Victor Ortiz vs Andre Berto II (HBO vs Showtime is a win-win situation)
By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing (Nov 26, 2011) Doghouse Boxing
When I talked to Richard Schaefer (CEO for Golden Boy Promotions) on early Monday 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 night Dan Rafael of reported that the second chapter of Ortiz-Berto would be on Showtime ( 

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. Both January 28thand February 11th have 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 the 28th of January or moved back a few weeks? I think a lot of these issues will be ironed out as Top Rank is in New York this 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 air.

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.

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