Underdog Boxing: Pacquiao-Mosley on Showtime, not HBO
     January 24, 2011 6:07pm
It is official. The fight between Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley will be aired via Showtime, not HBO.

Bob Arum had a falling-out with HBO because the media company decided not to air the first title defense of Miguel Cotto. This split has been brewing for months now, at least for Arum. He didn’t particularly like it when HBO decided not to produce a 24/7 series for Pacquiao’s fight against Joshua Clottey. He also felt disrespected when no one from HBO showed up for the memorial service of his son John.

Arum quickly threw a counter, pulling Pacquiao out of HBO.

What does this mean for Pacquiao? Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons.

The pros include the chance to reach a bigger audience. CBS, Showtime’s mother company, has a bigger reach compared to HBO. Showtime will also produce Fight Camp 360°, a series similar to HBO’s 24/7. This gives Pacquiao the chance to be a bigger star. CBS reaches 115 million people while HBO can only reach 30 million.

Pacquiao-Mosley will also receive considerable airtime with CBS, including ad spots during the NCAA basketball tournament. CBS also promised a 60 Minutes segment for Pacquiao as a follow-up on what they aired last year. The undercard fighters for Pacquiao-Mosley will also be given the chance under the spotlight, since they will also guest in various CBS programs.

Now here are the cons. The first is that there will be no Pacquiao-Mosley 24/7. HBO has been doing a good job of producing a documentary series that highlights the training camps of both fighters. 24/7 creates a certain connection between the audience and the fighter because the show also portrays the fighters’ personal lives. Although Showtime/CBS will produce a show similar to HBO’s 24/7, there will be lots of limitations due to censorship. And, frankly, Fight Camp 360° will have a tough time measuring up to HBO’s 24/7, whose documentaries were beautifully made.

Another negative is that we will no longer hear Michael Buffer’s “Let’s get ready to rumble" line. Showtime has its own ring announcer in Jimmy Lennon Jr., but his patented line, “It’s Showtime" pales in comparison with Buffer’s. Hearing Buffer’s voice elevates the “big fight atmosphere" that boxing fans relish. I have nothing against Lennon but Buffer is by far the best ring announcer in the sport.

However, the biggest negative, at least for me, is that this move adds another blow to the already dwindling chances of a Pacquiao-versus- Floyd Mayweather fight. As it is, there are already many hurdles to a possible Pacquiao-Mayweather showdown. There’s the tiff between Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions, there’s Mayweather’s demand for Olympic-style drug testing, and then there are those legal battles that Mayweather and his uncle/trainer Roger are facing.

As a Pacquiao fan, I wish that Arum didn’t just do this to piss off HBO for passing up the Cotto fight. Let’s hope this is a sound and calculated move, not a knee-jerk reaction fueled by personal vendetta. -- GMANews.TV

About Underdog Boxing
As the legendary Joe Frazier said, “Boxing is the only sport you can get your brain shook, your money took, and your name in the undertaker book." Yet a few brave men choose to fight for a living. Fighting, in their minds, is the best way to live a better life.

From the moment they throw their first punch, Filipino boxers are already heavy underdogs. They have to make do with rice sacks filled with sand for punching bags, and shirts wrapped around their hands for gloves. They fight for meager pay and, after they fight, they’d have to run back to their jobs in the construction site because they need to feed their families.

This column is for underdogs, boxing and beyond, who work every day to win even if the world tells them that they can’t.
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