HBO has officially stepped away from Manny Pacquiao. The Filipino superstar recently announced his return to the ring, and will take on Jessie Vargas on November 5th. This announcement didn’t exactly light the world on fire, especially against such an unheralded opponent (though he is the WBO welterweight champ). But in an unexpected move, the PPV won’t be distributed by HBO. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum confirmed that to Ring TV:
“Definitely it’s not going to be HBO. HBO had a contract and decided to pass because it was two weeks in front of their Ward-Kovalev fight.”
Pacquiao confirms Nov. 5th fight vs. Vargas
Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao has confirmed that he is coming out of retirement to face WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas on November 5th.
While that is true, there’s more to it. HBO has relinquished the rest of their contractual right to Pac’s fights with this move. That means they wouldn’t automatically air a rematch between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather if it did indeed happen. While that’s not going to break records like the first one, it would definitely be a money fight. So it’s interesting that they’re choosing to walk away.
Meanwhile, Arum will shop the fight around to different broadcasters now that HBO has stepped away. ESPN, a Turner network, and even traditional competitor Showtime are now on the table to air the bout.
“I haven’t spoken to them (Showtime). But there would be no impediment to that. When I get back next week, Stephen (Espinoza) will be one of the guys I’m calling.”
It seems like this fight isn’t going to be a very big draw, but it’s still likely to line Pacquiao’s pockets nicely.
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