Top Rank’s CEO Bob Arum ripped apart the overall telecast of last Saturday night’s HBO Pay-Per-View from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas – which was headlined by the middleweight rematch between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.
The pay-per-view undercard was filled with one-sided wipeouts.
Roman Gonzalez brutally knocked out Moises Fuentes in five rounds, David Lemieux crushed Spike O’Sullivan in one round, and Jaime Munguia blew out Brandon Cook in three rounds.
Because the pay-per-view started an hour early (5PM PST/8PM EST) and PPV undercard was so brief, thousands of fans in the arena – and those watching the PPV telecast – were unfortunately forced to wait for a extremely long period of time before the main event fighters were scheduled to enter the ring.
Arum was so upset with the way the PPV telecast was handled – he believes the moment has come for HBO to finally leave boxing.
“Let me tell you, the people who did that telecast should be horse-whipped. They had nothing fights on the undercard. And now this is the big boxing fight of the year, and to have people with television and in the arena sit around for nearly two hours waiting for the fight to start – what the hell was that? You have to have somebody with some planning,” Arum told SiriusXM Boxing.
“They start the thing at 5PM [PST]. Why the hell would you start it at 5PM? Well, maybe the fights go the distance. The chances of those fights going the distance were remote. They were one-sided fights with guys who were knockout punchers. The fact that they got [nine] rounds out of three fights is a miracle. All three could have ended in the first round.
“It was between an hour and a half and two hours [where people were waiting]. I have never seen anything like it. At the beginning, they played an interview with Canelo and an hour later they played the interview again. It was the most horribly produced telecast for a big pay-per-view event that I’ve ever seen – and maybe it’s appropriate that the time is right for HBO to get out of boxing.”
Due to budget cuts, HBO’s boxing content has been very thin in 2018, and many insiders believes the end is near for the network’s relationship with boxing. The network is losing fights, and fighters, to their three main competitors – Showtime, ESPN and DAZN.