HBO Launches Boxing Series After Sopranos and Entourage

HBO Sports will run a four-part series counting down to the May 5 Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather boxing match that should be the sport’s biggest event of the year.

And the cable network is giving the series a plush time slot, as it will air the first three installments of De La Hoya/Mayweather 24/7 following The Sopranos and Entourage on Sunday nights beginning April 15 at 10:30 p.m. ET.

The fourth episode will air the Thursday night before the fight, which HBO will offer on its pay-per-view service.

“In 35 years of television boxing this is a first for HBO,” says HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg of the series.

The May 5 event is a crucial asset for HBO, as it may be one of the last fights for De La Hoya, who is as big of a draw as there is in boxing currently.  And Mayweather is considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing, setting up a showdown that should have a huge buy rate.

And among the storylines is that Floyd Mayweather’s father is De La Hoya’s trainer as in talks to train De La Hoya for the fight.

With the heavyweight division currently unable to generate massive pay-per-view buys and carry the sport as it has in the past, the success of this event becomes even more important to HBO.

The series itself will feature extensive interviews and behind-the-scenes footage from both fighters’ training camps.  Greenburg and Rick Bernstein are executive producers and Liev Schreiber will narrate.