HBO Sets May Canelo Alvarez-James Kirkland Fight
Super welterweight boxer and former champion Canelo Alvarez will fight on HBO May 9 against James Kirkland, a week after the mega May 2 Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao pay-per-view boxing match.
The bout will be the first for Alvarez on HBO since signing a multi-year deal with the pay TV network last year. Prior to that Alvarez fought several bouts on Showtime, including a September 2013 PPV fight against Mayweather which stands as the most lucrative PPV boxing event of all time.
“Because of the quality of fighter he is and quality of fight he is in, Canelo Alvarez’s 2015 debut may be more heavily anticipated than any others,” said Peter Nelson, HBO Sports vice president of programming in a statement. “That’s because when Canelo decided to face the incarnate wrecking-ball that is James Kirkland, fans recognize both that Alvarez is choosing a hard road and that Kirkland has been paving that road his whole career in hope of one day reaching a landmark opportunity like this one. Alvarez-Kirkland is a signature World Championship Boxing event.”
It’s unclear whether the Alvarez-Kirkland fight will be packaged with the replay of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, which is being co-promoted by both HBO and Showtime. Typically replays of PPV fights air during a week after its live telecast and aren’t announced until after the fight has taken place.
Neither Showtime nor HBO have discussed live telecast plans or fight replay options for Mayweather-Pacquiao.
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.
By Kent Gibbons