By Jake Donovan
The good news for HBO – and boxing fans – is that Gennady Golovkin will remain a fixture on the network as the 2014 boxing season takes shape.
The bad news is, the on-air relationship will not resume until the spring.
HBO and K2 Promotions, Golovkin’s promoter have exhausted all efforts in attempting to secure air time for the unbeaten middleweight’s next ring appearance, a February 1 title defense in Monte Carlo versus Osumana Adama. The deal called for the fight to be carried live in a mid-afternoon special on HBO2, but ultimately fell through.
“After extensive collective efforts, logistics to produce the fight from Monte Carlo could not be resolved,” the network said in a statement through its PR team. “We have tried for the past month to find a way to televise Gennady Golovkin vs. Osumanu Adama on Feb. 1 from Monte Carlo.
“Unfortunately, the venue could not accommodate our production needs. We spent weeks looking at creative ways to produce a telecast for the HBO2 service from Monte Carlo and it simply could not get resolved. We are grateful for all the assistance from Tom Loeffler and K2 in trying to get us accommodated.”
Both sides knew it was a long shot to have the fight aired, but the plan was always for Golovkin to fight overseas for his first fight of 2014.
“We're bringing back the true definition of a world champion,” Loeffler says of the unbeaten knockout artist, who enjoyed a stellar 2013 campaign. “The significance of this fight in Monte Carlo—when he fights there he's prime time in Germany and in Kazakhstan and all of the markets in the former Soviet Union.
“It’s important to maintain his prime time presence in his home region. We will continue to market him in the United States, and proudly showcase him on HBO. The plan is to have him fight regularly in the United States, mixed in with one international fight per year to build his brand as an international superstar.”
Golovkin saw three of his four fights in 2013 air live on HBO. His lone fight off their airwaves during the year came in his trip to Monte Carlo last March, scoring a highlight reel knockout of Nobuhiro Ishida.
K2 Promotions has a hold on Madison Square Garden’s The Theatre for April 26, where Golovkin—pending a win over Adama on February 1—will headline in what will serve in his official 2014 HBO-televised debut.
With HBO2 unable to carry the fight, viewers in the United States wishing to (legally) watch the event will have the option of ordering through an independent pay-per-view outlet.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox