HBO was quite satisfying tonight with a big block of programming devoted to the boxing fans. First HBO aired the replays of last Saturday's big Pay-Per-View main event and co-main event fights of Alvarez vs Mosley and Mayweather vs. Cotto.
HBO has been good at the following week airing only the important stuff such as the actual fights and even in-between round footage of the fighter's corners, a few of the fighter's entourage members such as their lovely significant others and of course, key shots of the wonderful Corona ring card girls, who seem to never get any camera time during the live Pay-Per-View airing.
I had the honor of covering Mayweather vs. Cotto live ringside at the MGM Grand last Saturday. Watching the same fight once again at home on HBO with numerous additional angles is definitely different from watching the fight ringside from only one angle and, of course, with the crowd cheering in excitement at what may or may not be actually clean-landing scoring shots.
I personally enjoyed the HBO production replay of Mayweather vs. Cotto and my score card which was a lot closer than the judges score cards from my ringside seat was about four or five rounds to Cotto.
But as I watched the fight again on this HBO replay, I saw the additional angles and did not have the crowd influencing me this time, and I scored it only three rounds for Cotto and Mayweather winning nine rounds.
I give the replay of Mayweather vs Cotto an A letter grade for again showing only the important things that went down last Saturday night and the bonus between-round footage and leaving out the Justin Bieber ring entrance.
After the replays, HBO also debuted Jim Lampley's boxing show: The Fight Game With Jim Lampley. Overall, this was a good show for the fight fans. Jim covered all of the major hot topics going on in boxing from the Mayweather/Cotto fight, Canelo/Mosley fight, Mayweather/Pacquiao negotiations, the upcoming Pacquiao/Bradley fight and even the recent Lamont Peterson vs. Amir Khan fight cancellation due to Lamont's failed drug tests.
The show appears similar to a Larry King Live Show in terms of format with Jim talking to the camera and then cutting to guests including Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, and Amir Khan and Freddie Roach.
I think what would have been much better is if Jim had Schaefer and Arum on a split screen going at it debating on who is telling the truth or who is trying to make the Pacquiao/Mayweather fight happen.
Also, Jim should have had Lamont Peterson on as well to explain himself to counter balance the Khan and Roach guest appearance.
Former pound-for-pound great Roy Jones Jr. even made an appearance showing a demonstration on how Pacquiao can physically avoid getting head butted by Bradley on June 9. This is one of the highlights and best parts of the show for me. It reminded me of Teddy Atlas and how he usually does the keys to victory before the main event on ESPN's Friday Night Fights.
I think HBO should do more of these and have Roy Jones act out the keys to victory for the main events for both fighters.
One final thing that really impressed me was when Jim Lampley honored the late Arturo Gatti doing his Arturo Gatti list of fighters who are exciting and who deserve recognition. The list was solid and consisted of mostly Mexican warriors who may not get the attention and recognition that they deserve.
Some of the fighters on the list included: Jorge Arce, Abner Mares, Mike Alvarado, Chris Arreola, Sergio Martinez, Miguel Cotto, and then he adds the two biggest stars of the sport Pacquiao and even Mayweather and explains that normally he would not add Floyd's name but since his fight with Cotto was so impressive he deserved to be on the list.
The Fight Game With Jim Lampley earns a B+. It could have been an A had Lampley had Bob and Richard go head to head on a split screen and maybe more Roy Jones acting out more keys to victories.
Tonight was also the premiere of Face Off With Max Kellerman: Pacquiao/Bradley for those of us who already know how Manny Pacquiao is we assumed this was going to be quite uneventful and boring.
Manny is a humble, quiet man who does not resort to trash talking or the usual drama or controversy for pre-fight hype to promote a fight or get into an opponent's head.
Face Off With Max Kellerman: Pacquiao/Bradley proved to be so boring that it was even more boring than Face Off With Max Kellerman: Mayweather/Cotto. At least Mayweather was checking in on his six-figure bets and we were excited to see if he was going to win or lose during that Face Off.
Unlike the Mayweather/Cotto Face Off that consisted of just the two superstar fighters sitting face to face, Pacquiao/Bradley Face Off included their trainers: Joel Diaz, Bradley's trainer and of course the Hall of Famer, several-time trainer of the year: Freddie Roach, Pacquiao's trainer.
Overall, both Manny and Timothy respect each other and it seems they like each other, which, of course, eliminates the bad blood factor of this fight.
Bradley explains that he feels Pacquiao is the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Max asks him does he feel Manny is better than Floyd Mayweather?
Bradley pauses and then says umm, we will have to find that out. (by Floyd and Manny fighting each other).
Tim then stares down the cameras as they are pointing right at him it seems he's either trying to intimidate Manny and Freddie or at least make it known that he should be taken seriously.
Tim also explains that they do not know where I came from and what I had to go through to get to where I am. (We see a better elaboration of this later on after during the Portrait Of A Fighter: Timothy Bradley segment that aired right after the Face Off)
Tim then steals a Money May line and says 28 have tried and 28 have failed, utilizing his undefeated record as credentials to be in the ring with Manny for their June 9 bout.
Max then even criticizes Bradley a bit by stating that he's not the fastest, or hardest hitter and he's no Floyd Mayweather or Pernell Whitaker, but it's his determination that makes him victorious in all his fights.
Bradley then expresses that he likes Manny, for he is a humble guy and a good role model in and outside the ring.
Max then asks Manny to say what he likes about Timothy and Manny seems to say that he feels Timothy is handsome? This might have been Manny's shot at trying to be funny and to show a different side of his personality for a change, but I'm not sure if it succeeded?
Manny then ends the Face Off by saying he wants to give the fans what they want and he'll pray for Timothy Bradley and tells him God bless you.
So again another boring Face Off with Manny being Manny and Timothy not quite sure how to sell himself and the fight.
What Max could of done to make this Face Off interesting was say to Bradley that he has said in the past that he thinks Floyd Mayweather is scared of Manny Pacquiao but he could easily beat him. It would be far more interesting had Max asked him about those very bold statements that he made after defeating Devon Alexander.
This Face Off falls flat and was rather uneventful so I'll give it a letter grade of a C.
Finally, HBO aired Portrait Of A Fighter: Timothy Bradley. This actually turned out to be really good for it was a good inside look into Bradley and what he went through growing up in the harder parts of Palm Springs.
For those who do not know Bradley, this introduced them to a great back story and the tremendous work ethic that Tim has. Once this program concluded, the girl who watched it with me felt Bradley was a good guy and someone who is likable and who you want to root for.
For those of us who met Bradley, we know he is a real genuine guy and sometimes that is a refreshing thing to see in front of the cameras for once.
Portrait Of A Fighter: Timothy Bradley earns an A letter grade.
Overall it was a good night for the boxing fans on HBO despite not having an actual live fight televised.
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