By Jake Donovan
HBO kicks off its year-end “HBO Boxing's Best Of…” series with a triple feature Saturday, December 27.
The showing kicks off a four-night stretch where HBO replays eight select bouts from its 2014 season.
Saturday’s edition airs at 11:30pm ET/PT, featuring two of the biggest stars in the sport today - Manny Pacquiao and Gennady Golovkin – in three separate bouts.
Two of Golovkin's three wins on the year aired on HBO, both of which will be featured on Saturday. Kicking off the tripleheader is his 2014 network debut, when the unbeaten middleweight titlist delivered his Knockout of the Year entrant in icing former titlist Daniel Geale inside of three rounds.
The bout took place July 26 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, marking Golovkin's first appearance in the building's main room, after having twice before appeared at The Theatre.
Next on the evening will be the replay of Golovkin's U.S. West Coast debut, which took place October 18 at StubHub Center in Carson, California.
A sold-out crowd crammed into a venue known for habitually producing Fight of the Year entrants. The evening's co-feature - Nicholas Walters' 6th round knockout of Nonito Donaire (not slated for the network's "Best Of" series this year) - lived up to that tradition to a degree. Not so much the main event, however, as Golovkin had his way with Marco Antonio Rubio, a Top 10 contender who settled for the path of least resistance in bowing out in two rounds.
Saturday's encore performance will feature Pacquiao in a 12-round decision win over Tim Bradley this past April. The bout was a sequel to their June '12 clash, in which a highly controversial split decision left Pacquiao with his first loss in more than five years. The win in April saw the Filipino legend return to welterweight prominence, thus handing Bradley his first career loss in the process.
The full schedule for HBO Boxing's Best Of 2014 series runs as follows:
Saturday, 12/27 - 11:30 p.m. ET/PT
Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Geale
Gennady Golovkin vs. Marco Antonio Rubio
Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley Jr. II
Sunday, 12/28 - 12:00 a.m. ET/PT
Sergey Kovalev vs. Bernard Hopkins
Monday, 12/29 - 11:30 p.m. ET/PT
Miguel Cotto vs. Sergio Martinez
Terence Crawford vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa
Tuesday, 12/30 - 11:30 p.m. ET/PT
Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Mike Alvarado
Wladimir Klitschko vs. Kubrat Pulev
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