News

Boxing Legends to Hit PPV Circuit

4/11/1999 8:00 PM Eastern

Longtime boxing fans who are upset over the crop of current
heavyweight fighters will be able to see past boxing champions battle it out as part of a
proposed boxing-legends series on pay-per-view.

The first fight of what could be a quarterly series will
feature former heavyweight champions Larry Holmes and James "Bonecrusher" Smith
in June, said Doug Jacobs, partner of Innovative Sports Marketing, a
PPV-event-distribution company.

"The idea is to put together a new, credible
organization that will feature some of the older boxing champions," Jacobs said.
"There's some credibility to having the older fighters step into the ring
against fighters at their level, as opposed to the older fighters against some of the
younger talent."

Jacobs wouldn't reveal the names of other fighters who
could participate in the series. He did say that the fighters would not be limited to the
heavyweight class.

The events would cost $19.95 -- a far cry from the $30 to
$50 price tags associated with most PPV-boxing events.

Viewer's Choice, EchoStar Communications Corp.'s
Dish Network, TVN Entertainment Corp. and U.S. Satellite Broadcasting will distribute the
June event.

Unlike some current heavyweight contenders, like Michael
Grant, who haven't achieved mainstream name recognition, most casual boxing fans can
identify with the fighters featured on the legend series.

"The fighters have names that people remember,"
Jacobs said. "As a result, [viewers] who haven't watched boxing in a while or
who are disgusted with what's happening in boxing today may tune in."

Jacobs said the group is in the process of developing
"ground rules" for the fighters, which could include open, round-by-round
scoring. A number of boxing observers have called for such a mandate in light of last
month's Evander Holyfield-Lennox Lewis scoring debacle.

In related news, Innovative will distribute a June 5
PPV-soccer game between England and Sweden. The event is a qualifying match leading up to
the Euro 2000 Tournament -- the World Cup tournament of Europe.

The game will retail at a suggested price of $19.95, Jacobs
said.

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