Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Kery Davis Denies That He Was Pushed Out of HBO

By Mitch Abramson

Kery Davis, the longtime HBO Sports executive who played a key role to bringing some of the biggest fights of the past decade to the airwaves but also fairly or unfairly came to represent the network’s fixation with certain fighters and difficulty in always putting on competitive fights, disputed the idea that he was pushed out at HBO when he announced his decision to resign from his position as senior vice president last Thursday. Whatever the reason behind his departure- and Davis claims he wanted to pursue other opportunities outside of boxing- Davis’ exit represents the first public shake-up of the Ken Hershman era in his time as president of HBO Sports.

“When I first took the job, I knew jobs like these have a certain shelf life,” Davis said in a phone interview with BoxingScene.com. “And being here for 16 years was more than I ever expected and I just thought now was a great opportunity for me- I was going to do one more important professional opportunity in my life and now was convenient [to leave]. I appreciated the opportunity that HBO provided,” Davis went on.

“As a kid from the Bronx I had the opportunity to travel all over the world and meet many of my favorite idols like Nelson Mandela and Muhammad Ali. I mean having an opportunity to talk boxing with Nelson Mandela was, you know, terrific. So there were really some incredible and extraordinary moments and the last 16 years have been amazing and now it’s time to do something else.”

For the past 16 years, Davis was one of the highest ranking African-Americans at HBO, a mover and shaker who played a central role in making significant fights involving Floyd Mayweather Jr., Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones and Manny Pacquiao, among others. But Davis, along with former president of HBO Sports, Ross Greenburg, was also blamed for the network’s inability to make the super-fight between Mayweather Jr. and Pacquiao and for allowing a number of fights to reach the airwaves that weren’t always competitive. Davis, 54, declined to comment on this viewpoint, saying his record of putting on big fights spoke for itself.

“You know the person who sits in that chair- it’s a difficult job,” said Davis, who will likely remain at the network through the end of the month. “It’s a lot of juggling of personalities and opportunities and sometimes it can be frustrating,” he went on. “But like I said, I did this job for 16 years for one reason and one reason only - because of the incredible, exhilarating moments out-weighed all the frustrations.”

When Greenburg decided to leave HBO Sports under pressure in 2011, citing a frustration with the boxing business, it seemed that Davis might soon follow. But Davis argued against the notion that he was pushed out at HBO after working 16 months for Hershman, the current president of HBO Sports, describing his decision to step down as his own.

“I don’t have anything to say in regard to that,” Davis said.  “I’m moving on to my next opportunity and I’ll let it speak for itself.”

Davis also declined to talk about HBO’s failure to keep Mayweather Jr. under contract. In February, Mayweather Jr. signed a long-term, very well-paid deal with Showtime in a bold move that seemed to announce Showtime as the new preeminent boxing network.

“I think you should talk to the people who are still at HBO about that,” Davis said. “That’s not- I really wanted to keep this quiet and I understand that I did hold an important position there but in terms of what’s going on there - I think Ken [Hershman] and Mark [Taffet]  and Peter [Nelson] are the best people at talking about the effect of Floyd not being there at this point. My opinion now- [I have a] fan’s opinion just like everyone else.”

Hershman was not available for comment but he did say in a statement: "For more than 15 years, Kery Davis was a major contributor to the HBO Boxing franchise, focused on delivering the finest in boxing programming to our subscribers. We wish him success with all of his new endeavors."

There are no plans to replace Davis at HBO.  His responsibilities will be absorbed among the current programming team, according to a source at the network.

As for his future, Davis said he’s in discussions with “another group in the entertainment world” about a job that’s not boxing related. But Davis didn’t rule out working in boxing again at some point if the right venture comes along.

“I could,” he said. “I love boxing and love the sport. There’s nothing more exhilarating than being at a big boxing match. I call myself a sports fanatic and I’ve been to many events- to the Super Bowls, the NBA finals. I’ve been to the World Series. And I don’t think for the sheer electricity there’s nothing that [compares] to a big boxing match. So I’m absolutely open to working in boxing again if it was the right opportunity.”

Mitch Abramson covers boxing for the New York Daily News and BoxingScene.com.

Tags: HBO image   Boxing Television image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by liuj88 on 06-11-2013

[QUOTE=nycsmooth;13465714]whatever he's taling about Showtime has taken his game away,period....[/QUOTE] Sure, but wouldn't you want to know how? I would.

Comment by liuj88 on 06-11-2013

I wish this former employee were more candid about his experiences at HBO. I suppose he doesn't want to burn bridges, but legitimate disagreements do happen, and expressing them doesn't necessarily blackball the people that express them. Assuming that we…

Comment by nycsmooth on 06-11-2013

whatever he's taling about Showtime has taken his game away,period....

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (3)
Top Headlines Deontay Wilder-Gerald Washington: Pre-Fight Report Card Mayweather: Only One Fight That's Important - Me vs. McGregor! Daily Bread Mailbag: Pacquiao-Khan, Broner, Ward, Spence-Brook Gavin McDonnell is Confident That He Will Stun Rey Vargas Bellew: Haye Carries The Sport in Bad Way - a Disgrace To Boxing! Joshua Believes He Will KO Klitschko, Hopes Ref Doesn't Stop It Izu Ugonoh is Unlike Any Polish Heavyweight You've Ever Seen De La Hoya: Mayweather-McGregor is a Disrespect To Boxing! Chavez Sr: The Bet Between My Son and Canelo is Now OFF! Bute: Alvarez Caught Me With a Good Punch, He Deserved To Win Should More Fighters Bet Their Purse? Saul Rodriguez: I'm Pretty Happy With My Performance Rodriguez KO's Narvaez: Antonio Vargas, Teofimo Lopez Win Canelo: Chavez Jr. Did Not Take Advantage of Being Chavez's Son Justin DeLoach KO's Pearson: Saul Rodriguez Survives Big Scare Photos: Canelo, Chavez Jr. - Go Face To Face in Los Angeles Eleider Alvarez Stops Lucian Bute in Five, Earns Stevenson Shot Kavaliauskas Will Return on Lomachenko vs. Sosa Card Deontay Wilder: Titles Aside - I'm The Man To Beat at Heavyweight! Thurman on Angel: Boxing Doesn't Have Time for That Clown Act Glazkov is Planning To Return To The Ring in The Summer Jay Harris Outpoints Essomba, Wins Commonwealth Gold Cecilia Braekhus Dominates Klara Svensson To Retain Belts Terence Crawford Could Fight Granados Next Instead of Felix Diaz Photos: Hurd-Harrison, Breazeale-Ugonoh - Official Weigh-In Photos: Deontay Wilder vs. Gerald Washington - Official Weigh-In Harley Benn, Son Of Nigel, Wins His Pro Debut At York Hall De La Hoya: Canelo Fight is There - Golovkin Has To Accept Deal! Wilder Weighs in at 222 Pounds; Washington Weighs 239 Mairis Briedis vs. Marco Huck Lands on BoxNation Luis Ortiz vs. Dillian Whyte Could Be Possible, Says Eddie Hearn Dylan Price Inks Pact With Mayweather Promotions Gerald Washington: I Definitely Won My Fight Against Mansour! Frank Warren: Hughie Fury Has Signed Joseph Parker Deal Photos: Gavin McDonnell, Rey Vargas Ready For Title Battle Canelo Certain That His Right Thumb Injury No Longer An Issue Martin Murray vs. Gabriel Rosado Set, April 22 In Liverpool Wilder Anxious To Test Repaired Right Hand on 'A Human Skull' Chavez Still Wants To Fight Golovkin; 'I Think I Can Beat Him' Jessie Magdaleno, Oscar Valdez Get Opponents For April 22
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement