HBO Releases Statement on Passing of Harold Letterman
On the passing of Hall of Famer Harold Lederman…
“Harold Lederman had a lifelong love affair with the sport of boxing. Over the past fifty years he was universally respected and celebrated by the many people who make the sport what it is. Harold was happiest when seated ringside, studying the action and scoring the fight. When he joined HBO Sports in 1986 he added a new and critical component to live boxing coverage. Viewers embraced his unique style and his command of the rules while his broadcast colleagues relished his enthusiasm and boundless energy. He was an historian and walking rulebook. He always had time for you whether you were a heavyweight champion or just a spectator looking to say hello. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Eileen and daughters Julie and Iris. There isn’t a person in the sport who won’t miss our Harold Lederman.”
Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports
HBO Boxing Results: Braekhus, Shields, and Estrada Win on Final Show
By: Hans Themistode
It was a clean sweep as Cecilia Braekhus (35-0, 8 KOs) and Claressa Shields (8-0, 2 KOs) both retained their titles with relative ease tonight.
For Claressa it was a dominant showing against the current Super Middleweight champion Fenke Hermans (9-2, 3 KOs). Fenke showed tremendous heart in finishing the bout upright but it was a clear victory for Claressa.
From the very beginning there was absolutely no feel out rounds for the reigning unified Middleweight champion. She came out of the gates fast looking to inflict damage on her opponent. Every round looked exactly the same as Claressa made her opponent miss while landing monstrous shots of own. It was the kind of performance from Claressa that showed exactly why she is a super star with only eight pro bouts.
For as dominant as Claressa was she takes a back seat to the current pound-for-pound queen and unified Welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus.
The aforementioned Braekhus put on an absolute clinic. Her opponent Aleksandra Magdziak-Lopes (18-5-3, 1 KO) kept fighting until the end but just didn’t have the skill necessary to dethrone the champion.
To demonstrate just how dominate Braekhus was tonight she only lost one total round according to one judge.
Yes one. That is not a miss print.
The two female headliners absolutely showed out tonight but let’s not forget about Juan Francisco Estrada (38-3, 26 KOs) who made a statement of his own tonight by stopping the tough Victor Mendez (28-4-2, 20 KOs). For Mendez it was the first stoppage loss in his career. The reason this is significant is because Mendez has shared the ring with several great fighters, most notably former WBC champion Luis Nery.
Estrada punished Mendez all fight long until he was forced to throw in the towel. Estrada has been itching for a rematch with current champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. With a performance like he had tonight there is no doubt he will be getting his wish very soon.
All of the fights were entertaining tonight. Those who were supposed to win did so and in dominant fashion. As much as I would love to continue to heap praise on these fighters, the attention should be placed on something much more important at the moment. Let’s acknowledge HBO here.
The network has officially left the world of boxing after 45 plus years of coverage. Of course the sport of boxing will go on but something will forever seem as though it’s missing. Some of the very best to lace them up both past and present have graced that platform. From Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran to current great fighters in Canelo Alvarez and Dmitry Bivol. It is a sad day in boxing but as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.
Farewell HBO, you will be missed.
HBO Boxing Preview: Shields vs. Hermans, Estrada vs. Mendez, Braekhus vs.
By: Hans Themistode
This Saturday night from the StubHub Center in California, HBO will be presenting a triple header for the final card on their boxing platform.
Current unified Women’s Middleweight world champion Claressa Shields (7-0, 2 KOs) will be looking to defend her titles against Femke Hermans (9-1, 3 KOs).
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account/Hogan Photos
For those unfamiliar with Femke she is not only a skilled and tough fighter but she is also the current WBO Super Middleweight champion. Femke dropped down in weight in order to make this fight happen. Femke won the WBO title earlier this year when she dethroned Nikki Adler for the vacant crown. Since then she has gone on to defend her title twice this year. Realizing that the Shields fight was a possibility Femke decided to drop down in weight in order to make the bout a reality.
For Shields taking on yet another champion is something she has grown accustomed to. The two time Olympic gold medalist has built her short career on taking the most difficult challenges.
In just her second pro fight she captured the NABF Super Middleweight title. In her fourth bout she snagged a legit world title by defeating Nikki Adler for both the IBF and WBC Super Middleweight titles. Earlier this year she entered the record books by becoming a two weight world champion when she dropped down in weight and captured both the IBF and WBA Middleweight titles.
Shields is attempting to defend her titles while also fighting on short rest. Just three weeks ago Claressa defended her IBF and WBA titles while capturing the vacant WBC title. Yes just three short weeks later and she’s back in the ring once again. Don’t expect Shields to be fatigued going into this bout as she has grown accustomed to a busy schedule. Both of these women are sure to bring their A games to this matchup.
Claressa will be sharing the spotlight this Saturday night with two other bouts of note.
Juan Francisco Estrada (37-3, 25 KOs) will be looking to get back in the mix for a title shot when he takes on Victor Mendez (28-3-2, 20 KOs). Estrada won’t just be looking to secure a victory but he will try to do so in dominant fashion.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account/Hogan Photos
Earlier this calendar year Estrada engaged in a fight of the year caliber contest against current WBC champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
Although the bout was close Estrada ultimately lost by majority decision. He is itching to get his chance at redemption but will first have to knock off the tough and durable Victor Mendez. For the aforementioned Mendez this is his opportunity to vault up the rankings and secure his own shot at a world title. Since losing to Arthur Villanueva in November of 2016, Mendez has reeled off four straight victories with his last two coming via knockout.
Mendez will be the bigger man come Fight night as he has a three inch height advantage. Checking in at 5’7 compared to 5’4 for Estrada. He has also given contenders a tough time. Just ask former WBC champion Luis Nery as he matched up with Mendez in 2014 and only managed to win by a close split decision.
In short, Mendez is no push over. If Estrada is hoping to land a title shot in the near future he will have to leave an impression in this fight. However as we have seen with Mendez time and time again that will not be an easy task.
Headlining the card is the consensus pound-for-pound best female fighter in the world Cecilia Braekhus (34-0, 9 KOs) and Undisputed Welterweight champion. She will be looking to defend her titles against Aleksandra Magdziak-Lopes (18-4-3, 1 KO).
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account/Hogan Photos
Magdziak-Lopes is not new to challenging for a world title as this will be her third effort. Her first two attempts came in losing efforts to Mikaela Lauren and Ewa Piatkowska. Magdziak-Lopes however is hoping that the third time truly the charm.
Winning her first world title won’t be easy as she’s facing her stiffest competition in Braekhus.
Let’s be honest here. The deck is stacked mightily against Aleksandra. She has never faced someone with the skill nor pedigree of Braekhus. However with that being said Aleksandra can take solace in her present form. She has not lost a fight in over two years while defeating the likes of Patty Ramirez and Lisa Noel Garland.
Aleksandra also has nothing to lose at this point. If she loses then she was supposed to. There can be no shame in losing to who many regard as being the best fighter on the planet. If she wins however then her life can be changed forever. She has nothing to lose but plenty to gain. It will take Herculean effort to dethrone Braekhus but Magdziak-Lopes seems up to the task.
HBO has been the home for almost five decades for the world of boxing. “Prince” Naseem Hamed, Bernard Hopkins, Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran and Oscar De La Hoya to name a few have all graced this platform. As HBO bows out of the sport it is fitting that they are doing so with the Queen of boxing leading the charge.
Pedro Guevara-Juan Estrada Talks Stall, Planned HBO Bout In Jeopardy
By Jake Donovan
For the second time this year, Mexico’s Pedro Guevara was forced to deal with the reality of canceled plans for a showdown with Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez.
For the second time this week, the former 108-pound titlist is about to watch another planned bout fall by the wayside.
The 29-year old from Mazatlan, Mexico was reportedly heading for a showdown with countryman Juan Francisco Estrada, who was named as the leading replacement after Gonzalez suffered an injury and was forced to withdraw.
However, BoxingInsider.com has learned that talks of the rematch have never advanced beyond early negotiations and apparently have hit a wall.
“It’s very disappointing,” Oswaldo Küchle, head of Promociones del Pueblo told BoxingInsider.com on Tuesday of his client being left in the dark less than two weeks ahead of fight night.
Guevara is slated to appear on the December 8 edition of HBO’s Boxing After Dark, the telecast’s significance coming in it being the last for the cable giant, whose brass has opted to bow out of the boxing business after more than 45 years of service. His originally scheduled clash with Gonzalez was budgeted to accompany the two best female boxers in the planet, Cecilia Braekhus and Claressa Shields in separate bouts.
Braekhus (34-0, 9KOs)—the unbeaten welterweight from Norway by way of Colombia who along with unbeaten cruiserweight king Oleksandr Usyk are the only two undisputed (four-belt) champions in the sport today—enters her 24th consecutive defense of at least one welterweight title as she faces Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes (18-4-3, 1KO) in the main event. In supporting action, Shields (7-0, 2KOs)—who captured Olympic Gold for the United States in 2012 and 2016—defends her unified middleweight titles versus Femke Hermans.
The men’s side of show took its first hit when Gonzalez struggled to push through a knee injury suffered during training camp, thus opting to sit out the remainder of 2018. Guevara (32-3-1, 19KOs) was thrilled that he would remain on the show after his team discovered over the weekend that a quick replacement was potentially found in Estrada, a former two-division titlist who was already training for a planned stay-busy bout at home in Mexico.
Loeffler has served as an intermediary between Promociones del Pueblo and Zanfer Promotions head Fernando Beltran—the latter whom represents Estrada—given that the two Mexico promotional powerhouses are longtime rivals who rarely do business together, and time is of the essence in keeping the December 8 show afloat.
It doesn’t seem to matter to the Estrada side, who is now apparently balking at the proposed match.
“Monday we got a call from (Loeffler) stating that Estrada would replace Chocolatito,” Küchle told BoxingInsider.com. “Since then, no answer from anyone. It’s totally disrespectful and unprofessional (of Zanfer Promotions).”
Guevara is doing his best to remain the consummate professional, regardless of who he faces and where it takes place. Once among the best junior flyweights in the world, he’s since moved up in weight after a failed bid to become a two-time titlist in a tightly contested decision loss to the excellent Ken Shiro last October in Japan.
Two wins have followed, although neither have come against his intended target in Gonzalez.
“We had the best training camp of my career and I am ready,” Guevara insists. “I was ready for Chocolatito and I am ready for Estrada. Anytime two Mexicans are in the ring, it’s very exciting, so let’s do this.”
Given the constant change in plans he’s been forced to endure in 2018, it’s easy to see why Guevara is eager for a big fight—or at least concrete plans.
The fallout with Gonzalez was the second time in less than seven months that a pairing between the two hit the scrap heap. Gonzalez—the former pound-for-pound king and four division champ—was forced to bow out of a planned clash in May when a massive visa backlog kept him grounded in his native Nicaragua.
Guevara went on to take a stay-busy fight later than month in his hometown of Mazatlan, along with a 10th round stoppage win over Roberto Sanchez this past September in Ciudad Obregon. Both bouts aired live on Televisa, with whom Guevara is aligned through Promociones del Pueblo.
Estrada and the rest of the Zanfer Promotions stable regularly fight on TV Azteca in Mexico. Rival promoters offering content on rival networks will go a long way in explaining why the two sides don’t conduct much business together. Reliable sources have suggested that local TV rights remains a sticking point in finalizing a Guevara-Estrada clash, although all parties involved have denied such rumors when contacted by Boxinginsider.com.
The hope on Guevara’s side was to use the exposure to come from the December 8 telecast to create demand for a third attempt at getting Gonzalez in the ring.
“He’s (still) a great fighter and we both aspire to once again become a world champion,” notes Guevara. “I very much hope we can still do the fight in 2019.
“For now, I just want the chance to fight on HBO for the first time. It’s an incredible honor and a great opportunity that I won’t take for granted.”
Hopefully, it’s an opportunity he gets to take at all.
HBO Boxing Results: Bivol Dominates Pascal, Akhmadaliev Stops Zarate
The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey was the host site for tonight’s HBO Boxing card, one of the last ones before HBO closes the door in boxing.
The opening bout of the night was between Isaac Zarate (16-3-3) and Murodjon Akhmadaliev (4-0) in the junior featherweight division.
Akhmadaliev is a high level prospect with a deep amateur background, and was considered a heavy favorite despite only having four professional fights in comparison to the 22 of Zarate.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Akhmadaliev showed good movement in the opening two rounds and was able to land the heavier and harder power shots. Akhmadaliev was getting a little reckless in the second round and was victim to some uppercuts from Zarate, but still likely won the rounds.
Akhmadaliev landed some heavy body shots in the third round and had a left hook that had Zarate seeing stars, but he managed to survive the round.
Zarate made a better showing in the fifth round, but Akhmadaliev was landing some heavy body shots this round. Akhmadaliev continued to press forward in the sixth round and had Zarate retreating to safety in the corner multiple times.
Zarate appeared to have no power in the seventh round and was badly hurt from a body shot. Akhmadaliev continued to land heavy blows in the eighth round that looked like it would have stopped several fighters from the past.
By the ninth round the main question was could Zarate last all ten rounds? The answer was no, as Akhmadaliev landed a vicious right hand to the chin followed by a combination that forced the referee to jump in and stop the fight.
Akhmadaliev wins by TKO at 1:17 of the ninth round.
The main event of the night was between Dmitry Bivol (14-0) and Jean Pascal (33-5-1) for the WBA Light Heavyweight Championship.
It was clear in the opening moments of the fight that Bivol had the height advantage and was a much more accurate puncher. Bivol’s combinations had Pascal a little hurt at the end of the first round, and kept Pascal off balance in the second round and unable to launch and effective attack.
Bivol continued to land accurate jabs in the third round and looked like he wasn’t missing many punches. Pascal brought some heat in the fourth round, but that was short lived as a slip at the end of the round probably could have been scored a knockdown.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Bivol had Pascal backing up again in the fifth round and forced Pascal to be short with his punches. Body shots from Bivol in the sixth and seventh rounds appeared to suck the energy out of Pasal.
Pascal had a brief rally in the eighth round when he connected with a straight counter right, but Bivol remained calm and peppered Pascal throughout most of the round.
Pascal came out firing in the ninth round behind a steady stream of jabs, and may have stolen it from Bivol, who didn’t press the pace like he usually does.
Bivol landed a plethora of punches in the opening minute of the tenth round and he looked like he was going for the knockout, but Pascal was able to survive and throw back a flurries of his own. Pascal ended the round strong by pressing the attack, but Bivol still likely won the round.
Pascal needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win the bout, but that never came.
Dmitry Bivol wins the decision with scores of 117-111, 119-109, and 119-109.
HBO Boxing Results: Jacobs Defeats Derevyanchenko in Slugfest, Hardy and Machado Win
By: William Holmes
HBO’s run as one of boxing’s premier destinations is coming to an end, and tonight may have been their last telecast from New York City.
HBO’s World Championship Boxing put on a triple header live from the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
The opening bout of the night was rematch between Heather Hardy (21-0) and Shelly Vincent (23-1) for the vacant WBO Women’s Featherweight Title. Their first fight was considered by many to be a fight of the year candidate in 2016.
Hardy walked into the ring with a four inch height advantage.
Both boxers started the fight right where the left off, by throwing a large number of punches and landing several good shots. Hardy appeared the be winning the early rounds with more accurate punches and good body shots, but Vincent kept up the pressure.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Hardy appeared to have slowed down a little bit in the fourth round and may have given that round to Vincent, but she picked up her pace again in the fifth and sixth rounds and used a good consistent jab and strong hook to the body to win these rounds.
Hardy had a bad cut open up over her left eye in addition to an earlier cut over her right eye by the seventh round but she continued to fight on. Vincent had some blood coming from her nose at the end of the round and the volume of punches that both women were landing were showing it’s effect on their faces.
Vincent continued to press the action in the eight round and was able to land a few good shots to the body of Hardy, but Hardy landed harder counters and appeared to be landing with more power.
Vincent probably needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win this bout, but neither boxer were known for their power and neither came close to a knockdown, but still threw an incredible number of punches.
Heather Hardy remains undefeated with a decision victory by scores of 97-93, 97-93, and 99-91.
The next bout of the night was between Alberto Machado (20-0) and Yuandale Evans (20-1) for the WBA “Regular” Junior Lightweight Title.
Machado is a rising star in boxing and looked to be the taller fighter in the ring.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Machado was able to land a good straight left hand early on to the chin of Evans that sent Evans to his butt on the floor. Evans was able to get back to his feet, but was staggered by a right hook and was met with a flurry of punches that forced Evans to touch the mat with his gloves for a second knockdown.
Evans returned to his feet and was checked quickly by the referee and indicated he could go on, but was met with another Machado combination that ended with a clean left hook that knocked Evans out and sent him crashing backwards to the canvas.
Alberto Machado wins by knockout at 2:25 of the first round.
The main event of the evening was between Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0) and Daniel Jacobs (34-2) for the IBF Middleweight Title.
Both boxers showed they knew each other well in the opening round and respected each other’s power. Derevyanchenko let Jacobs know he was in a fight by landing a short right immediately after a break. Jacobs jab kept a good distance and he was able to score a knockdown with an over the top right hand. Derevyanchenko got to his feet and survived a Jacobs onslaught as the round came to an end.
Derevyanchenko was the aggressor in the second round and recovered well from his earlier knockdown. Derevyanchenko was pressing forward on Jacobs which forced Jacobs to switch to a southpaw stance to better keep a distance from Derevyanchenko’s right hand.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Jacobs did good work to the body in the third and fourth rounds but both boxers were loading up on their punches and landing hard shots.
Derevyanchenko attacked the body of Jacobs in the fifth round and had Jacobs walking backwards into a corner or rope several times throughout the round. Jacobs was able to land a few good shots this round, but Derevyanchenko was the aggressor.
The sixth round featured a lot of fireworks as both boxers threw with reckless abandon and landed hard shots to the body and head. Jacobs though appeared to be a little more accurately, but was still being uncharacteristically wild.
Derevyanchenko was breathing heavily by the seventh round but still coming forward. The body work of Jacobs was showing signs of paying off in this round as Jacobs still had snap in his punches while Derevyanchenko appeared to be losing steam.
Jacobs defense was much more effective in the eighth and ninth rounds and he was finding a home for his uppercuts. Jacobs had pulled ahead to a comfortable lead by the tenth round, but Derevyanchenko may have stolen that round with some successful flurries.
Jacobs looked like he would have been ok with boxing safely in the final two rounds, but Derevyanchenko made Jacobs work for his victory as Derevyanchenko continued to press forward and aggressively go for a knockout and had Jacobs looking exhausted as the fight came to an end, but Derevyanchenko took some hard shots in the process.
Daniel Jacobs wins the decision with scores of 114-113 Derevyanchenko, 115-112 Jacobs, 115-112 Jacobs.
HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Jacobs vs. Derevyanchenko, Machado vs. Evans
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York City will host an IBF World Middleweight Title fight between Daniel Jacobs and Sergi Derevyanchenko.
The undercard will feature two other world title bouts. The co-main event of the evening will be a WBA Regular Junior Lightweight Title fight between Alberto Machado and Yuandale Evans. The first fight of the telecast will be a rematch between Heather Hardy and Shelly Vincent for the vacant WBO Women’s Featherweight Title.
The fight between Hardy and Vincent was just recently added to the telecast and was originally scheduled to be on the untelevised undercard. Their first fight was a 2016 Ring Magazine Female Fight of the Year, and saw Hardy win by a majority decision.
Even though this writer does not remember their first fight being as close at the judges scored it, it was an action packed fight that should be entertaining for fight fans.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
Alberto Machado (20-0) vs. Yuandale Evans (20-1); WBA “Regular” Junior Lightweight Title
Alberto Machado is currently co-promoted by both Golden Boy Promotions as well as Miguel Cotto Promotions. He holds the WBA Regular Junior Lightweight Title and is considered one of Golden Boy’s top prospects.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
He’s in the midst of his athletic prime at 28 years old and is one year younger than Evans. He has 16 stoppage victories on his resume, two more than Evans, and has been more active. Machado has stopped three of his past five opponents. Saturday will be his second fight of 2018, after fighting three times in 2017 and four times in 2016. Evans will be fighting for the first time 2018, fought twice in 2017, and didn’t fight at all in 2016.
Both boxers have been fairly successful as amateurs. Machado was a national champ at the Junior, Junior Olympics, and Cadet Categories. Evans won a bronze medal in the National Golden Gloves Tournament.
Machado has never tasted defeated and has beaten the likes of Rafael Mesnah, Jezreel Corrales, Carlos Morales, and Juan Jose Martinez. Every opponent that Machado has defeated since 2014 had a winning record.
Evans’ lone loss was to Javier Fortuna by TKO way back in 2012. He has notable wins against Luis Rosa and Billel Dib. Two of the past four fighters that Evans has faced had losing records.
Machado should win by a comfortable margin on Saturday, as Evans doesn’t have the experience of Machado and has been fairly inactive in the past few years.
Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0) vs. Daniel Jacobs (34-2); IBF Middleweight Title
Daniel Jacobs is one of Eddie Hearn’s top middleweights and he’s looking at potential bouts with either Canelo Alvarez, Demetrius Andrade, or Billy Joe Saunders in the future on the DAZN network.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
But first he has to get past an under the radar Sergiy Derevyanchenko, who is better than most people realize.
Jacobs has 29 stoppage wins on his resume and nearly triple the number of professional fights than Derevyanchenko. Derevyanchenko only has 10 stoppage wins, but Derevyanchenko spent most of his early career fighting under the World Series of Boxing Banner, which don’t technically count as professional fights.
When Derevyanchenko fought for the World Series of Boxing he had over 23 fights and only lost once.
Both boxers had successful amateur careers. Jacobs was a Junior Olympics, Golden Gloves, and US National Champion. Derevyanchenko competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics, the most prestigious amateur event for boxing.
Jacobs two losses were a monumental upset to Dmitry Pirog back in 2010, and a close decision loss to Gennady Golovkin. He has defeated the likes of Maciej Sulecki, Luis Arias, Sergio Mora, Peter Quillin, Caleb Truax, Jarrod Fletcher, and Ishe Smith.
Derevyanchenko has never tasted defeat as a pro, but he did lose a World Series of Boxing match. He has beaten the likes of Dashon Johnson, Tureano Johnson, Sam Soliman, Kemahl Russell, Elvin Ayala, and Vladine Biosse.
The biggest notable difference on Saturday will be size. Daniel Jacobs will have at least a two and a half inch height advantage as well as a five and a half inch reach advantage. He looked even bigger when they faced off with each other. Both guys are still in their athletic prime, with Jacobs being 31 and Derevyanchenko being 32.
Jacobs shouldn’t overlook Derevyanchenko, for his amateur pedigree indicates he will be a tougher opponent than most expect. But Jacobs will be fighting in front of a friendly crowd with big fights on the horizon, this writer has a hard time imagining a scenario where he doesn’t walk out the victor.
What Caused HBO’s Downfall
By: Kirk Jackson
By now it’s become public knowledge; the end of an era within sports broadcasting is to take place end of the year with the announcement of the departure of boxing coverage from the HBO network.
Initially reported by the New York Times and later confirmed by an HBO executive, HBO is officially leaving boxing after 45 years.
HBO Sports Executive Vice President Peter Nelson announced HBO was dropping boxing at the end of the year in a meeting held with the HBO Boxing production staff.
“This is not a subjective decision,” Nelson said to the New York Times. “Our audience research informs us that boxing is no longer a determinant factor for subscribing to HBO.”
There are several reasons responsible; analyzing the collapse of what was formerly one of HBO’s premier and profitable fixtures across their network. This particular article will cover the main reasons for HBO’s descent into boxing exodus.
The main reason, which has a snowball effect, tying into other reasons why HBO continued their downward spiral into mediocrity, was the transitional change of executive brass within the network and the subtraction of Floyd Mayweather and Al Haymon.
In 2013, Mayweather ended his 14 year relationship with the network and bolted towards greener pastures with Showtime, signing a six-fight deal worth more than $200 million dollars.
HBO could not entice their cash cow with a respective offer in spite of Mayweather’s dominance and financial impact across the landscape of the business. Mayweather’s nine pay-per-view fights on HBO PPV events generated 9.6 million buys and $543 million in television revenue, according to the network.
The new executive regime controlling boxing programing at HBO was heavily involved in the decision allowing Mayweather to leave HBO for Showtime and furthermore, banned all Haymon-advised and managed fighters from the network due to massive “Philosophical differences.”
“In order to achieve our goal of the best fighters in the most compelling matchups, we’ve decided to focus our efforts and resources on those strategic relationships where we better share common goals and business philosophies,” said an HBO Sports executive in light of Mayweather and Haymon’s depature from HBO.
What HBO failed to realize, the long-term significance and damage losing not only boxing’s biggest star, but one of the biggest stars across all of sports and entertainment.
With losing Mayweather and Haymon, both often criticized across several media outlets in spite of their individual and collective success across various platforms, HBO lost the ability to consistently produce high quality fight cards and individual must see match-ups.
To expand on the bad match-ups narrative, HBO wanted to rely and build up other fighters to fill Mayweather’s void but due to the departure of Mayweather, Haymon and Haymon’s fighters, lacked the resources to do so.
“There’s always a fight or fighters that slip through your fingers. But I don’t view (losing) Floyd as a negative. It led to a lot of positive things for other athletes and fights, and we didn’t lose tons of money, and we got the biggest fight of all time anyway,” said an HBO executive.
Relying on Top Rank promotions talent and other fighters outside that promotional company such as Gennady Golovkin, Sergey Kovalev, Andre Ward, Roman Gonzalez, Terence Crawford, Vasyl Lomachenko, Tim Bradley and Manny Pacquiao could not fill the void left by the aforementioned Mayweather.
There were good match-ups in spots, whether it was across HBO’s Boxing After Dark programming, regular HBO Championship Boxing or Pay-Per-View, some of which profitable for the company.
Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez and Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley II were good match-ups and lucrative for the company.
But other bouts such as Terence Crawford vs. Viktor Postol and Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs were not profitable for HBO, while others such as Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio César Chávez Jr., Canelo Alvarez vs. Amir Khan and Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Ríos were complete mismatches.
Some bouts were a combination of both; Canelo Alvarez vs. Liam Smith, Gennady Golovkin vs. David Lemieux and Manny Pacquiao vs. Chris Algieri.
In addition to the issues regarding match-ups and PPV cards, HBO faced declining ratings over the last few years.
Their recent Super Fly 3 tripleheader – which took place on September 8 – peaked at 349,000 viewers, making it one of the lowest-rated live televised event in the network’s history.
HBO’s two biggest stars, Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, became network free agents after their recent HBO Pay-Per-View rematch last month in Las Vegas.
Fast forward to a few years removed from losing Mayweather, HBO also had to deal with the departure of Top Rank, effectively removing Lomachenko, Crawford and others, HBO now faced greater competition with ESPN. Top Rank left HBO for an exclusive long term deal with ESPN.
In addition to Top Rank leaving, fighters the network invested in as the future of the company started losing. Roman Gonzalez, Sergey Kovalev, Manny Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire among others, suffered key defeats.
The fighters HBO hyped up, seemingly got “Exposed” or suffered defeats when the lights were shinning brightest.
HBO wanted to feature more fighters from Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America. They were moving away from the American fighters garnering success in years past; certainly did not want to promote African American fighters and that was evidenced by their moves.
And while things were changing for HBO in the wrong direction, Showtime significantly expanded their boxing coverage, adding top fighters like Deontay Wilder, Errol Spence and Mikey Garcia.
Again speaking of Haymon, the architect of Premier Boxing Champions, boasting a massive stable of over 100 contracted fighters, also signed multi-year deals with FOX and Showtime to provide boxing content on a regular basis.
Promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom has also arrived with new streaming service DAZN; nearly every boxer is his stable – including several that were featured on HBO – will be exclusively featured on the network.
As mentioned earlier, ESPN will broadcast fighters from Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions.
Declining ratings, change of “Philosophy” change of executive personnel, modification of fighter rosters, and the loss of super star talent all attributed to the overall deterioration of boxing on HBO. Not to mention the cutting of budget to allocate funds towards other programming such as Game of Thrones for example.
What coincided and even outmatched the product inside the ring was the commentary and analysis outside the ring.
Actual fighters and trainers such as Roy Jones, Bernard Hopkins, Andre Ward, Lennox Lewis, George Foreman and the late Emanuel Steward offered stimulating insight and were great additions to the telecast.
But often times, their thought-provoking perspective was overshadowed by egregious, insulting commentary from Larry Merchant, Max Kellerman and Jim Lampley.
One of boxing’s most prominent trainers noticed the biased commentary from the HBO team. Head trainer of Golovkin (one of HBO’s featured fighters) Abel Sanchez even claimed he never pays attention to the HBO on-air crew – Jim Lampley, Harold Lederman and especially Kellerman.
“You know what, I don’t watch the HBO guys because all 3 of them are biased. Max Kellerman is in a world of his own, watching something other people aren’t watching, so I don’t really watch them. He’s by far one of the most biased commentators on TV,” Sanchez stated during an interview session on Reddit.
Whether it was openly insulting religions, comparing complexions, open bias, projecting false narratives, or just overall ineptitude, this combustive clan showcased it all consistently.
It was that same bias that turned knowledgeable viewers of the sport off and in many cases prompted viewers to watch fights on mute if they watch at all. It was that same commentary, bias and disrespect that turned Mayweather away and into another network. Which effectively signaled the beginning of the end.
The fall of HBO was self-inflicted, life goes on and the network will survive in spite of losing a legendary fixture of their programming.
But most important, with the growth and expansion of boxing across various platforms, boxing keeps swinging and will continue to fight onto the next round.
For Boxing Fans Not Interested in the UFC; Streaming with DAZN and ESPN+ is the New Normal
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the number one PPV attraction in combat sports will defend his world title.
I’m not talking about Floyd Mayweather Jr., the past PPV king who has yet to officially announce the details of his next proposed fight.
I’m talking about Conor McGregor, the UFC’s cash cow who’s set to take on undefeated challenger Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Photo Credit: DAZN Twitter Account
As recently as last year, if a UFC fight card was on PPV and an outlet like HBO or Showtime put on a competing card, you could expect HBO or Showtime to still get decent ratings.
However, the times have changed and HBO is making an exit from broadcasting boxing and will be completely out of boxing by the time 2019 arrives.
The future for boxing fans is streaming, and the future is here.
One of the bigger complaints against HBO Boxing was that you couldn’t watch a fight on their network live via streaming. You could subscribe to a service like HBO GO without a cable television provider or satellite provider, but you could not watch fights live, only on tape delay. Showtime has that option for their subscribers, which reflects the inclinations of the younger generation to cut the chord and stream their programming and also reflected Showtime’s commitment to the sport of boxing.
Showtime would still probably get good numbers if they were to counter program against the UFC, but they even have a streaming option for fights available for their customers.
HBO has a wide array of programming for their subscribers and charges approximately $15 per month. Some of their consumers got HBO solely for boxing, and would shell out additional money per month for their PPV offerings.
The number of fights that HBO put on yearly has been on the decline, as well as their budget. For the same $15 a month, fight fans can get high quality fights on both ESPN+ and DAZN and a much larger number of boxing matches.
DAZN has contracts to televised both boxing and MMA. They plan to televised 16 boxing events in the United States and 16 boxing events in the United Kingdom with Matchroom Boxing per year. They plan to show 15 World Boxing Super Series events per year with 21 tournament bouts. They have a contract with Combate Americas for thirteen events a year. They also have a contract to broadcast some of Bellator MMA’s biggest events, who have named fighters such as Chael Sonnen, Rampage Jackson, Rory McDonald, Gegard Mousasi, and Fedor Emelianenko under contract.
ESPN+ also has plans to put on a large number of MMA and boxing events on their platform. When ESPN originally announced their contract with Top Rank they indicated they will show at least 12 live fight cards from the US and six international cards. They’ve already signed an extension on that deal that will call for 18 cards to air on ESPN, 12 prime-time cards that will stream exclusively on ESPN+, and 24 premium international events to be shown on ESPN+.
While DAZN has Bellator and Combate Americas; ESPN+ has a contract with the UFC, the MMA powerhouse. The deal that ESPN+ has with the UFC is for 10 UFC Fight Night cards on ESPN and 20 UFC Fight Night cards on ESPN+ per year.
In the past boxing fans who were not fans of the UFC would usually turn to their premium networks to watch boxing during a UFC PPV. This weekend, boxing fans have plenty of other options.
On ESPN+ they can watch a bantamweight bout between Luis Nery and Jason Canoy from Tijuana, Mexico and also watch a junior welterweight fight between Jack Catterall and Ohara Davies from Leicester, England in the junior welterweight division.
On DAZN they can watch a welterweight bout between Jessie Vargas and Thomas Dulorme, as well as an IBF Light Heavyweight bout between Artur Beterbiev and Callum Johnson, as well as a WBA Junior Featherweight bout between Danny Roman and Gavin McDonnell.
Additionally, fight fans can also watch on DAZN a WBA Bantamweight Title bout between Naoya Inoue and Juan Carlos Payano as well as a WBA Junior Welterweight bout between Kiryl Relikh and Eduard Troyanovsky. These bouts are part of the World Boxing Super Series and will be broadcast from Yokohama, Japan.
So while all the hype and marketing this week is behind Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov, boxing fans still have a chance to see a high quality card from Chicago and Japan on DAZN, and a boxing card from England and Mexico on ESPN+. If you’re already a subscriber you know of the quality and quantity of boxing fights these services offer.
Finally, the streaming services offer viewers an opportunity to watch an entire card, from opening fight to the main fight, and not just the top two or three fights. This will allow fans to get a better look at prospects early on in their career.
For boxing fans, the price of ESPN+ and DAZN combined is about the same price as a monthly subscription to HBO. But the quality and quantity of content is far greater with these streaming services.
If you’re not a fan of the UFC and are looking for other viewing options, might as well sign up with these streaming services for a month and enjoy.
And get used to it, for streaming is the new normal for boxing fans. At close inspection, it appears to be a better normal.
Not A Shock That HBO Had Their Last Punch
By Rich Mancuso
Say goodbye to Jim, Max, Roy, and Harold. HBO, once the premiere network for boxing, has thrown their last punch and it was a matter of time. The network over the past few years saw a roster of fighters go to the other competition with Showtime, ESPN, and the new streaming DAZN Network. Promoters are utilizing the increasing number of vehicles used to stream fights including ESPN with Top Rank and Eddie Hearn with DAZN as a paid platform.
In other words, this was a fight to survive as HBO and their boxing division tried to stay afloat and placed their revenue into alternative programming. It was just a matter of time and the boxing industry expected the inevitable news that became official Thursday afternoon.
So it appears the rematch with Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, televised on HBO Pay-Per-View, that generated a reported 1.1 buys, was a good and final punch. Though HBO Boxing will continue their scheduled commitments and close shop after October 27th.
That night, a championship doubleheader from New York at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden, includes a middleweight title fight between Danny Jacobs and Sergey Derevyanchenko for the vacant middleweight title.
HBO could have one more telecast in the works and their year end year special as part of the farewell. A sad day at the network division in New York and gone for now, but a revamp down the road and possibly joining the others as another streaming network to showcase the fights has not been discussed.
“Forty-five years of great memories and boxing,” said a source close to the network. “You hear the rumors and now it has hit that the final punches will be thrown and thank all the legendary fighters and great promoters for the memories.”
But this had to occur and not for reasons that the sport is on a continued decline. To the contrary it is the fighters that make a network work. HBO lost the big names over the past few years to other networks. The Hall of Fame champions saw their last punch.
Reaction from the boxing world is a mixed bag with the closure of HBO and boxing. They were the first and original until the competition gave them a good and lasting fight. Though Peter Nelson, the executive vice president of HBO Sports said, “Our audience research informs us that boxing is no longer a determining factor for subscribing to HBO.”
And that does not hold for the other networks. Simply put, HBO was out of the boxing business as they did not have the names. You can’t draw the audience without Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto. And with the Klitschko brothers reign as heavyweight champions at a conclusion, it was difficult for HBO to be a mix in that division.
For Eddie Hearn, Bob Arum, the PBC alliance with Showtime, they have the fighters and of course the digital platforms that HBO failed to pursue. The sport and exposure has gone in another direction and financial backing is a major role that HBO failed to obtain with their boxing division.
They were left with Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin,Jamie Munguia, Dmitry Bivol, Sergey Kovalev, Daniel Jacobs, Roman Gonzalez, and Rey Vargas. Not the household names that are drawn to the other networks and minimal money to be a part of the competition.
Errol Spence Jr., Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter? Names and faces of the sport also associated with the PBC and Showtime. Top Rank with their seven- year and lucrative deal with ESPN has shown the ability to develop that new face.
They have achieved that with Jose Ramirez. The 140-pound champion is a rising star and recently defended the title with a possible fight of the year against Antonio Orozco. That fight was tabbed as one of the highest rated on the ESPN televised platforms.
HBO also failed to mention the decline in cable subscriptions at a rapid rate. The consumer is more geared to other means of obtaining premium networks and the cable industry is aware of that concern.
And by all means, the demise of HBO does not mean that boxing is a dead sport. This is just a sign of the times in a digital era.
“As a person who fought on HBO 32 times and worked with the network to televise hundreds of fights under the @goldenboyboxing banner, I know firsthand the debt of gratitude the sport of boxing owes everyone at the company,” Oscar De La Hoya said on his Twitter account.
De La Hoya, promoter of Canelo Alvarez is a part of that HBO history. Combined the two fights with Alvarez and Golovkin did not surpass the 4,6000,00 buys that Mayweather and Pacquiao brought in during their mega fight in May of 2015 that was televised in conjunction with HBO and Showtime Pay-Per-View.
We grew up with HBO Championship Boxing. Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant,Roy Jones Jr. Max Kellerman and the “Fight Judge” Harold Lederman, in between George Foreman, Lennox Lewis, Andre Ward, and a cast of others. And of course a parade of champions.
A slow death it was, The history for now and memories will go a long way in the sport.
HBO Announces It’s Out Of The Boxing Business
By: Sean Crose
HBO has finally come clean and has admitted it’s out of the live boxing business. “Peter Nelson, the 37-year-old executive vice president of HBO Sports, made the announcement that the new network was dropping boxing Thursday morning in a meeting with the HBO Boxing production staff,” writes the New York Times. “This is not a subjective decision,” Nelson is quoted as saying. “Our audience research informs us that boxing is no longer a determinant factor for subscribing to HBO.”
Many saw the move coming. HBO, once the crown jewel of boxing broadcasts, had severely lessened its broadcast of live fights in recent times. What’s more, the biggest names in the business were no longer involved with the network for the most part. Several years ago, HBO’s decision to step away from the sweet science would have been devastating to the sport. With boxing now being aired on many different outlets, however, the impact of HBOs decision may not be particularly significant. For instance, Bob Arum’s Top Rank Boxing, once a loyal partner with HBO, moved on to a lucrative deal with ESPN long before the announcement of HBOs departure from boxing was made.
What’s more, promoters like England’s Eddie Hearn have moved onto streaming platforms to show their wares. ESPN, and HBO rival Showtime are also in the streaming business when it comes to live boxing – though not exclusively. Add that to the fact that Premiere Boxing Champions, home to some of the most popular fighters in the world, deals mainly with Showtime and Fox Sports rather than HBO, and news of HBO’s break with boxing can be seen more as a formality than as a ground shaking event for the sport. As the Times states: “The decision (of HBO) cuts against a recent influx of investors and broadcasters into boxing, and amid a much wider availability of fights on a variety of digital platforms.”
To men like Hearn, who is hoping to usurp the old guard of the fight game with the streaming service DAZN in the United States, HBO’s decision might even come as something of a small relief. “I think it’s a great time for boxing and to be a fight fan,” the Times quotes Hearn, who now has one less competitor to worry about, as saying.
It’s worth noting, however, that HBO had a tremendous and long term impact on the sport of boxing. Once home to the sport’s biggest names, the network covered countless championship and classic bouts over a forty-year period. No small achievement.
Official Statement from HBO
Our mission at HBO Sports is to elevate the brand. We look for television projects that are high-profile, high-access, and highly ambitious in the stories they seek to tell and the quality of production in telling them.
Boxing has been part of our heritage for decades. During that time, the sport has undergone a transformation. It is now widely available on a host of networks and streaming services. There is more boxing than ever being televised and distributed. In some cases, this programming is very good. But from an entertainment point of view, it’s not unique.
Going forward in 2019, we will be pivoting away from programming live boxing on HBO. As always, we will remain open to looking at events that fit our programming mix. This could include boxing, just not for the foreseeable future.
We’re deeply indebted to the many courageous fighters whose careers we were privileged to cover.
There have been hundreds of dedicated and remarkably creative men and women who have delivered the best in television production for HBO’s coverage of boxing and we are so grateful for their contributions. It has been a wonderful journey chronicling the careers and backstories of so many spectacularly talented prizefighters.
We are a storytelling platform. The future will see unscripted series, long-form documentary films, reality programming, sports journalism, event specials and more unique standout content from HBO Sports.
We are constantly evaluating our programming to determine what resonates with our subscribers. Our audience research clearly shows the type of programming our subscribers embrace. For HBO Sports, it’s programming that viewers can’t find elsewhere.
In keeping with this mission, we’ve accelerated our commitment to storytelling. This has produced landmark shows like “Andre the Giant,” which is the most viewed sports documentary ever on HBO; the acclaimed NFL reality franchise “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cleveland Browns,” which delivered double-digit viewership gains from a year ago; “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel,” the gold standard in sports journalism on television; the powerful docu-series “Being Serena” that chronicled the comeback of tennis icon Serena Williams; and the acclaimed unfiltered talk series “The Shop” featuring LeBron James.
This fall, HBO Sports will present an edition of “24/7” highlighting the upcoming Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson match play plus engaging documentary films like “Student Athlete” and “Momentum Generation” brought to us by accomplished filmmakers. In 2019, we will have the innovative multi-part documentary presentation “What’s My Name|Muhammad Ali” from director Antoine Fuqua in conjunction with executive producers LeBron James and Maverick Carter of SpringHill Entertainment.
Other new ventures will be announced in the weeks ahead as HBO Sports continues to explore new frontiers in sports programming.
HBO PPV Round by Round Results: Canelo Wins Instant Classic By Majority Decision
By: William Holmes
The undercard featured three dominating performances by Roman “Chocolatito”Gonzalez, David Lemieux, and Jaime Munguia where they all stopped their opponents.
The HBO Announce Team had to kill ninety minutes of airtime after the last undercard ended, as the walkout wasn’t scheduled to start until 11:00PM EST. A lengthy discussion about their prior fight and controversy with the scores and result ensued.
Golovkin, the champion, came out first to a somewhat muted reaction. Canelo Alvarez was met with a mixture of cheers and boos.
The national anthem was not sung.
Photo Credit: HBO Twitter Account
Gennady Golovkin (38-0-1) vs. Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2); WBA/WBC Middleweight Title
Golovkin and Canelo rush out to the center of the ring and Golovkin established control of the middle. Golovkin trades jabs with Canelo. Golovkin lands two jabs and Canelo lands a right hook to the body. Canelo lands another jab and Golovkin answers with on of his own. Golovkin slips a jab from Canelo. The crowd is chanting very loudly. Canelo misses with an up jab. Canelo snaps out a jab. Golovkin misses with two jabs. Canelo bangs a right hook off the guard of Golovkin. Canelo misses with a hook to the body. They both land a jab at the same time. Canelo lands a sharp jab. Golovkin lands a good jab. Canelo sneeks in a lead left hook. Golovkin lands a straight right hand. Canelo digs in a hook to the body. Golovkin lands two good jabs in the last ten seconds. Close round.
Canelo lands a reaching jab upstairs. Canelo lands a double left hook. Golovkin snaps a jab in the face of Canelo. Good lead uppercut by Golovkin. Vicious lead left hook by Canelo lands on Golovkin’s chin. Canelo snaps another jab in the face of Golovkin. Canelo goes for the lead uppercut again. Canelo lands a good right uppercut to the body of Golovkin. Canelo lands another jab. Golovkin lands two lead left hooks. Golovkin has a cut by his right eye. Golovkin lands a good two punch combination and sharp jab. Good body blow by Canelo. Golovkin with a lead left hook, and another lead left hook. Golovkin sneeks in a straight right hand. Good round for Canelo.
10-9 Canelo, 20-18 Canelo.
Golovkin barely misses with a counter straight right. Golovkin snaps out twi jabs and Canelo answers with some jabs of his own. Golovkin lands a right uppercut to the body. Good jab by Canelo. Good left hook by Canelo and Golovkin lands an uppercut in response. Golovkin barely misses with a good straight right. Golovkin bobs out of the way of a straight right hand. Canelo barely misses with a straight right hand. Canelo pressing forward and Golovkin lands a straight right hand. Good straight right hand by Golovkin and Canelo barely misses with a left hook. Golovkin lands a right cross. Golovkin lands a jab and Canelo lands a jab in return. Golovkin barely misses with a right uppercut. Canelo lands a good combination to the body.
10-9 Canelo, 30-27 Canelo
Photo Credit: HBO Twitter Account
Golovkin opens up with a left hook to the body. Canelo lands a short jab and Golovkin answers with two uppercuts to the body. Canelo lands a short jab. Canelo is the quicker puncher. Golovkin lands a short jab and Canelo lands an uppercut in response. Golovkin lands a good short uppercut followed by a left hook. Golovkin lands two good jabs in a row. Golovkin lands a hard right uppercut. They’re going back and forth and taking good shots. Golovkin lands a good left hook to the body. Canelo looks fresher though Golovkin is having a good round. Golovkin lands a lead left hook followed by two jabs. Golovkin ducks a jab from Canelo. Good jab by Canelo. Golovkin with a good right cross to the body. Good exchange in the middle. Good double left hook to the body by Canelo. Golovkin lands a good jab near the end of the round.
10-9 Golovkin; 39-37 Caenlo
Golovkin lands a cross to the body and Canelo answers with a short uppercut. Golovkin three quick jabs. Good hard jab by Golovkin and Canelo misses with an uppercut. Good uppercut by Golovkin and Canelo lands a good body shot. Canelo with a jab to the body. Good right cross by Canelo. Golovkin with a good right cross. Golovkin with a lead left hook to the chin. Golovkin with a short hook to the temple. Golovkin is circling on the outside. Canelo barely misses with a wild hook. Golovkin lands two short jabs. Canelo lands a good jab from a distance. Canelo lands a good combination to the body of Golovkin. Canelo is swinging for the fences. Golovkin lands a good right cross to the body.
10-9 Canelo; 49-46 Canelo.
Canelo may have a cut near his eye. Golovkin lands a short up jab. Canelo lands a good left hook to the body and barely misses with a right cross. Canelo digs in a hook to the body of Golovkin. Canelo has a cut by his left eye. Good jab by Golovkin. Canelo snaps out two jabs. Golovkin lands a lead left hook. Good right cross to the temple by Golovkin. Golovkin lands a left hook and Canelo lands a vicious left hook. Golovkin lands a lead left hook followed by a right uppercut. They both land right crosses. Canelo with a good left hook to the body. Golovkin takes a good jab by Canelo. Golovkin looks like he is tiring. Canelo pressing forward. Golovkin lands a good short jab.
10-9 Canelo; 59-55 Canelo.
Canelo lands a short left hook and Golovkin lands a right cross. Canelo is pressing forward on Golovkin. Canelo lands two short uppercuts on Golovkin followed by a reaching left hook to the chin of Golovkin. Canelo digs in another right hook to Golovkin. Golovkin lands a good right hook and follows it with a left to the temple. Canelo throws and lands a hard left uppercut to the body. Golovkin lands a left hook to the temple and barely misses with a right cross. Canelo with a good, sharp right cross. They both land a good jab. Golovkin snaps out two good jabs. Canelo barley misses a whizzing straight right hand. Good lead left hook by Golovkin. Canelo lands a lead left hook upstairs. Golovkin lands a right cross and follows it with two jabs. They both land a jab at the same time. Golovkin lands a good three punch combination. Golovkin lands another jab as the round ends.
10-9 Golovkin; 68-65 Canelo
Golovkin throws out two quick jabs and lands a short lead left hook. Canelo lands two quick jabs and Golovkin lands a short uppercut. Good left hook to the body by Golovkin. Canelo lands a hard right uppercut followed by a good hook. Canelo lands two hard right hook to the head of Golovkin. Golovkin lands a left hook to the head and body. Golovkin is backing away from Canelo. Canelo lands a crisp right cross followed by a left to the body. Canelo lands a short uppercut to the body. Canelo is having a strong round. Golovkin lands a reaching right hook. Both guys look like they are tiring. Canelo lands a sharp right cross. Golovkin with a left hand to the chin. Both guys are showing they have strong chins. Canelo lands a left hook and Golovkin shakes his head no in response. Good short jab on Canelo by Golovkin. Canelo’s cut is getting worse and Golovkin lands a right cross as the round ends.
10-9 Canelo; 78-74 Canelo
Photo Credit: HBO Twitter Account
Canelo and Golovkin are exchanging immediately in the middle and both are landing. Golovkin though looks like he is getting the better of Canelo. Canelo with a hard-right hook ot the body. Golovkin lands a hard right to the chin of Canelo and Canelo lands one of his own. Canelo with a wicked uppercut. Canelo barely misses with two uppercuts. Golovkin lands a looping right hand. Canelo looks tired. Golovkin lands two short hooks. Golovkin with a short right uppercut followed by a right cross. Canelo digs in a hook to the body. Canelo with another digging hook to the body followed by a hard right to the chin of Golovkin. Golovkin lands a hard-left hook and both guys look exhausted. They both lands hooks. Golovkin looks a little fresher of the two.
10-9 Golovkin; 87-84 Canelo
Golovkin pressing forward now and flicks out three straight jabs. Canelo eats two short right uppercuts from Golovkin. Canelo lands a right uppercut right hook combination. Canelo gets the crowd on it’s feet with a combination. Golovkin lands a good right cross and Canelo lands a two punch combination. Golovkin with a hard stiff jab on Canelo. Good right hook by Golovkin. Golovkin lands a hard right cross and looks like he may have Canelo stunned. Canelo is firing back and lands a beautiful uppercut. Canelo digs in another hook to the body of Golovkin. Golovkin with a good left hook to the temple followed by a hard right cross. They both land a jab. Good right hook to the body of Canelo by Golovkin. Golovkin lands a left hook/jab combination. Golovkin lands a good right cross. Golovkin lands another good right cross. Great fight.
10-9 Golovkin; 96-94 Canelo.
Golovkin is coming forward on Canelo. Golovkin lands a right cross followed by a right uppercut. Golovkin snaps out two jabs and lands a right cross on Canelo. Golovkin is stalking Canelo. Canelo is circling away from Golovkin. Golovkin lands a good right cross followed by a left hook upstairs. Golovkin lands several good power shots on Canelo. Canelo lands three good shots on Golovkin and firing back. Canelo barely misses with a hard right cross. Golovkin lands a short right uppercut. Golovkin lands a little jab. Golovkin barely misses with a right cross. Canelo lands a good right hook. They tie up in the middle. Golovkin lands a good left hook that sends Canelo stumbling a little bit. Canelo with a good right uppercut to the body of Golovkin. Very close round.
10-9 Golovkin; 105-104 Canelo.
They tap gloves at the start of the round. Canelo lands a good right uppercut to the chin of Golovkin. Golovkin answers with a good combination of his own. Golovkin lands a hard right uppercut on Canelo. Canelo with a right cross on Golovkin. Canelo with a good three punch combination. Canelo slips on the mat. Canelo with a hard right uppercut to the body. They both look exhausted. Canelo lands a hard right cross . They are both landing and throwing an insane number of punches. Good short right uppercut by Golovkin. Canelo with a good left hook to the chin. Golovkin and Canelo exchanging, but Canelo looks to land the better shots. They both have thrown nothing but power shots. They both look exhausted. Canelo lands a short left hook on the cin of Golovkin. Golovkin lands a three punch combination on Canelo. Great fight.
10-9 Golovkin; 114-114 by Boxing Insider.
Many rounds were close and could have been scored either way.
The judges scored it 114-114, 115-113, and 115-113 for Canelo Alvarez by majority decision.
Golovkin vs. Canelo Undercard Results: Clean Slate of Knockouts for Chocolatito, Lemieux, and Munguia
By: William Holmes
The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was the host site for tonight’s HBO Pay Per View Offering featuring a main event between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez.
Three fights were show on the undercard, and the opening bout was between former champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez(46-2) and Moises Fuentes (25-5-1) in the super flyweight division.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Fuentes looked like the taller and bigger fighter in the ring, but had to deal with Chocolatito’s jab and good head movement early on. Chocolatito was also able to land some decent left hooks to the body and outland Fuentes 22-6 in the opening round.
Chocolatito continued to rip hooks to the body and combinations in the second round and had Fuentes bleeding from his face as he walked to his corner.
Chocolatito continued to overwhelm Fuentes and had a solid up jab working in the fourth round. Fuentes was able to land a decent combination to the body in the fourth that momentarily slowed Chocolatito down, but he didn’t offer much more than that.
The end came in the fifth round when Chocolatito landed a short right hook to the chin of Fuentes with his back against the ropes, and he went crashing down and did not come close to getting up by the count of ten.
Roman Chocolatito Gonzalez wins by knockout at 1:44 of the fifth round.
The next bout of the night was between Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (28-2) and David Lemieux (39-4) in the middleweight division.
Photo Credit:HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Lemieux outweighed O’Sullivan by about fifteen pounds by the time they stepped in the ring, and the difference in power showed early.
Lemieux was aggressive early and threw good hooks to the body and often tripled up on his jab. Lemieux applied heavy pressure and was landing strong shots, but did get momentarily stunned by an O’Sullivan jab.
Lemieux later responded with a resounding left hook that sent O’Sullivan spinning and crashing to the mat.
Lemieux wins by knockout at 2:44 of the first round.
The next bout of the night was between Jaime Munguia (30-0) and Brandon Cook (20-1) for the WBO Junior Middleweight Title.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Munguia looked a weight class bigger than Cook and started off as the more aggressive fighter, landing combinations to the body and head early on. He was warned early for low blows, but continued to land heavy shots to the body and was pummeling him as the round came to an end.
Munguia took a right cross from Cook early in the second round, but retook control with a solid right uppercut followed by more blows to the body. He boxed more in control during the second round, but ended the round strong again with another barrage of punches.
Munguia opened up the third round with heavy digging hooks to the body, and knocked Cook down after a body head combination, including a punch that landed as Cook was falling to the mat.
Cook was able to get back up, but got obliterated with punches to the body that forced him to cover up. Cook was not fighting back and the referee jumped in to save him from further punishment.
Jaime Munguia wins by TKO at 1:03 of the third round.
Sergey Kovalev-Eleider Alvarez Rematch Coming to ESPN in Early 2019
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev and Eleider “Storm” Alvarez lit up the Atlantic City Boardwalk in a pitched battle last month. The two will renew acquaintances early next year live on a Top Rank on ESPN card as part of a co-promotion with Main Event and Krusher Promotions, in association with Groupe Yvon Michel.
Alvarez knocked down Kovalev three times in the seventh round and scored a TKO to capture the WBO light heavyweight title in a shocking upset. Kovalev led on all three judges’ scorecards at the time of the stoppage and hopes to pick up where the first six rounds left off.
“We are very happy to be joining forces with Top Rank and ESPN for what we expect will be another exciting and historic fight,” said Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events. “Sergey was clearly winning his first bout with Alvarez when he just got caught. It happens. Congratulations to Alvarez for his spectacular performance, but Sergey is a warrior. He let me know that he is anxious to avenge this loss as soon as possible. We are looking forward to the new year!”
“Bringing this marquee rematch to boxing fans on ESPN is a great way to start 2019,” said Top Rank President Todd duBoef. “The light heavyweight division is loaded, and both Kovalev and Alvarez have fan-friendly styles that will make for another gripping fight.”
Added Burke Magnus, ESPN Executive Vice President of Programming and Scheduling: “This has been an exciting year for boxing on ESPN, and the Kovalev-Alvarez rematch is another example of the world-class caliber of events we look forward to continue to showcase on Top Rank on ESPN in 2019.”
Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 KOs) established himself as one of this generation’s preeminent light heavyweight champions with nine title defenses across two title reigns. He first won the WBO title in August 2013, traveling to Wales and knocking out hometown champion Nathan Cleverly in the fourth round. He became the unified champion in November 2014 with a dominating 12-round decision against future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins and further enhanced his résumé with a pair of knockout wins against former lineal light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal. Kovalev lost the title via controversial decision loss to Andre Ward in November 2016. After dropping the rematch via eighth-round TKO, Kovalev recaptured the WBO title with a second-round TKO against Vyacheslav Shabranskyy in November of last year. He defended the title once before the first Alvarez bout.
Alvarez (24-0, 12 KOs), a former Colombian amateur standout who resides in Montreal, is a nine-year pro with a host of A-list names on his résumé, including: Kovalev, Pascal, and former super middleweight world champion Lucian Bute. The Kovalev triumph is the signature victory on his record. Come 2019, Alvarez hopes it’s repeat rather than revenge.
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Canelo May Break With HBO After Rematch
By: Sean Crose
“It makes me wonder,” the LA Times on Wednesday quoted Oscar De La Hoya as saying, “if HBO even wants to be in boxing.” The Hall of Fame fighter turned top promoter was expressing a sentiment shared by many over the past several years. Is HBO really interested in the boxing business anymore? The recent activity (or lack thereof) of the pay cable network might suggest the answer is no, that it’s merely easing itself out a way relationship with fight fans slowly, rather than making a clean break. Either that or limiting boxing to such a degree that the few fight broadcasts the network decides to show might no longer warrant a subscription fee from fans.
Yet, with boxing broadcasts suddenly popping up all over television and the internet, breaking up with HBO might not be that hard for those fans to do. Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions, for instance, has moved on to ESPN from HBO and has brought down some nice ratings for itself, thanks very much. If HBOs seeming disinterest in boxing is hurting Top Rank or its fighters, there’s little indication of it. In fact, Top Rank just signed a lucrative contract extension with ESPN not that long ago.
All of this, of course, leads to the question of whether nor not HBO’s star boxing attraction, Canelo Alvarez, will remain with the network after his highly anticipated rematch with Gennady Golovkin this weekend, or if HBO is even all that keen on keeping Canelo aboard. After Saturday, Canelo’s current contract with the network will have expired. Win, lose, or draw, there obviously will be plenty of companies and/or outlets ready, eager, and willing to play host to the Mexican superstar, should the relationship with HBO end. “It’s going to be very interesting for us and Canelo to see what HBO can do to keep him,” De La Hoya said.
Along with ESPN, Showtime, Fox and other outlets broadcasting live boxing, streaming services are marking their mark on the fight game in a big way. ESPN+, British Promoter Eddie Hearn’s DAZN, and even Facebook are now involved in the fight game. Still, De La Hoya feels a sense of loyalty to the network that helped make him a legitimate superstar back in his ring heyday. “I’ve always given HBO the first and last opportunity,” he said, making it clear that he plans to continue to do so after Canelo’s contract runs out on Saturday.
Still, De La Hoya let it be known that he’s not in the business of wasting time. “I do want to fight him in December,” he said of Canelo. Speaking of which, there’s another party who will most likely want to fight again in the near future after Saturday’s superbout.
Gennady Golovkin’s contract with HBO is up this weekend, as well.