Has HBO Lowered It's Standards?
Was I the only person wondering why HBO commentators Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant and Roy Jones Jr. were severely overhyping several of the opponents on last weekend's HBO PPV telecast? It seems as though, Lamps, Larry and RJ need to watch Showtime a bit more often. I mean, when did beating Randall Bailey mean so much? What does Cotto beating Bailey prove? It certainly doesn't prove that Cotto is ready for the big time as others have suggested. Fact is, since Lovemore N'Dou gave him all he could handle, it seems his level of opposition has declined.
Randall Bailey easily lost one lackluster of a fight to DeMarcus "Chop-Chop" Corley and a closer decision to unbeaten welterweight Ishe "Sugar Shay" Smith, on SHOWTIME. A few months prior to the first of his two losses on Showtime, a single body shot from Diosbelys Hurtado stopped him on the undercard of Trinidad-Cherifi, which was televised by HBO World Championship Boxing
Don't get me wrong Bailey is a solid opponent for an upcoming prospect like Cotto, and it must be said Top Rank has done one hell of a job promoting and matching him, but HBO's commentators shouldn't try to miseducate its viewers by describing Bailey as dangerous, something he hasn't been in many moons.
Then there's Ranchero Ramirez, who was terribly outclassed (KO 4) by Acelino Freitas on SHOWTIME in 2003. The last two times I saw Carlos Navarro on television were on SHOWTIME, he escaped with a draw in one bout, and was brutally knocked out by Nate Campbell in five rounds in the other.
I guess we'll give HBO a pass on their evident lack of subs to Showtime with regards to Agapito Sanchez. You see, in Sanchez's last outing he took a life altering beating from Joan Guzman, on HBO Latino.
And we don't need to speak with an HBO suit to know that they weren't the "promoter" of the show, but the bottom line is a network as prestigious as HBO shouldn't affiliate itself with such garbage.
Most of us already recycle our garbage once a week, there's no need to double that dosage on Saturday nights.
Unfortunatley, with the exception of Tarver-Johnson on Saturday night, garbage seems to be what the so called, "Heart And Soul Of Boxing" has on tap.
On January 22, there's Floyd Mayweather Jr. vesus Henry Bruseles. Evidently HBO is paying more attention to Telefutura than Showtime. The only farce worse than HBO airing this, is the fact that the fight will take place for the All African title. Last we checked, Bruseles was Puerto Rican.
And did you know that HBO is paying MUCH more for this mismatch than Showtime is willing to pay for Corrales-Castillo, a real fight?
On January 29, Arturo Gatti takes on Jesse James Leija, in what could be an exciting fight, but anything but a dominating performance by Gatti would prove Gatti does not belong among the ELITE junior welterweights in the world.
A competitive fight would show me that Main Events was very careful as they manufactured Gatti's championship at the right time, when Gianluca Branco would be across the ring from him.
Funny, HBO WOULD NOT approve Leija for Mayweather earlier this year, but then after he gets the best of Franciso Bojado, he's suddenly good enough to be an opponent for Arturo Gatti.
Too bad things never panned out so well for Juan Carlos Rubio after he beat Bojado.
HBO's Jan. 29 undercard, which appears to be Kassim Ouma (only seen on Showtime thus far) versus Kofi Jantuah, is a far more intriguing match-up to me, though it should be noted that the only reason that fight is happening is because Vivian Harris turned down $200,000 to fight Muhammad Abdullaev. who lost to Clottey, who lost to Bojado, who lost to Leija, who's fighting Gatti.
HBO ought to be ashamed, after Tarver-Johnson, the next marquee main event that represents what world championship boxing is all about comes on February 5 when Undisputed welterweight champion Cory Spinks and Zab Judah do battle....ON SHOWTIME.
Perhaps the facts expressed in this piece, say something about the quality of the boxing minds at HBO these days.
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