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CNN Reports Zaveck-Berto Still On in Storm-Riddled Biloxi

By Jake Donovan

Amidst its coverage of Tropical Storm Lee, CNN remembered to serve as a partner to HBO.

The 24-hour news station reported Saturday afternoon that tonight’s telecast of HBO’s Boxing After Dark at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Miss. is still on as scheduled, despite the area – along with the rest of the Gulf Coast – still feeling the ravaging effects of Tropical Storm Lee.

“We are still open for business,” reported Biloxi spokesman Vincent Creel when asked how the local casinos were affected by the incoming storm. “HBO is still in town for tonight’s welterweight fight (between Jan Zaveck and Andre Berto). There is still heavy downpour and local street flooding, but it is believed that we might have seen the worst of the storm.”

HBO is owned by Time Warner, CNN’s parent company.

As of this reporting, heavy rainfall and winds up to 60 MPH continue to rip through the town still feeling the effects of Hurricane Katrina, which occurred six years ago nearly to the day. The greatest concern was whether or not river flooding would occur, which no longer seems to be the case.

Headlining the show in the water-logged town tonight will be the return of Berto, nearly five months after suffering the first loss of his professional career in his Fight of the Year contender against Victor Ortiz. Berto (27-1, 21KO) also lost his alphabet welterweight bout in the process, though contends for another one in tonight’s bout against Slovenia-born Zaveck (31-1, 18KO), who makes both his stateside and HBO-televised debut.

The bout marks Berto’s second trip to the Beau Rivage, having previously played the casino in his narrow points win over Luis Collazo in their January 2009 welterweight bout.

What type of crowd is expected for this evening depends on how many travelers were able to make it into town prior to the storm. CNN reported an 85% occupancy rate among the 19,000 hotel rooms available on the casino strip, though no confirmation was offered on whether or not the rooms were truly occupied or just booked in advance and not yet released.

Travelers that are stuck in town due to opting not to evacuate could be encouraged to attend tonight’s show. Unfortunately, it represents the extent of any hoped-for walk-up crowd with the number of flights canceled and residents encouraged – though not instructed – to evacuate.

The televised portion of the show begins at 10:30PM ET (tape-delayed on the West Coast), with the televised opener featuring undefeated featherweight prospect Gary Russell Jr. in a step-up bout against fringe contender Leonilo Miranda.

Ironic in CNN’s mentioning of tonight’s show during its storm coverage is the network’s inclusion the promotion of the September 17 HBO pay-per-view event headlined by Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s ring return versus welterweight titlist Victor Ortiz.

An agreement was made for the four-part “24/7…” series dedicated to the fight to replay on the news network, beginning with last week’s premiere. However, extended coverage of Hurricane Irene that tore through the Northeast region of the United States pre-empted such plans.

The series will instead make its CNN debut at midnight ET in a one-hour blocl. Last week’s episode will air first, immediately followed by this week’s episode which first debuts tonight on HBO ahead of the live boxing telecast. CNN’s re-airing of the first episode of 24/7 Mayweather/Ortiz will potentially overlap the HBO Boxing After Dark card, depending on how long the televised bouts last.

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Trapped Bird on 09-03-2011

[QUOTE=JakeNDaBox;11078980]Dirrell and Taylor were contractually obligated to fight there. If they had a choice, they'd have remained at home. Dirrell never had a base, though, and Taylor's base (along with his career) was already dwindling by the time the Super…

Comment by JakeNDaBox on 09-03-2011

[QUOTE=Trapped Bird;11078279]Yup, Andre Dirrell and Jermain Taylor were really scared of Europe.[/QUOTE] Dirrell and Taylor were contractually obligated to fight there. If they had a choice, they'd have remained at home. Dirrell never had a base, though, and Taylor's base…

Comment by Trapped Bird on 09-03-2011

[QUOTE=paulf;11078656] Miranda getting KO'd if anyone cares. Didn't realize Cruz was a southpaw; so is Russell (and Miranda). Actually pretty interested in the co-feature now. :boxing:[/QUOTE] Nice KO. I hope Zaveck meets the same fate…

Comment by Trapped Bird on 09-03-2011

[QUOTE=BostonGuy;11078509]I was referring to big name fighters who draw crowds. Taylor was down and out by the time he fought Abraham in Germany and Dirrell wasn't a big name fighter when he fought Froch in England..[/QUOTE] A big name American…

Comment by BostonGuy on 09-03-2011

[QUOTE=paulf;11078656] Miranda getting KO'd if anyone cares. Didn't realize Cruz was a southpaw; so is Russell (and Miranda). Actually pretty interested in the co-feature now. :boxing:[/QUOTE] Good example of when a fighter uses a 'lazy…

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