Victor Ortiz vs Andre Berto II (HBO vs Showtime is a win-win situation) By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing (Nov 26, 2011) Doghouse Boxing - Tweet
When I talked to Richard Schaefer (CEO for Golden Boy Promotions) on earlyMonday evening,I asked him if it were up in the air
as to who would televise the rematch between Victor Ortiz and Andre Berto,
which was quite the entertaining scrap back in April. The fight and Berto’s
welterweight strap were won by Ortiz, who parlayed that victory into a bout
with Floyd Mayweather in September. “Yes, it is,” confirmed Schaefer. Well,on Thursday nightDan Rafael ofESPN.comreported that the second chapter of
Ortiz-Berto would be on Showtime (espn.com/sources-say)
There's that old saying that the more things change, the more they stay the
same. Well, it certainly doesn't look like it in this instance.
JAN 28/FEB 11
It's not clear just which date Ortiz-Berto II will land. BothJanuary 28thandFebruary 11thhave been discussed. What's
interesting is that HBO was hoping to have that fight land on its late January
slot for their traditional pre-Super Bowl weekend show. I'm told they are still
searching for a fight card on that date and that everything is in play except,
of course, for Ortiz-Berto, which did a pretty strong rating in April.
As for February 11th, well, right now, Top Rank is planning to stage
a pay-per-view card featuring Nonito Donaire. Will we have dueling shows on
this night; will this appearance get bumped to the28th of Januaryor moved back a few weeks? I think a
lot of these issues will be ironed out as Top Rank is inNew Yorkthis
upcoming week and meeting with both networks.
As for Berto and HBO, it's interesting to note that after paying Berto upwards
of $10 million throughout his career fighting mostly hand-picked no-hopers, as
there is finally a bout that the viewing public looks forward to seeing,
Showtime scoops him up- really, for not that much more than what HBO ended up
bidding (according to Rafael's article). I wonder if Berto at least wrote a
note of thanks to Greenburg and Kery Davis. It would only be the right thing to
do, wouldn't it?
It wasn't too long ago that HBO basically gave a thumbs down to Berto regarding
his IBF mandatory defense against Randall Bailey, giving Berto no choice but to
make the Ortiz bout, With this move, Berto decided to vacate the belt (This
after green-lighting his September bout versus Jan Zaveck for that same title, giving
him a license fee of $750,000). This is a short-term loss for HBO but while
Ortiz-Berto II is one of the best bouts that can be made at premium cable
network level, looking at the big picture, if this signals the change for both
networks that this is about fights- and not individual fighters or belts- then
this is very positive step for everyone involved.
I could be wrong but I think having a more level playing field between HBO and
Showtime is a win-win situation for subscribers. Word throughout the industry
is that HBO is cutting its boxing budget for 2012 and, as a result, Showtime
will be in play for more fights that in the past would automatically be on its rival’s
As for the money HBO planned to spend on Ortiz-Berto II, well, now they can go
out and spend it on other attractive bouts. This is certainly not the end of
the world. In fact, it might be the beginning of a new age.