Ben Thompson of FightHype reported a couple of days ago that he'd had sources tell him that HBO was looking to put together a four-man tournament at 140 pounds, with some major names and three titleholders involved. WBA titlist Amir Khan, WBC titlist Devon Alexander, interim WBA titleholder Marcos Maidana and Victor Ortiz have been the fighters named.
Today, Rick Reeno and Altaf Mubarik followed up at BoxingScene.com with confirmation that there has been discussion, though nothing concrete at this point, and that includes money, locations, fighters involved, etc.
This isn't surprising, really, as one of the key points that came up in some recent speculation over the security of HBO Sports head Ross Greenburg's job was that the honchos at HBO were wondering why they didn't have something like Showtime's Super Six. You have to remember that HBO has a lot more money than Showtime; that's just a fact. The HBO boxing budget is way, way bigger than Showtime's, because HBO is a much bigger network. Meanwhile, HBO had paid mega money for Chad Dawson to land two fights on the network, which have turned out to be rematches of fights that already took place on Showtime, and there were other things of that nature named.
The Super Six is a revolution in boxing promotion. This doesn't seem like it would necessarily be on the same scale, and the idea appears to be similar to what HBO did back in 2001 with Bernard Hopkins, Tito Trinidad, Keith Holmes and William Joppy at middleweight. Hopkins beat Holmes, Trinidad beat Joppy, and then Hopkins beat Trinidad. All the while there was a clear agenda to make a Hopkins-Trinidad fight, which worked out. But there's no particularly big fight that could come out of the four names involved here.
What you have are good, young fighters. Maidana, at 26, is the old man. The other three guys are 22 years old. Maidana already waxed Ortiz and made him quit, but Ortiz seems intent to come back strong from that. Three of them currently have fights scheduled, too. Khan faces Dmitriy Salita on December 5, Maidana faces William Gonzalez on November 21, and Ortiz faces Antonio Diaz on December 5. Only Alexander has no fight scheduled right now, which is pretty much par for the course for his career under Don King.
It might wind up tough to get the promoters all working together. Even with the Super Six working out, that's always going to be hard. You'd have Golden Boy (Ortiz and working with Maidana now, too), King (Alexander), and Frank Warren (Khan). Plenty of egos there, especially with King all jacked up on Mountain Dew after the success of the Agbeko-Perez card last weekend.
It's very, very interesting, but this is also very, very, very preliminary stuff. It's mostly speculation at this point, and if nothing ever comes of it, don't be surprised.