Advertisement
Advertisement

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 Jon Fernandez, Jose Roman Ink Pacts With Lou DiBella De La Hoya: Canelo a 154-Pounder, Will Fight Golovkin When Ready! Jarrell Miller's Promoter: He's Ready For Any World Champion Canelo: Margarito Fight Will NEVER Happen, He Should Retire Ramiro Carrillo, Achour Esho Return on October 1, UIC Pavilion Joshuanthony Ortiz, Edgardo Laboy Ink Pacts With Miguel Cotto Canelo Admits Move To 160 is Likely Next For His Career Mason Menard Puts a Target on The Back of Terry Flanagan Anthony Joshua-David Price Ruled Out For The Fall By Hearn James Kirkland Arrested Over Child Support Beef Photos: Anthony Crolla, Jorge Linares Go Face To Face Photos: Glowacki, Usyk - Go Face To Face at Open Workouts Jessie Vargas: "On November 5th I Will Shut The Critics Up!" Daniel Jacobs: Brook Just Too Small To Survive Against Golovkin Golovkin Laughs at Froch, Eubank: Those Clowns Won't Fight Me! J'Leon Love Will Face Dashon Johnson on September 16 Marlon Tapales vs. Paul Butler in The Works For The Fall De La Hoya: Canelo-Smith Will Have Up To 60,000 Fans at Venue! Frampton: The UK Has 14 World Champions - Not All Are Legit! Gerard Carroll To Fight Twice In Eight Days De La Hoya: Canelo-Golovkin Won't Take 6 Years, But Not Now Daniel Geale vs. Renold Quinlan, Vacant IBO 168 Belt on 10/14 Tom Brown Reflects on The Lost Art of Building a Fighter Amir Khan Plans To Fight in January, May and December Caleb Plant Dominates De Angel in PBC on FS1 Main Event Jhonny Gonzalez vs. Hirotsugu Yamamoto Card Coming Together Canelo-Smith on Pace To Outdo Pacquiao, Says Golden Boy VP Video: Abel Sanchez on Brook, Andre Ward, 160 Landscape Video: Loeffler Talks Brook-Golovkin, Jacobs, Carl Froch, More Video: Gennady Golovkin Talks Kell Brook, Unification, More Video: Roman Gonzalez Talks Cuadras Clash, Training Camp LaRon Mitchell Expects Tough Fight With Mario Heredia Luis Ortiz Brushes Off Golden Boy Split, Vows To Batter Ustinov Video: Gennady Golovkin Putting in Work For Kell Brook Fight Gervonta Davis, Floyd Mayweather at Odds, Sosa Bout in Doubt? Errol Spence Over The Moon With MONSTER Rating of 6 Million Liam Smith Warns: I'm Coming in There To Knock Canelo Out! Orlando Salido vs. Takashi Miura Showdown in The Works Eddie Ramirez-Kevin Watts Top FS1 on PBC, September 13 Luis Ortiz, Golden Boy Promotions Officially Part Ways
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement