Hoping to pack a stronger punch, Home Box Office plans to air all future boxing events in HDTV, and it will place millions of marketing dollars and media value behind its Sept. 18 Oscar de la Hoya-Bernard Hopkins pay-per-view event.
HBO will air World Championship Boxing HD telecasts on its stand-alone high-definition channel beginning with light heavyweights Roy Jones Jr. and Glen Johnson Sept. 25.
HBO PPV also hopes extensive marketing of the de la Hoya-Hopkins event will help to break the mark for a nonheavyweight fight set in 1999 with de la Hoya vs. Felix Trinidad. That event drew 1.4 million buys and generated more than $62 million in revenue.
De la Hoya’s quest for Hopkins’s undisputed middleweight championship has already set one dubious PPV mark: The suggested retail price of $54.95 is the most ever for a nonheavyweight fight, matching only Mike Tyson vs. Lennox Lewis in 2002.