Reports: Darchinyan to Bantamweight, Pacquiao-Hatton on HBO PPV

Fresh off his dominating KO of Jorge Arce, Vic Darchinyan is looking for another title fight - but not at 115 pounds.

The Raging Bull's manager Elias Nassar told the AP in Australia yesterday that Darchinyan is bound for bantamweight, with bouts against WBC champ Hozumi Hasegawa or IBF champ Joseph Agbeko the top priorities.

I'll be the first to admit I don't know a thing about Hasegawa, but Agbeko could make for a fun fight. He returned from over a year off to defeat William Gonzalez in a spirited fight on a live Versus card two months ago. King Kong could definitely give Vic a run for his money in a brawl, though I think Darchinyan has enough talent to outbox him fairly easily if he chooses to go that route.

Filipino veteran Gerry Penalosa, currently ranked No. 1 at 118 pounds by BoxRec.com, is the WBO titleholder. Other intriguing bantamweight possibilities include Fernando Montiel and Abner Mares.

Another story that broke over the past 36 hours or so was the announcement that HBO would handle the pay-per-view duties for the May 2 clash between Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton. Normally this wouldn't qualify as news at all, but Showtime apparently made a very serious bid to handle the broadcast.

According to Dan Rafael of ESPN, Top Rank's Bob Arum favored Showtime's bid because of its alliance with CBS, leading to the possibility that the fight would be promoted on network TV. Eventually, though, he was persuaded by Golden Boy Promotions to go with the industry leader.

It would have been great to see the fight hyped on CBS, but it would have had to pay off in a lot more buys for the pay-per-view to overcome the advantages of going with HBO. Showtime has shown admirable commitment to boxing, but HBO still has a leg up in the quality of its production values and (though we fight fans bitch about them on a semi-regular basis) announcers.

Fans of HBO's 24/7 series (like us here at BoxingWatchers.com) will be happy to know that Rafael also notes that the agreement calls for more episodes of the show leading up to the bout. It will be interesting to see what new angle they can take to examine Pacquiao, as he was a subject just a few months ago when he was getting ready to take on Oscar De La Hoya.

1 comment:

uatu said...

just to see how it would be different, it would have been interesting for Showtime to win the bid for this show.

Also, it would have been interesting to see if there would be any overall industry changes with Showtime landing such a high profile bout. Maybe HBO gets mad at Golden Boy.