In a throwback to the date battles of the-mid 1990s, the pay-per-view event
arms of Showtime and Home Box Office are proposing separate boxing cards for
Showtime Event Television will distribute a heavyweight fight between former
champion Evander Holyfield and current cruiserweight champion James Toney on
that date, while HBO PPV -- representing boxing-promotion company Top Rank Inc.
-- is considering a Hispanic-based PPV card featuring featherweight champion
While the SET Holyfield-Toney fight is set, neither a venue nor a suggested
retail price has been announced.
On HBO PPV's and Top Rank's part, the Oct. 4 date was set aside for a third
match between Morales and former champion Marco Antonio Barerra, but management
issues surrounding the latter have likely shelved that bout indefinitely,
Top Rank still plans to offer a PPV card that night, headed by Morales.
"It's not our preference [to go head-to-head], and we'll do our best to
resolve the situation," HBO senior vice president of sports operations Mark
The surprise competitiveness and ratings performance of HBO's June 21 Lennox
Lewis-Vitali Klitschko fight has opened up several PPV options for the
Lewis -- who was ahead on all of the judges' scorecards -- retained his
heavyweight belt when the fight was stopped in the sixth round due to a severe
cut over the challenger's left eye.
The fight generated a 13.4 rating, the highest mark for a boxing match since
a 1999 Oscar de la Hoya-Oba Carr bout registered a 14.6 in HBO's universe.
Taffet said HBO PPV will soon talk with Lewis about developing a potential
PPV Lewis-Klitschko rematch for December. Another potential PPV fight for
November could pit Lewis against World Boxing Association heavyweight champion
Roy Jones Jr.