By Jake Donovan
HBO’s “The Fight Game with Jim Lampley” will experience a change of pace from its normal scheduling. The next installment will serve as a standalone episode, rather than coming on the heels of a major fight as has been the case with the past few broadcasts.
The network announced that the next episode will air this Friday, October 25 (8:30PM ET/PT) on its flagship station.
Most notable among the storylines for the upcoming show is a promised detailed look into the Performance Enhancing Drug testing program utilized for the October 12 HBO PPV headliner, in which Tim Bradley turned back the challenge of Juan Manuel Marquez. The subject remained in headlines throughout the summer, primarily due to Bradley pushing for more stringent testing, and most of the rest of the parties involved in the process dragging their feet in honoring the terms of the contract.
Bradley campaigned for VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency) to conduct all testing, but ultimately settled for a promised modified and upgraded form of random drug testing. Such tests were conducted by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, whose office oversaw the event at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Both fighters were reported to have passed all forms of testing.
VADA was featured throughout the 2012 Year End edition of The Fight Game, in which host Jim Lampley heaped praise on Dr. Margaret Goodman, who founded the program and will be interviewed via satellite during this week’s installment.
In that same Year End edition, Lampley named Nonito Donaire as the Fighter of the Year, largely due to his in-ring achievements but also for his 24/7/365 commitment to random drug testing within the VADA program.
This Friday’s edition will also take a look back at last weekend’s major headline, as Ruslan Provodnikov forced Mike Alvarado to quit after ten rounds of brutal action. The feat came in front of a pro-Alvarado crowd in Broomfield, Colorado.
Other segments on the show include: HBO color commentator Max Kellerman looking into major boxing events which occurred over the past two months; pound-for-pound discussion (hopefully not as drawn out as their last installment in late June); the latest Gatti list; and a tribute dedicated to the one-year passing (to the day as the show airs) of the late Hall of Fame trainer and former HBO expert analyst Emanuel Steward.
Future airings for this installment of The Fight Game on HBO will come (all times ET/PT): Sat., Oct. 26 (1:00AM), Sunday Oct. 27 (8:30AM), Tues. Oct. 29 (8:30AM and 5:00PM) and Thurs. Oct. 31 (12:00PM), Friday, Nov. 1 (2:55AM and 6:30PM) and Sat. Nov. 2 (10:45AM)
The episode will also replay on HBO2 on Wed., Oct. 30 (10:00PM) and Sat., Nov. 2 (5:45PM), in addition to being available on HBO OnDemand (by Oct. 29) and HBOGO.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, Yahoo Boxing Ratings Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox