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Summer Snooze

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If you’re a boxing fan, right now, you’re pretty much like a football fan - you can’t wait for September. Because from that point on, boxing has a strong slate of fights lined up (headlined by marquee pay-per-view events spaced out a month apart featuring the likes of Floyd Mayweather vs. Saul Alvarez, Tim Bradley vs. Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao vs. Brandon Rios). But as usual, the summer months are a drag for those who follow the “Sweet Science.”
 
The reason is very simple; as soon as July rolls around and the temperatures heat up, there is a belief (backed up by data) within the television industry that viewing levels go down across the board, therefore HBO and Showtime for years have hesitated in putting on big events during the summer. Yeah, once in awhile you might get Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto entering the ring in late July but for the most part, the biggest boxing events happen in the spring and then (after taking a bit of a hiatus during the dog days of summer) the fall and winter months.
 
Just as television likes to roll out its news shows and season premieres after Labor Day, boxing pretty much does the same thing. If you subscribe to HBO just for its boxing programming, well, you wouldn’t be missing much as they are doing one broadcast till September 7th when IBF middleweight champion Daniel Geale faces Darren Barker on August 17th (HBO2 has another foray into Macao with Top Rank on July 27th with Zou Shiming and company). HBO would’ve broadcast another card but decided that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. would play to a bigger audience in September rather than July or August (when not too long ago, he was originally slated to fight).

However, to its credit, Showtime is/was going to have a busier run of fights during this stretch, originally scheduling the not-so-anticipated bout between IBF light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins and Karo Murat for this upcoming weekend (before Murat ran into some immigration issues that have since been resolved). Then on July 27th, a tripleheader takes place from San Antonio, Texas, featuring Andre Berto-Jesus Soto-Karass, Keith Thurman-Diego Chaves and Omar Figueroa-Nihito Arakawa. Showtime then returns to the “Mecca (of Southern California boxing),” the StubHub Center in Carson, California on August 24th with a broadcast featuring local fan favorites Abner Mares and Leo Santa Cruz.
 
In between all this, you have your regular rotation of fight cards on ESPN2 (concluding this season of “Friday Night Fights” on August 16th from Chicago), UniMas (which has a “Solo Boxeo” telecast featuring Alejandro Perez this upcoming Saturday night from Hollywood Park), Fox Deportes, Telemundo and NBC Sports Network (which is televising bouts featuring Curtis Stevens, Tomasz Adamek and Eddie Chambers).
 
So yeah, there is boxing still taking place.
 
You’ll just have to wait till you see all the “Back to School Sale” commercials (and didn’t you just hate those as a kid?) to get all the good stuff.
 
TOP COTTO
 
What had been a persistent rumor was confirmed by Miguel Cotto on his Twitter account (@RealMiguelCotto) on Saturday as he tweeted, “will be back in the ring on Oct 5th on @hboboxing with @trboxing and @freddieroach in my corner...”
 
Word is that Cotto could be facing Delvin Rodriguez on that date in either Orlando (at the Amway Arena) or in Miami (at Marlins Park, which I can pretty much guarantee will not have any baseball games scheduled by this time).
 
This begins what could be a very busy stretch for Top Rank and HBO. In addition to the return of Cotto, there is the pay-per-view promotion from the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas featuring Bradley Marquez the following week and the possibility of Mike Alvarado and Ruslan Provodnikov squaring off in Denver on October 19th.
 
RAY DONOVAN
 
OK, on the recommendation of the Matt Swider-Man (of “The Soapbox” fame), I watched “Ray Donovan” on Showtime, which premiered last weekend. No doubt, I enjoyed it. I would describe this as “Scandal” on steroids, so it’s already part of my DVR rotation.
 
But I have to say, the blatant rip-off of Freddie Roach’s life, his physical condition and family is cringe-inducing. OK, so the titular character (played by Liev Schreiber) has a brother who is a boxing trainer in Hollywood (whom happens to have Parkinson’s Disease and a right arm that shakes), brothers who have had some issues and, on top of that, an abusive father - and that’s not supposed to be Roach?
 
What’s next? Is a small, unknown Filipino southpaw going to walk through his gym doors? Or are they saving that for season two?
 
Where are the characters depicting Rob and Marie at the gym (and will there be an incredibly fit and charismatic Asian boxing scribe who drops in once in awhile to spread his own unique brand of good humor?)?
 
But this is truly art imitating (a) life.
 
FINAL FLURRIES
 
 
So is David Price the heavyweight Humpty Dumpty? And is Tony Thompson’s wife doing OK?...Forget the fact that Allan Green didn’t make weight and then pulled out with food poisoning; the real question is: Why did ESPN2 accept him in the first place?...From a pure basketball standpoint, can you blame Dwight Howard for leaving the Lakers and going to Houston?...So I guess Anderson Silva won’t be boxing against Roy Jones anytime soon?...Good to have “Bar Rescue” back...I can be reached at k9kim@yahoo.com and I tweet at www.twitter.com/stevemaxboxing. We also have a Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/MaxBoxing, where you can discuss our content with Maxboxing readers as well as chime in via our fully interactive article comments sections.


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