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Will HBO be hurt with Cotto-Mayorga not being on their network?

By Chris Williams: With Bob Arum signing a deal with CBS/Showtime, it could mean that many of Arum’s fighters will now be fighting on Showtime instead of HBO. Recently, HBO decided to pass on one of Arum’s biggest cash cows, WBA junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto,w ho Arum wanted to put him in with 37-year-old Ricardo Mayorga on their network in a pay-per-view bout on 3/12. HBO, for whatever reason, decided to go with the Sergio Martinez vs. Sergiy Dzinziruk fight instead on March 12th.

In an article at sportsillustrated.cnn.com, Arum had this to say about HBO deciding not to show Cotto’s next fight: “HBO has lost it’s way. After what Cotto did for them in terms of ratings, to take that date away from us is something neither he nor I will ever forgive.” Boy, it sure does seem like Arum isn’t taking this well. Instead of being upset about it, Arum needs to look at it from HBO’s perspective. They’re trying to put on a good product fight after fight, because they want to not only lure fans in with the promise of a good fight, but they want the fight to actually be good.

They don’t want to serve up mismatches to ignorant fans who don’t have a clue about the fight being a mismatch and then getting upset about it afterwards and then deciding to not order anymore PPV fights in the future from HBO. What HBO is trying to do is win the customer for life by putting on good fights and not just fights that involve one good fighter facing a fighter that is merely recognizable by name only. That’s not putting together a good fight. That’s luring fans in for reasons of name only but then the fight turning out to be a terrible mismatch. Is it any wonder then that HBO decided to pass on Cotto vs. Mayorga?

Look at the price for the fight: It’s going to be $49.99 to watch Cotto beat up on an old, overweight and rusty Mayorga. I think HBO did well to ignore this fight. And if Arum decides not to show any future Cotto fights on HBO, I don’t think HBO will lose too much because Cotto looks deteriorated at this point and I think he’s not the best fighter in the junior middleweight division. He’ll do okay as long as he’s not put in with guys like Erislandy Lara, Dzinziruk and Vanes Martirosyan.



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