Top Rank's Todd duBoef confirmed what we expected this afternoon, that HBO has once again locked down the major events in boxing, and the cable giant is bringing Manny Pacquiao back after a one-off with Showtime. Pacquiao's November 12 fight with Juan Manuel Marquez will be on HBO pay-per-view.
After reviewing spectacular offers from HBO/TW and SHO/CBS, congrats to HBO/TW for securing distribution for Nov 12
Though details are not out yet, expect the promotion for Pacquiao vs Marquez to look a lot like the promotion for Mayweather vs Ortiz, which we're about to see unfold fully. All the usual HBO push and then some, plus aggressive campaigns with other Time Warner assets.
As noted before, it appears that the greatest impact that Ken Hershman and Showtime made by "stealing" Manny's last fight is that they've poked a lazy giant enough that it's finally waking up. Pacquiao's single fight with Showtime has been the biggest catalyst for change at HBO Sports.
I'm sure the folks at Showtime are disappointed that their relationship with Manny Pacquiao has turned into more of a fruitful flirtation than anything, but for boxing fans in general, a stronger, more aggressive HBO is good for all of us, and Showtime having a stronger presence in boxing made that happen. And who knows? Next time out with the major events, Showtime and CBS might just bring even more to the table. Competition generally results in a better product all around, and this is really just the beginning.