the economic and viewership benefits it poses for the pound-for-pound king.
“We’ve worked with HBO for many, many fights, and it’s always great working with them. But, you know, sometimes change is good for everybody involved. So we’re making that change and we’re going on Showtime this time,” said Koncz.
“It’s a big benefit for us, economically, and he’s going to be getting wider viewership,” said Koncz. “It’s a different platform for us, and I think that it’s important to have a different platform. It’s going to take it out of the regular pay-per-view audience because we have a lot of options with the network.”
Showtime will also be the network that will air Top Rank Promotions’ other major shows such as Miguel Cotto vs. Ricardo Mayorga on March 12 at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Brandon Rios vs. Miguel Acosta on February 26, and Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Orlando Salido on April 16. The last Top Rank card on HBO in sight will be Nonito Donaire Jr.’s title shot against bantamweight king Fernando Montiel on February 19.
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I spoke to Cotto’s trainer Emanuel Steward today, who seemed indifferent regarding the matter. The Hall of Fame trainer is also an HBO ringside commentator and analyst, and had just heard about the news himself. Steward was quoted by Satterfield calling the situation “confusing and stressful”. “I don’t know too many details about it, and I don’t try to be concerned about it. But when I first got involved with taking the fight, I just figured automatically that it was going to be on HBO because Miguel has always been an HBO fighter,” said Steward, added, “New York was the first time that I heard about it. Since then, I don’t know what all has been going on. It seems like it’s been bounced all over the place […] There’s so much going on right now that I’m not even interested in knowing about it. I’m just trying to get through this fight and hope that they can sort out this Showtime-HBO war, or this promoter war, or whatever’s going on.”
Personally think it’s good for boxing to have other major players getting play as opposed to having just one big network having a monopoly over the big fights. HBO has dictated most of the main stars they show to the public, and when they’re wrong about somebody, it’s the viewers who have to suffer through watching mediocre fighters over and over again. Case in point: Alfredo Angulo.
Showtime which is owned by CBS also has the ability to reach 115 million homes compared to HBO’s 28 million homes which will further promote Pacquiao through their Fight Camp 360 show that will bring big time boxing to mainstream audience. Prior to his fight with Antonio Margarito, Pacquiao was featured on a well-received CBS: 60 Minutes episode that went back-to-back with an interview with President Barrack Obama.
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Dennis ‘dSource’ Guillermo can be reached through e-mail at [email protected]
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