The last round-up takes place at StubHub Center in Carson, California, on Saturday evening, as, after 45 years, Team HBO will hang up its mitts and do other things.
Fighters very often have a hard time transitioning but this phase has been in the works for a spell, as it became apparent to the cabler’s execs that boxing wasn’t the driver it once was. So HBO will allocate resources to get more bang for its bucks, as it makes its way in the cord-cutting era, which has non-traditional premium platforms, like Netflix, zealously holding on to market share.
December 8 marks HBO’s 18th trip to Carson, for the record. This event is a “Boxing After Dark” branded-affair, number 175 on the BAD list (HBO, 10:20 p.m. ET/PT). When all is said and done, they punch out and go off the clock, there will have been a grand total of 1,116 fights shown on the sturdy and hallowed platform.
You should note that Larry Merchant, who was on the broadcast team from 1978 to 2012, will visit with his former colleagues at some point in the telecast.
Undisputed female welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus and Aleksandra Magdziak Lopes will close out the network’s run. You might recall, if you are a veteran fight watcher and have a lockdown memory, that Johnny Tapia vs. Giovanni Andrade was the first fight BAD offered, preceding a Marco Antonio Barrera vs. Kennedy McKinney main event.
Let’s end this post, shall we, with what Merchant, now 87, said in closing after Barrera stopped McKinney and position it as a going-away salute to the cable company’s efforts in covering the sweet and savage science:
“We celebrate these great athletes for what they put themselves through,” Merchant said, as Jim Lampley listened intently, “for our entertainment and for their satisfaction and all we can say is…way to go.”
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