Sources have told Maxboxing
that the HBO doubleheader featuring the return of Sergiy Dzinziruk against
Jonathan Gonzalez and Gennady Golovkin against TBA (most likely Gregorsz
Proska) has been moved from its original slot of August 25th to
September 1st. It seems as though this move was made in no small
part to serve as some sort of preview for the network’s September 8 card in
Oakland featuring Andre Ward defending his super middleweight championship
against Chad Dawson.
HBO asked the promoters of
this show (Artie Pelullo and Gary Shaw) to make this concession earlier this
week. With no site deal finalized, they accommodated the network, which is
putting up right around $2.5 million for the Ward-Dawson broadcast. They even
went so far as to purchase the tape delay rights to Vitali Klitschko's fight
versus Manuel Charr to lead off this show (which also includes the WBC
lightweight title bout between Antonio DeMarco and Johnny Molina) in an attempt
to bring more viewers to the telecast. Despite their reputation with most stateside
fans as being less-than-exciting, the Klitschkos have been consistent ratings
grabbers on HBO.
It's interesting; is HBO
once again trying to anoint or create a star, much like they did prior to the
fight between Tim Bradley and Devon Alexander, when it comes to Ward-Dawson?
(which also has a companion “24/7” and “Face Off with Max Kellerman” in its
lead-up). Some in the industry speculate that Ken Hershman, who came over from
Showtime (and created his former network’s “Super Six” tournament), has a bit
of an emotional attachment to Ward and is committed to making him into a
name-brand fighter as vindication for his faith in him. Others say that long
before Hershman was brought aboard, they had their eyes on Ward, believing he was
the next American star. They would've made a strong push for him, regardless.
But the question has to be
asked; if this much has to be done to prop up this fight, is it really worth
what HBO is doling out to begin with?