Before current super middleweight champion Andre Ward and light heavyweight champ Chad Dawson meet in the ring for Ward's WBC and Ring titles on Sept. 8, HBO will feature the two boxers in their popular series, "24/7" for the first time with a non-pay-per-view bout (per ESPN.com).
HBO isn't going out on a limb on this one, as Ward (25-0, 13 KOs) and Dawson (31-1, 17 KOs) are two of the best fighters in all of boxing, and featuring the two on the previously PPV-fight-only show is a smart decision.
Ward and Dawson could easily have a decent PPV showing, but HBO choosing to go through their standard, subscriber-based service for the super middleweight title fight is great marketing.
Both fighters' star power will grow significantly with the bout and "24/7" series being featured on regular HBO, so forgoing the PPV this time around is best for HBO and the two fighters.
In another way to gain more of an audience for the Ward-Dawson bout, HBO will make the main event a part of a three-fight showcase.
WBC Heavyweight champ Vitali Klitschko (44-2, 40 KOs) will take on undefeated European contender Manuel Charr (21-0, 11 KOs) that will take place in Russia a few hours before the live telecast, and the third bout is a live undercard bout featuring WBC lightweight title holder, Antonio DeMarco (27-2-1, 20 KOs), taking on mandatory challenger John Molina Jr. (24-1, 19 KOs).
Although Ward and Dawson are not on PPV for this bout, expect the two fighters to both be featured on PPV for the foreseeable future—as the two fighters will both come out as winners after HBO's decision to promote their non-PPV bout so heavily.