HBO to Lose Canelo-GGG and Kovalev-Alvarez Rematch?
Despite their having control of the big GGG-Canelo Alvarez rematch this weekend, more and more signs are emerging that HBO, the former king of boxing is likely looking to drop the sport altogether in the future. Both GGG and Canelo are on their final fights under contract with the network, and both have insinuated that they will at least test the free market.
The other damning sign for boxing’s longtime premier network was that they were not willing to commit to airing the rematch between Sergey Kovalev and Eleider Alvarez, with credible rumors now saying that fight will be in Quebec sometime in January, and will be aired on ESPN.
While the continued downfall of HBO boxing is a shame, and it is unlikely any network or streaming service will bring the same level of class and sophistication to the sport that network always has, losing a political hurdle to making great fights involving HBO’s roster would be a nice consolation.
Ioka-Nietes Fight Likely for December.
Following Kazuto Ioka’s win over Mcwilliams Arroyo and Donnie Nietes’ draw with Aston Palicte on Saturday’s “Superfly 3” card, rumors are that the two will face each other sometime at the end of the year in either Japan or The Philippines. Nietes’ WBO Superflyweight title will reportedly be on the line.
De la Hoya to Run for President?
In a move that I’m sure is in no way an attempt to drum up publicity for Saturday’s Canelo Alvarez fight, Oscar De la Hoya was quoted this week talking about how he would like to run for president. De la Hoya stated that he would run as a Democrat, and declared “If Arnold [Schwarzenegger] can be governor, if Trump can be president, then why can’t a Mexican-American who won an Olympic gold medal, who’s over 35 and a U.S. citizen run for president?”
Because of these pictures, Oscar. You can’t run for president because of those pictures.
Pacquiao to Sue Top Rank Promotions
Manny Pacquiao is quite upset at Top Rank Promotions and is considering taking legal action against his longtime promoter. Apparently, Pacquiao didn’t get any money for the US broadcast rights of his victory over Lucas Matthysse and took to Instagram to voice his displeasure at the situation. Bob Arum blamed the issue on Manny not signing and returning a contract, and has claimed the issue is essentially resolved at this point. While this is nothing compared to the shenanigans Don King pulled back in the day, it should still give a fighter pause before he considers signing with Bob Arum anytime soon.
Conlan to get Rematch of Famous “Middle Finger” Olympic Fight
But let’s give Arum credit for this move. In a very clever bit of boxing promotion, Irish star Michael Conlan is in talks to face Russian boxer Vladimir Nikitin in either New York City or Ireland. Nikitin is the fighter to whom Conlan “lost” in the 2016 Olympics, an atrocious decision that led Conlan to famously give the Olympic boxing judges the middle finger.
This is smart for a few reasons. First of all, the fight can use a grudge match or redemption angle to sell itself to what will either be a hometown crowd or an extremely pro-Irish crowd. Secondly, everyone but the Olympic judges saw that Conlan was a better fighter than Nikitin when they fought in the Olympics, so although pro and amateur boxing are different, there is little reason to believe Conlan won’t be the better fighter in this fight as well. It’s good marketing, it’s good matchmaking and hopefully it’s a good fight.
Kronk Gym Officially Ordered to be Demolished
While HBO boxing’s demise is a shame, the demise of Detroit’s famed Kronk Gym is a true travesty. The gym that saw Emanuel Steward teach a young Tommy Hearns to box after somebody stole his coat, and that ultimately turned him into a boxing hall-of-famer was officially ordered to be destroyed this week, following a fire that destroyed it in October.
So many great boxers came out of the Kronk gym, from Gerald McLellan to Michael Moorer, and a quick read of the various stories of gym wars in that building show why. In an era where air-conditioned, clean, “white collar” boxing gyms that cater to the Wall Street crowd looking to take out pent up financial aggression are all the rage, and at a time where an entire generation of men and women who have never eaten a jab somehow declare “ILoveKickboxing,” I will defer to the words of the late, great boxing writer Ralph Wiley, who once said of Kronk gym, “The heat in that hellhole will run a pretender out. When you get down there, there are these fighters, rows and rows of fighters; skinny, flawed fighters, undernourished, overdosed, but you can see it, you can see the will in their eyes.”