Tuesday, June 19, 2007
In 2003, HBO Sports introduced “Legendary Nights,” a 12-part documentary series showcasing 12 of the most memorable fights that have appeared on HBO.
The series notched a Sports Emmy for “Outstanding Edited Sports Series/Anthology.”
Ross Greenburg, president of HBO Sports, and Rick Bernstein, executive producer of HBO Sports, announced today that they will revisit the series next year.
In the 2008 programming year, HBO Sports will return with a fresh six-week installment of “Legendary Nights.” The six new shows will be hand-picked from the fight library of HBO, which is in its 35th year of televising the best in professional boxing.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
LOS ANGELES - Light Heavyweight Champion Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins arrived in Los Angeles on Sunday and began training with new trainer Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym. Hopkins is already entrenched in a vigorous regimen in preparation for his summer blockbuster fight against Winky Wright in “Coming to Fight,” on July 21st at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas , Nevada live on HBO Pay-Per-View.
“I’m thrilled to be training with Freddie Roach in Los Angeles,” said Hopkins. “It’s a complete change of scenery for me and the new surroundings are a great motivation at this stage of my career.”
Hopkins is training in Los Angeles for the first time in his long and illustrious career. Previous sites and regular favorites for the veteran pugilist have included Miami, Philadelphia, Big Bear and most recently New Orleans. A major influence in his decision to train in the City of Angels was the addition of Roach to his team, who owns the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.
Friday, June 08, 2007
NEW YORK – Veteran HBO Sports boxing commentator Larry Merchant has agreed to a new contract, it was announced today by HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg.
“We are delighted to have one of sports television’s most respected broadcasters continue to call them as he sees them,” said Greenburg. “Larry is an institution at HBO. Sharing the workload with Larry will be Max Kellerman, which essentially gives us two formidable broadcast teams on ‘World Championship Boxing’.”
Max Kellerman, who joined HBO Sports in April 2006, will also work “World Championship Boxing” events, alternating the workload with Merchant. Among Kellerman’s upcoming assignments are: the June 23 Hatton-Castillo fight in Las Vegas; the Atlantic City portion of the July 14 “World Championship Boxing” tripleheader; and the July 21 HBO Pay-Per-View event from Las Vegas, featuring Bernard Hopkins and Winky Wright.
“It’s exciting to have Larry continue with his unique perspective on our telecasts and to expand the role of Max Kellerman,” said Rick Bernstein, executive producer of HBO Sports. “We feel the winners are our subscribers, who will continue to get honest and insightful commentary from all our broadcast talent.”
Upcoming HBO announcer assignments include: Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant, Emanuel Steward and Harold Lederman for the June 9 HBO Pay-Per-View program from Madison Square Garden; Bob Papa, Lennox Lewis and Lederman for the June 16 “HBO Boxing After Dark” card; Lampley, Kellerman, Steward and Lederman for the June 23 “World Championship Boxing” presentation from Las Vegas; and Lampley, Merchant, Lewis and Lederman for the July 7 “World Championship Boxing” HBO show in Cologne, Germany.
With two sites for the July 14 “World Championship Boxing” tripleheader, Lampley and Merchant will be working from Carson, Cal., while Papa and Kellerman are in Atlantic City. For the July 21 HBO Pay-Per-View presentation from Las Vegas, Lampley, Kellerman, Steward and Lederman will be on hand.
Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Larry Merchant has agreed to a two-year contract extension with HBO to remain one of their lead analysts:
A source close to Kellerman confirmed that Kellerman agreed to a deal in March 2006 that would make him the lead analyst on all HBO World Championship Boxing and HBO Pay-Per-View telecasts as of June 1, 2007. The contract called for Kellerman, 33, to serve as the analyst on HBO’s Boxing After Dark telecasts prior to that, which he has done.
Merchant’s contract with HBO expired on May 31, but he agreed to return to his old job for Saturday’s WBA welterweight title fight at Madison Square Garden between unbeaten champion Miguel Cotto and Zab Judah.
But Merchant has now agreed to a two-year contract extension with a two-year mutual option to appear in the same role on half of all HBO World Championship Boxing and HBO Pay-Per-View telecasts.
“In general, my attitude has been that I’ve been a leading man forever and that I was willing to take a step back in some transitional sort of role,” Merchant, 76, said. “That’s been my attitude from the start. Let’s just say that it’s been a long, long negotiation.”
So where does that leave Kellerman in this picture?
Dan Rafael of ESPN is reporting that a bout between Jermain Taylor and Kelly Pavlik is looking very likely for this fall:
Taylor’s promoter, Lou DiBella, and Pavlik’s promoter, Bob Arum, both told ESPN.com that they have hammered out a deal in principle for the fight to take place this fall. HBO’s working date is Sept. 29. Although the promoters are on the same page, DiBella still needs to finalize his own deal with Taylor.
“Bob and I basically have a deal. We have no major terms we are fighting over and I believe it will get done,” DiBella said. “Bob and I have always been able to get things done. But there are discussions I need to have with my side and with HBO, and the HBO things are not related to money. I haven’t fully talked to my fighter or [Taylor adviser] Al Haymon yet, but I know for a fact that Jermain wants the fight and Haymon isn’t opposed to it.”
The promoters were happy that HBO’s offer for the fight of almost $5 million—well above the figure the network is obligated to pay under its exclusive contract with Taylor—was generous enough to keep the fight off pay-per-view. Arum credited HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg with coming up with the money.
Said DiBella: “HBO came with a fair offer and Bob has postured fairly, so the combination of the two things mean there is no reason a deal shouldn’t get done. I just have to talk things through with Jermain, who has been on vacation, and with Al. But we’re looking for a site. I believe it will happen in September and after Jermain wins, he will come back and fight again in December.”
Friday, May 25, 2007
HBO Sports is presenting a thirty-minute special analyzing the upcoming HBO pay-per-view welterweight title fight between Miguel Cotto (29-0, 24 KOs) and Zab Judah (34-4, 25 KOs). This intriguing 147-pound matchup features an undefeated world champion from Puerto Rico confronting the challenge of a New York product on his home turf at boxing’s most revered venue.
The special “Countdown to Cotto-Judah,” which will feature fighter profiles, expert analysis and forecasts for the pay-per-view showdown, will premiere Saturday night, June 2 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
Additional HBO replay dates: Monday, June 4 at 12:15 AM ET; Tuesday, June 5 at 9:30 PM ET
The countdown special will also be available to HBO on Demand subscribers 24 hours a day from Monday, June 4 through Monday, June 11.
Cotto vs. Judah will take place on Saturday, June 9 from New York’s Madison Square Garden and will be televised by HBO Pay-Per-View at 9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
HBO will be televising a split-site tripleheader on July 14th. What? Yeah, I’ve never heard of such a thing either but here goes nothin’...
Three welterweight bouts will be televised on HBO that night:
The opening bout will be Kermit Cintron defending his IBF Welterweight Title for the first time against Walter Matthysse from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. The second bout will feature the uber-popular Arturo Gatti, fighting for the ninth straight time in Atlantic City, in a 10-round affair against former Contender star Alfonso Gomez.
The final bout of the night will be Antonio Margarito making the 8th straight defense of his WBO Welterweight Title against mandatory challenger Paul Williams. A location for Margarito-Williams has not yet been selected but officials have stated that the possible location has been narrowed down to two sites: The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA or the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal City, CA.
Apparently Gatti’s camp was very picky over who his next opponent would be and it caused quite the delay in getting a deal between HBO and Main Events completed:
HBO and Main Events had spent the last few weeks locked in a disagreement over Gatti’s opponent. The network had pared its wish list down to having Gatti fight either former lightweight titlist Paul Spadafora, who is 2-0 on a comeback, or Steve Forbes, another former “Contender” star and former junior lightweight titlist who lost a highly controversial decision to Demetrius Hopkins last month in an exciting fight.
Gatti’s team didn’t like either style for him and preferred lesser opponents such as Dmitriy Salita or Edgar Santana, neither of whom HBO would approve.
HBO gave Main Events a tentative OK on Gomez earlier this month and it made a deal with his handlers. But a few days later, on April 7, “Contender” first-season runner up Peter Manfredo—who had lost a rematch to Gomez on the series—was wiped out in three rounds by super middleweight champion Joe Calzaghe. That loss gave HBO second thoughts about using another untested “Contender” boxer against Gatti in the final fight of his HBO contract.
However, when the Margarito-Williams fight came together and Cintron-Matthysse, another potentially explosive fight, was pitched for the telecast, HBO agreed to take Gomez. With Gatti’s HBO contract coming to an end, Main Events also agreed to give HBO the right of first negotiation and a matching right on his next fight.
I’m not surprised that they were so selective of Gatti’s foe. If he loses one more time, he’s pretty much done fighting-wise and HBO most likely won’t sign him to a new deal.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Mark Vester of Boxing Scene is reporting that Vitali Klitschko is using Oleg Maskaev and Samuel Peter as the reasons for why he hasn’t been able to return to the ring yet:
“My fight with Oleg Maskaev, that many fans all over the world have been waiting for, unfortunately will not take place. The main reason that negotiations terminated was due to unreasonable ambitions of both Samuel Peter and Oleg Maskaev, which made it impossible to find a compromise that satisfied all of the parties taking part in negotiations. These negotiations dragged on for three months,” Klitschko said.
“HBO made the final decision, announcing that it would be impossible for me to face Oleg Maskaev on June 2.”
Klitschko will now most likely have to wait for Peter-Maskaev to take place in June before he is able to fight the winner for the title…
Monday, April 02, 2007
News, Notes, and Rumors:
- The UK Daily Record has reported that Amir Khan was forced to flee an amateur boxing tournament in Liverpool, England after being threatened by a group of fans over the weekend. Khan was apparently at the tournament to watch his younger brother compete. After his brother lost to James Deakin, about 20 fans walked over to Khan and started verbally assaulting him with racial slurs and threats. It was then that Khan was forced to quickly leave the building.
Khan’s manager Asif Vali gave an account of what happened:
“It was horrible and in my mind somewhat racist. Apart from the horrible insults, they were goading him saying things like, ‘Come on, have a go with us’ and ‘Come on if you fancy yourself’. It was very intimidating. I had specifically decided that we shouldn’t take any security with us because, after all, it was an amateur event,” Vali said. “Thankfully, we escaped without being hurt. Who knows what could have happened if they had attacked us?”
- Don King has reportedly gone into the baby product industry along with Mike Tyson and Zab Judah. God help us…
- HBO Boxing After Dark play-by-play announcer Fran Charles has stepped down from his position in order to focus on his other broadcasting job with the NFL Network.
- Jhonny Gonzalez retained his WBO bantamweight title on Friday, defeating Irene Pacheco by TKO. The fight was stopped in the ninth round when a flurry of punches sent a visibly hurt Pacheco nearly through the ropes and out of the ring. After the fight Pacheco announced his retirement.
- Eddie Sanchez won a unanimous decision over Carlos Bojorquez on Friday, moving him up the rankings ladder at junior middleweight. The judges’ scorecards only had Bojorquez winning two rounds of the entire fight.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
An irate Donnell Holmes (25-0) has sent the following message to Calvin Brock, HBO, and Main Events, issuing a challenge and addressing some longstanding issues that began over a decade ago during their amateur career.
Holmes has grown weary of being ignored by the main stream media that in his words formed a bias against North Carolina fighters placing them below the competent level to challenge for a title. That is except for Calvin Brock.
“This is a message from Donnell “The Real Touch of Sleep” Holmes. First of all I want the world to know I am not in the business of calling people out. But because of remarks Mr. Arrogant Calvin Brock said about me last week, I think there are some things I need to address. First of all who cares that you beat me in the amateurs thirteen years ago. Which at the time you had ten years of experience as an amateur boxer and I only had five amateur fights. Second of all, I was proud of the success you were having in your pro career being another heavyweight boxer from my home state of NC. We were cool up until June when you got the Timor Ibragimov bout, then you turned into Mr. Arrogance.”
“I heard the remarks you said last week about I am nothing and that you are on top of the World, you would never fight me because you would be walking backwards. But your next fight is against Ralph West, with a record of 17-10. You don’t want to fight me because you would be on your back. “
“You and your arrogant daddy have always down talked me since the amateurs. But you still have your same slow, sloppy, falling down, all around the ring, amateur style. You are still lazy in the gym as you were in the amateurs. I have passed you years ago in skill level and experience due to the fact that I have paid my dues in the gym as a amateur and a pro sparring with the worlds best fighters, not like you, only sparring and training with guys that you could beat even on a bad day in the gym. “
“Sooner or later HBO will make you fight somebody, Main Events wont be able to protect you forever, matching you up with washed up has-been’s and wannabe’s. The media pumped you up way beyond the fighter you are and somewhere down the line you started believing it, stating you were the best heavyweight in the world when you aren’t even the best heavyweight out of NC.”
“For eight months you were too good to return my phone calls but funny you remembered my number to text message me that Calvin Brock travel junk. Gary Shaw is my promoter now, Main Events knows him well, so they can contact him anytime about a fight between you and I. And a word to HBO and Main Events, I am Donnell “The Real Touch of Sleep” Holmes, currently ranked number 8 by the WBC with a record of 25-0, I don’t feel like it would be making your fighter walk backwards to fight a credible opponent. That’s why boxing is going down today and no one wants to watch it because you take a sorry boxer like Calvin Brock, talk about how great he is then put him on TV versus a boxer that is more sorry than he is to make him look good. I’m coming off a one year lay off due to promotional problems with my former promoter and now that I have Gary Shaw working for me, we are going to hit the scene running, getting rid of the trash in the heavyweight division. “
“Hopefully starting with you, Mr. Arrogant Calvin Brock.”
“So here it is, for the people of HBO, Main Events, and Mr. Arrogant Calvin Brock and his daddy, I am calling you out!”
“Go ahead and get your Ralph West sparring session out the way. But I want everyone who reads this to see that I have all the credibility and that its no way you can go around calling yourself the best fighter in the heavyweight division, when you’re scared to fight a top ten fighter that you claim is not in your class. “
“So now Mr. Arrogant, Fat, Slow, and Sloppy, IT’S ON YOU! You’re so arrogant you think you can’t lose, so you fired your trainer when Klitschko beat you down. It wasn’t his fault that you were scared and stood right in front of a 6’6”, 240 lb man, that was stupid of you. My only question is who are you going to fire when I knock you out?”