Richard Schaefer tells Lem Satterfield that the September 17 HBO pay-per-view fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Victor Ortiz will receive a positively huge promotional push, and has given a few details about what's already set:
"In the coming weeks, there are going to be a lot of these promotional elements in play that are going to be announced. The promotion is going to be running from pretty much now until the night of the fight. .... You're going to have announcements of different promotional tools being used, many of them new to the sport of boxing. It's going to be interesting for fight fans, sports fans and the general public to really be part of that experience going into the fight."
In April and May, Top Rank partnered with Showtime and CBS for new levels of promotional hype for the Manny Pacquiao vs Shane Mosley fight, which turned out to be Pacquiao's most-bought PPV ever, against an opponent who was a huge underdog and most knowledgeable boxing fans saw as a faded non-challenge to Pacquiao. Golden Boy is banking on HBO and Time Warner putting in that sort of push for Mayweather vs Ortiz, with this being easily marketable on a number of levels. For one thing, Mayweather hasn't fought since May 2010, so this can be billed as a "return" event for him, and you also have Ortiz, who is media-friendly and charismatic, plus a young, strong fighter that no one can accuse of being another washed-up opponent for one of boxing's Big Two.
The push begins Tuesday in New York with the first of just two media events on a mini-tour to hype the fight. The second date will be in Los Angeles, but otherwise it looks like the press tour is being scrapped in large part to focus on other forms of promotion. This is in stark contrast to Top Rank's plans of a worldwide press tour for Pacquiao vs Marquez III on November 12.
Get ready for the big push for this fight, because it looks like it's starting soon and going to roll in fast, like a summer storm about to drop heavy rain all over People magazine. HBO doesn't have network TV to offer, but they do have a lot of creative turns to take in hyping a fight that haven't been taken advantage of to date. Will any of it make a serious difference? I don't know, but I do know that it makes promoters giddy to see their fight talked about anywhere other than the usual places.