A rubber-match fight between light-heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver and former champ Roy Jones Jr. will launch a strong fall pay-per-view boxing lineup that will see at least four marquee fight cards.
Home Box Office PPV will distribute the Oct. 1 Tarver-Jones bout, the third fight between the two boxers.
Jones, once considered the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter, seeks to avenge a May 2004 knockout to Tarver, who himself lost a close decision to Jones in their first bout, Dec. 3, 2003.
HBO PPV is hopeful that the fight can approach the combined 600,000 buys generated from the first two fights. “It could jockey to be the best-performing event of the year,” vice president and general manager Tammy Ross said, besting the 510,000 buys garnered by HBO PPV’s May 14 Felix Trinidad-Winky Wright fight.
HBO PPV is also working on a December rematch of last month’s Bernard Hopkins-Jermain Taylor fight, in which Taylor upset Hopkins to win the middleweight crown. That fight generated 350,000 PPV buys.
Also in the works: a November fight featuring junior-welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather. The undefeated champ’s June 25 fight against Arturo Gatti pulled in 350,000 PPV orders.
Showtime, for its part, is expected to distribute an Oct. 8 PPV rematch bout between Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo.
The network also has a small August PPV heavyweight-boxing card featuring former champion David Tua against Jameel McCline and veteran Ray Mercer battling Shannon Briggs.