Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

HBO Not Interested in Vitali-Haye, Not High on Heavies

By Keith Idec

EPIX plans to televise a heavyweight title fight apiece on three successive Saturdays, beginning Feb. 18.

New HBO Sports president Ken Hershman cannot envision his network broadcasting a single heavyweight championship match in the foreseeable future.

When asked if there’s a heavyweight fight he could see purchasing for HBO, Hershman said, “It’s hard for me to point to one.”

The former Showtime Sports executive definitely doesn’t expect to buy Vitali Klitschko versus David Haye, a fight that could be made if Klitschko (43-2, 30 KOs) defeats fellow Brit Dereck Chisora (15-2, 9 KOs) on Feb. 18 in Munich, Germany. Hershman didn’t think Haye had a chance to beat Wladimir Klitschko (56-3, 49 KOs) in their July 2 unification fight in Hamburg, Germany, and he wouldn’t expect Haye (25-2, 23 KOs) to fare any better against Wladimir’s older brother.

“I thought they did a great job, before I came [to HBO], of building the David Haye fight,” Hershman said. “But I didn’t think David had much of a chance. I just think he’s an undersized heavyweight. We saw him at cruiser, and it didn’t feel like it was that competitive of a matchup in the ring. But I thought it was promoted well as a big fight. But I don’t see anybody standing there today that I think could challenge the Klitschkos in a way that’s really going to surprise anyone.

“Now, the reality is Vitali is getting up there in age [40]. At some point, he has to slow down a bit. They’re amazing athletes, and I don’t know when that will be. But at some point [they will]. And hopefully then we can start to bring up some new talent and maybe someone will surprise us. Maybe a [Robert] Helenius or somebody like that. [Alexander] Povetkin. Maybe somebody will surprise us. But again, these are European guys, they’re not Americans.”

Therein lies Hershman’s problem. He wants to make heavyweights relevant again among his subscriber base, but he needs an American heavyweight in whom the public can believe.

 Former Michigan State football player Seth Mitchell (24-0-1, 18 KOs) showed some promise in his HBO debut Dec. 10, but his impressive second-round stoppage of Timur Ibragimov (30-4-1, 16 KOs) doesn’t exactly make Mitchell ready to challenge one of the Klitschko brothers.

“That is a weight class that has just languished for so long,” Hershman said. “It’s really no fault of the Klitschkos that No. 1, they’ve been just so dominant in the ring and, No. 2, have a great business model where they are, in Germany. I don’t criticize them at all for the way they’ve conducted their careers and their business. It makes total sense. Unfortunately, it hasn’t helped the U.S. heavyweight market and we haven’t seen those young Americans coming through the ranks that we feel we can invest in and that could be the future.

“It’s a dilemma, and I don’t ignore or pretend that the heavyweight division isn’t hugely important to boxing. It is. Hopefully we’ll get, in the next year or two, some prospects that we think we can really count on to really energize the U.S. component of that market. But right now, I don’t see it in the immediate future.”

Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by WhiteJacob on 02-18-2012

Hey, HBO is the leading premium cable channel in entertainment. And.........Haye vs Vitali is not entertainment. Put that **** on ESPN Classic.

Comment by crold1 on 02-18-2012

[QUOTE=croz;11793606]Boxing needs to get away from HBO badly. They're letting race distort their judgement and hurting the sport because of it. HBO are the worst thing to happen to boxing in history ... they are what has gone wrong with…

Comment by StarshipTrooper on 02-17-2012

[QUOTE=croz;11793606]Boxing needs to get away from HBO badly. They're letting race distort their judgement and hurting the sport because of it. HBO are the worst thing to happen to boxing in history ... they are what has gone wrong with…

Comment by croz on 02-17-2012

Boxing needs to get away from HBO badly. They're letting race distort their judgement and hurting the sport because of it. HBO are the worst thing to happen to boxing in history ... they are what has gone wrong with…

Comment by JAB5239 on 02-10-2012

[QUOTE=Pirao;11768648]If the HW division bores you so much why do you spend so much time talking about it? Incoherent much? :lol1:[/QUOTE] Because it's more exciting to talk about than it is to watch. :lol1:

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (66)
Top Headlines Easter: I'll Make it Look Easy and Will Be First To KO Shafikov Mikey Garcia: I'd Be 'A Huge Star in Boxing' If Not for Long Layoff Horn, Promoter Slam Pacquiao For Texting During Entire Presser An Opportunity for Jerwin Ancajas To Impress on Pacquiao Card UK News: Scott Fitzgerald, Ryan Burnett, Ted Cheeseman Roach Warns Horn: This is Going To Be a Short and Sweet KO! Hassan N’Dam vs. Ryota Murata Rematch - Purse Bid on July 7 Jamie Cox, Erik Skoglund Join World Boxing Super Series WBC Prez Smiles To Canelo: We Will Still Sanction Golovkin Bout! Romero Duno Heads To United States To Train For Next Fight Photos: Pacquiao, Horn - Go Face To Face at Final Presser! Ryan Martin: Time To Prove That I'm a Real Deal Fighter Giovanni Santillan is Aiming To Knock Sammy Valentin Out Hopkins on GGG: There Will Be Blood, Mostly on Canelo's Shorts Miguel Cruz Drops Alex Martin Twice, Wins Decision in Rematch Nacho Believes Golden Boy Won't Allow Cotto-Marquez Clash Abel Sanchez: Shafikov Has "Extremely Tough" Task With Easter Horn: I Like Being Told I Stand No Chance Against Pacquiao Bob Arum: Blame Me if Pacquiao-Horn Isn't a Competitive Fight! Diego De La Hoya Ready For Battle in San Luis, Argentina Povetkin Back in Good Graces of The WBA, WBO, Says Ryabinsky Smith: Don't Think I'm Getting Deserved Credit for KO of Hopkins Pacquiao Not Looking Past Horn, But Wants Mayweather Rematch Charlo-Heiland, Washington-Miller Set For Broner-Garcia Card Mikey Garcia: Unless a Lucky Punch, I Don't See How Broner Wins Antoine Douglas vs. Bruno Sandoval Set For July 14th Roach: To Get Mayweather, Pacquiao Must Impress With Horn Sergey Kovalev Eyes New Trainer, Move To New Weight Class Photos: Vijender Singh, Zulpikar Maimaitiali - Go Face To Face Marco Huck is Pumped To Join World Boxing Super Series Uzcategui's Agent on Dirrell Rematch Order, Lawson Court Case Arum: Pacquiao-Horn on ESPN is "a Gift" for Boxing Fans Pacquiao's Future, Beyond Horn, is Uncertain at The Moment Broner Wishes He Had Always Trained as Hard as Mayweather Tyson Fury: Klitschko Let Joshua Off The Hook After Knockdown Roach: If Pacquiao Struggles With Horn, Might Be Time To Retire Tim Tszyu Will Now Face Chris Khan, Nathan Webber is Out Photos: Manny Pacquiao Grinding Hard in Brisbane For Horn Chavez Sr: Today My Brother Was Killed, Tomorrow it Could Be Me Horn: Getting a Marquez KO of Pacquiao Has Been Our Main Point
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement