From George Foreman defeating Joe Frazier in two rounds to Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez fighting two brutal wars, HBO boxing has provided us with some massive memories over the past 45 years.
After over four decades in the sport HBO has announced that they are hanging up the gloves and will no longer be broadcasting boxing after this Saturday’s middleweight title fight between Danny Jacobs and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
This is certainly a sad day for boxing fans and HBO’s presence in the sport will be dearly missed.
In a statement HBO said the following “Going forward into 2019, we will be pivoting away from programming live boxing on HBO.”
Eddie Hearn will promote the last ever show on HBO after he recently signed a $1 Billion deal to broadcast his boxing shows on DAZN. This is a huge amount of money and this is the likely reason why HBO is pulling out of boxing as they do not want to spend this type of money to get the best fighters on their platform.
Canelo Alvarez contract with HBO ran out after the GGG fight in September and he recently signed an 11 fight $365 million deal with DAZN. ESPN has also signed a major deal with Top Rank promotions and Bob Arum to broadcast their fights.
HBO leaving the boxing business leaves many well-known commentators and pundits out of contract. People like Max Kellerman, Jim Lampley, Roy Jones Jr., and Larry Merchant have been working for HBO for many years and are highly respected in the boxing business. They will be highly sought after and with great reason. They are brilliant at what they do.
What the fans loved most about HBO was their around the clock behind the scenes programs. Programs like 24/7 which captured the imagination of fans and helped promote their PPVs and build up their boxing stars to the masses. With no more HBO boxing there will be no more HBO 24/7 and for me and many other boxing fans this is quite sad.
For a time being HBO was boxing, the sport will continue to thrive but it will feel a little empty without HBO involved in some form.