Good news for all of the Boxing fans around.
Showtime Networks Inc. and CBS have joined forces with Top Rank, Inc. to promote, produce and distribute the biggest boxing event of the year—the May 7th showdown between global superstar and Philippine Congressman Manny Pacquiao and three-division world champion “Sugar” Shane Mosley, it was jointly announced by Ken Hershman, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports®, and Bob Arum, Top Rank CEO.
The agreement brings together Pacquiao, the top athlete and personality in the sport, with SHOWTIME, the fastest growing premium television network in the U.S., and its parent company CBS Corporation whose programming and media assets span network and local television, pay and basic cable, radio, outdoor and online.
The campaign will include the SHOWTIME Sports documentary series FIGHT CAMP 360° in preview of Pacquiao vs. Mosley. The top rated CBS Television Network will participate by broadcasting a primetime special of the show in April.
“The arrangement with CBS and Showtime regarding the promotion and distribution of the Pacquiao vs. Mosley championship event represents a new opportunity for the sport of boxing. It enables boxing to reach millions more people in the United States given the reach of CBS, the most watched television network in the country. This development will not only benefit Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley but all of the young men participating in the sport of boxing,” said Arum.
Hershman said, “We look forward to combining Showtime Sports’ production and distribution expertise with Top Rank’s promotional power and the amazing programming and marketing resources available to us across CBS to present the biggest boxing event of 2011.”
On May 7, Pacquiao will fight under the SHOWTIME PPV banner for the first time, bringing it the highest profile and biggest revenue generating athlete in boxing whose fights over the past two years have garnered nearly 4 million pay per view buys and unrivaled box office receipts. The event marks the first SHOWTIME PPV event since 2005’s Diego Corrales vs. Jose Luis Castillo II.
“Pay per view has been an opportunistic play for SHOWTIME Sports in recent years,” Hershman continued. “In Pacquiao, we have a global celebrity and unquestionably the most popular boxer of this era attempting to continue his dominance in the ring against Shane Mosley, one of the most talented and recognizable fighters of today not named Manny Pacquiao. With this marquee match up, Pacquiao’s proven track record in pay per view and CBS’s participation, this is the perfect opportunity for Showtime to be back in the pay per view business and in a big way.”
Showtime has a long history of success in pay per view dating back to the 1990s. In 1997, the SHOWTIME PPV presentation of Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield II garnered the most pay per view buys for any sport or entertainment event in history. The 1.99 million buys stood as the industry benchmark for nearly 10 years, until being surpassed in May 2007.
Additional details about the May 7th event, including ticket information for the MGM Grand Garden Arena and undercard fights are to be announced.
Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs), of General Santos City, Philippines, is the first Congressman in history to both fight for and defend a world boxing title. Congressman Pacquiao was sworn in on June 28, 2010 and is the lone representative of theSarangani province. Pacquiao won the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) super welterweight championship—his record eighth world title in as many weight divisions—last November via dominant unanimous decision over three-time welterweight champion Antonio Margarito. Pacquiao captured the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title, which he will be defending against Mosley, in November 2009 with a brilliant 12th-round knockout of four-time world champion Miguel Cotto. The Boxing Writers Association of America’s “Fighter of the Decade,” Pacquiao’s resume features victories over future Hall of Famers Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez and Cotto. His knockout victories over Cotto and Hatton in 2009 and his decisive wins over Joshua Clottey and Margarito in 2010 combined for nearly 4 million buys making Pacquiao the reigning pay per view king. No boxer sold more live tickets than Pacquiao in 2010, making him the pound for pound king in the ring and at the box office.
Sugar Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs), from Pomona, Calif., has reigned as world champion four times in three different weight divisions during his remarkable 18-year professional career. The only man to serve up two defeats to Oscar De La Hoya — both in world championship fights — Mosley’s Hall of Fame caliber resume also boasts victories over world champions Fernando Vargas (twice), Ricardo Mayorga, Antonio Margarito, John John Molina, Jesse James Leija, Philip Holiday and Luis Collazo. De la Hoya, Holiday and Collazo were the only Mosley victims to survive the 12-round distance to hear the judges’ decisions.
Will you watch Manny Pacquiao Shane Sugar Mosley fight on Showtime May 7th? Let me know in the comments section. Also, remember to follow me on Twitter for more Showtime scoop.