HBO PPV Sets Sights on de la Hoya-Hopkins

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With its preliminary June 5 Oscar de la Hoya/Bernard Hopkins doubleheader pay-per-view boxing event in the books, Home Box Office Pay-Per-View is looking ahead to its main event: a Sept. 18 de la Hoya-Hopkins PPV middleweight-championship showdown.

HBO PPV executives believe the much-anticipated event -- coupled with HBO PPV’s Oct. 2 Felix Trinidad-Ricardo Mayorga middleweight fight -- could draw as many as 2 million buys and more than $100 million for the PPV industry.

The June 5 de la Hoya-Felix Strum/Hopkins-Robert Allen co-feature PPV fight card generated about 380,000 buys and some $19 million in PPV revenue, HBO senior vice president of sports operations Mark Taffet said.

Those numbers fell well below the 975,000 buys generated from de la Hoya’s last bout in September 2003 against “Sugar” Shane Mosely.

Nevertheless, Taffet said, the performance of the event -- in which both fighters won by unanimous decision, although some ringside observers disputed de la Hoya’s win -- met the company’s expectations.

Now the two fighters will meet in a Sept. 18 PPV-boxing event that Taffet said could rival some of the top-performing nonheavyweight PPV events of all time.

With Trinidad returning to the ring Oct. 2 after a two-year layoff, Taffet said, HBO is offering operators a one-two PPV punch that could net significant revenue.

“With de la Hoya’s and Hopkins’ victories and with Trinidad’s return, we now have a middleweight magic fall setup that may generate potentially $100 million in revenue,” he added.

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