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HBO to Show de la Hoya Fight Free-of-Charge

Boxing fans will get to save $50 this weekend when one of the sport’s top draws, Oscar de la Hoya, fights on HBO for the first time since 2001.

A pay-per-view staple (and cash cow) for years, de la Hoya will fight Saturday night on HBO World Championship Boxing against Steve Forbes.

De la Hoya’s return to a non-PPV event is noteworthy due to the revenues his fights normally generate. His last fight -- a convincing loss to elite fighter and Dancing with the Stars alum Floyd Mayweather Jr. -- netted more than $130 million.

According to reports, de la Hoya’s PPV fights have brought in more than $600 million.

But the strategy is to build up de la Hoya’s reputation even more so that a September rematch with Mayweather can take a run at the record take from the first fight.

And Forbes is not expected to give de la Hoya much of a contest, although the same was once said about James “Buster” Douglas before he shocked the once-invincible Mike Tyson.

Forbes is best known as a former contestant on boxing-competition series The Contender.

While HBO will expose de la Hoya free-of-charge to all of its subscribers, perhaps surprisingly, it will not showcase one of its own up-and-coming talents, ringside analyst Max Kellerman.

Kellerman, a former ESPN boxing analyst and FSN talk-show host before joining HBO two years ago, has noticeably recaptured his status as a top-tier boxing analyst with especially strong performances in recent telecasts.

Instead, joining Jim Lampley and Manny Steward on the call will be veteran Larry Merchant, whom Kellerman is eventually expected to replace.