The boxing world was shocked on Thursday when HBO announced that it would drop its boxing coverage after Daniel Jacobs-Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
For 45 years, HBO Boxing has been the home to some of the biggest names and biggest fights in the history of boxing. Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Roy Jones Jr. and Oscar De La Hoya all became global superstars while fighting on HBO.
Boxing and HBO were almost synonymous with one another.
But the boxing world was turned upside down on Thursday when HBO announced that they would be dropping their boxing coverage at the conclusion of their 2018 boxing schedule.
“Our mission at HBO Sports is to elevate the brand. We look for television projects that are high-profile, high-access, and highly ambitious in the stories they seek to tell and the quality of production in telling them,” HBO Sports said in a statement. “Boxing has been part of our heritage for decades. During that time, the sport has undergone a transformation. It is now widely available on a host of networks and streaming services. There is more boxing than ever being televised and distributed. In some cases, this programming is very good. But from an entertainment point of view, it’s not unique.”
It's a profoundly sad day in #boxing as @HBOboxing announces it will no longer televise the sport after broadcasting most of the biggest fights and stars of the past 45 years. My story: https://t.co/mfPTWZUV8S
— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) September 27, 2018
“Going forward in 2019, we will be pivoting away from programming live boxing on HBO. As always, we will remain open to looking at events that fit our programming mix. This could include boxing, just not for the foreseeable future. We’re deeply indebted to the many courageous fighters whose careers we were privileged to cover.”
HBO did have a dip in its boxing coverage over the past few years as rival network Showtime has a television contract with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions stable of fighters, and then Top Rank signed a multi-year television contract with HBO.
But it still came as a huge shocker that they would be terminating their boxing coverage, especially since it was less than two weeks that they had the biggest pay per view fight of the year Canelo vs. GGG 2.
So that means after airing 1,111 fights in 45 years beginning in 1973 when George Foreman knocked out Joe Frazier in two rounds, HBO’s last boxing broadcast will be between Brooklyn’s Daniel Jacobs (34-2, 29 KOs) against Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs) as they battle for the vacant IBF middleweight title.
— HBOboxing (@HBOboxing) September 25, 2018
The fight will take place at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, Oct. 27 and tickets can be purchased at TicketMaster.com.
It will be an emotional night in and outside of the ring as Jacobs and Derevyanchenko battle to become a champion, and the HBO Sports crew which will be broadcasting’s its final telecast.
HBO closing its doors to boxing is just another example that nothing lasts forever.