Top Rank Expected To Decide Soon On Network For Pacquiao-Marquez Bout
HBO and Showtime execs "should learn by the weekend which network will televise the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez pay-per-view fight Nov. 12 in Las Vegas," according to Keith Idec of BOXINGSCENE.com. Top Rank Chair Bob Arum said, "Our goal is that we'll vote on it by the end of the week." The company is "weighing two strong offers for the broadcast rights, which has made the decision difficult." Arum said the package HBO has offered is "something a year ago that nobody would've dreamed of." Arum: "If it was still the same (nonsense), we wouldn't even be debating it." Idec reported the pitch includes "offering to use more of parent company Time Warner's vast television, print and Internet assets in the wake of losing Pacquiao's last fight to rival Showtime." The HBO package also means that Showtime does not necessarily have "an advantage over HBO this time around, especially since HBO's head honchos have played a large role in trying to lure the Filipino superstar back to their network." Arum "began dealing with them even before longtime HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg announced his resignation July 18." Arum said, "What happened was that the leaders of HBO, not the people in HBO Sports, the guys who really run HBO -- Michael Lombardo (programming president) and Richard Plepler (co-president) -- really got involved" (BOXINGSCENE.com, 8/3).