HBO dropping boxing after 2018
By Jim Dower: HBO announced on Thursday that they’ll be going out of the boxing business after 2018, with their last show being the Daniel Jacobs vs. Sergiy Derevyanchenko in their fight for the vacant IBF middleweight title on October 27. To some fans, HBO dropping boxing isn’t a surprise, because some of their recent cards had been lacking. In the face of stiff competition from ESPN, Fox, Showtime and DAZN, HBO was dropping behind the pack.
The move by HBO to drop boxing will impact two of the biggest stars in the U.S market in Saul Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin. The two fighters were both recently signed with HBO. Their contracts were said to have expired with the network as of September 15. GGG’s promoter Tom Loeffler has already said that he’s been approached by DAZN, ESPN and Showtime to have Golovkin sign with one of them. GGG will likely only sign for single fights rather than signing a multi-fight deal.
The HBO fighters that will be impacted by the networks’ move to drop boxing are as follows:
– Rey Vargas
– Gennady GGG Golovkin
– Dmitry Bivol
– Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
– Daniel Jacobs
– Jaime Munguia
– Saul Canelo Alvarez
– Sergey Kovalev
– Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez
In addition to the above named fighters that will be looking for a different network to fight on, HBO’s commentators – Roy Jones Jr., Max Kellerman, Andre Ward, and Harold Lederman – will be looking for work as well if they choose to stay in boxing. Jim Lampley could be staying, although it’s unclear in what capacity he’ll be occupying. Kellerman has a good chance of finding a landing spot with one of the networks as a boxing commentator.
HBO has been televising boxing for 45 years, having shown a great many exciting fights over the years since they first started.
The news of HBO dropping boxing was announced by Peter Nelson, the 37-year-old executive vice president of HBO Sports, according to Yahoo News.
“This is not a subjective decision,” Nelson said to the New York Times. “Our audience research informs us that boxing is no longer a determinant factor for subscribing to HBO.”
With HBO now out of the boxing business, it now creates more opportunities for ESPN, DAZN, Fox and Showtime to expand their audiences. DAZN, with Matchroom Boxing USA promoter Eddie Hearn supplying talent, is hoping to become the biggest supplier of boxing content. Hearn has IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, Demetrius Andrade, Jarrell Miller, Danny Jacobs and many more talented fighters in his stable. Hearn is hoping to sign Golovkin, and likely now Canelo to his stable. ESPN will likely be looking to sign those two stars as well along some of the other names that will no longer be with HBO.