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Volume 24 No. 116
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HBO Buys U.S. Rights To Vitali Klitschko Fight In "Surprise" Move

HBO has “bought the American television rights” to boxer Vitali Klitschko’s next fight, and the move “comes as a surprise, considering the network’s general disinterest” in Klitschko and his brother Wladimir, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. When Vitali Klitschko defends his heavyweight title against "little-known and untested Manuel Charr on Sept. 8 in Moscow, HBO will run the fight on same-day tape delay as the opening bout to what is now a ‘World Championship Boxing’ tripleheader.” The main event is a bout between Andre Ward and Chad Dawson. HBO said that the addition of the heavyweight title fight “simply makes for a big night of boxing.” HBO will “probably draw a bigger audience with the addition of a heavyweight title fight, and it is doing everything it can to draw attention to the Ward-Dawson main event that it is so heavily invested in” (ESPN.com, 7/16).