According to ESPN.com's Dan Rafael on Twitter, Wladimir Klitschko's November 15 world heavyweight title defense against Kubrat Pulev will air live on HBO, an unusually short timeframe for a fight airing on HBO to be made official, but hey, that's good. I guess.
HBO reportedly has signed some sort of long-term deal with HBO, too, and this isn't just a one-off:
I am told the @HBOboxing deal for #KlitschkoPulev next week is the 1st fight of a larger deal the network has done with Wladimir @Klitschko.— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) November 9, 2014
Klitschko (62-3, 52 KO) will be defending the WBA, WBO, IBF, and Ring Magazine titles against Pulev (20-0, 11 KO), a skilled and legitimate contender who can be more easily imagined as a potential upset hope than most of Wladimir's opponents, and certainly more so than recent foes like Alex Leapai, Francesco Pianeta, and Mariusz Wach.
Of course, the trouble with that is that other recent foes, like David Haye and Alexander Povetkin, were a lot more legitimate and fared no better than the riff-raff. Pulev is a good fighter, but it's been almost 10 years since anyone has really troubled Wladimir, when Samuel Peter knocked him down three times in 2005, a fight Klitschko still won.
Are you happy Wladimir's got an HBO deal now, or do you feel the money could be better spread out elsewhere?