By Jake Donovan
Fight fans can still count on a full night of boxing on Saturday evening. It will just end – and last – an hour earlier than expected.
The fallout of the planned HBO-televised co-feature between Guillermo Rigondeaux and Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym means a bump in scheduling. Affected by the reshuffling is ‘Jim Lampley’s The Fight Game’, which will now air at 11:20PM ET, immediately following the conclusion of HBO’s World Championship Boxing telecast (9:30PM ET).
Headlining the live portion of the boxing action is the World 122 lb. championship between defending king Nonito Donaire (30-1, 19KO) and former four-division champ Jorge Arce (61-6-2, 48KO), live from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
The telecast was to also include a 122 lb. alphabet title tilt, but was canceled after Kratingdaenggym failed his medicals and was refused a license by the Texas Boxing Commission.
The broadcast will open with an exclusive replay of last weekend’s pay-per-view main event, when Juan Manuel Marquez scored a shocking one-punch 6th round knockout of Manny Pacquiao to finally secure an official victory in their long-running series.
An in-depth review of that fight as well as Saturday’s main event will be among the topics discussed on The Fight Game. Also included in the 30-minute segment will be a live interview with Larry Merchant, whose last fight behind the mic as a ringside announcer will come with his call of the Donaire-Arce contest.
The show will offer its first-ever boxing awards, and Merchant will provide his own version of ‘The Gatti List’, a segment of the show celebrating the game’s best action fighters. The list is of course in honor of the late Arturo Gatti and now comes with even greater meaning on the heels of his recently being voted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Saturday will mark the fourth and final episode of its first season on air. The Fight Game debuted this past May, one week following Floyd Mayweather’s 12-round points win over Miguel Cotto, and has traditionally aired one week following a major boxing event. Previous episodes came the Saturday after Pacquiao’s controversial points loss to Tim Bradley in June and Sergio Martinez’ near-disaster in an otherwise brilliant performance against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in their September thriller.
The series will restart in 2013, once again following the network’s next major event.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox