Rick Reeno of BoxingScene.com reports that there is a chance of some ugliness between junior middleweight titlist Sergiy Dzinziruk and American cable giants HBO. In March, HBO approved Dzinziruk as an opponent for middleweight champion Sergio Martinez after turning down Sebastian Zbik. To take that fight, Dzinziruk was guaranteed another fight on HBO.
But HBO has failed to live up to that, and have advised promoters Artie Pelullo and Gary Shaw to have Dzinziruk (37-1, 23 KO) take a mandatory title defense in Europe with Lukas Konecny (47-3, 22 KO). Obviously Dzinziruk's team is not happy with this. Here's what Pelullo told BoxingScene.com:
"They told us that the only way he would get on the network is to fight the best middleweight in the world and that's what he did. ... This kid came to this country because he wanted to fight here. Now his mandatory is overdue and he might have to go fight overseas. Some real damage has been done here."
Dzinziruk lost a year and a half of his career trying to get out of his old deal with promoter Universum, looking for bigger fights. To do that, he came to the States. Now he's facing a situation where he'll have to travel to the Czech Republic, giving Konecny home turf in a rematch of a fight that was a great, close battle in 2008.
HBO's 2011 schedule is basically full at this point, and if he were to lose his tentative September 30 fight with Konecny, he would lose his HBO return date, which they've promised for 2012 provided he wins the bout. In all honesty, they probably shouldn't have promised a return date for a fighter who has no fanbase and little name value, and they probably should have just televised a fight between Martinez and Sebastian Zbik instead, but then there are a lot of reasons that the old leadership at HBO has been dismissed.