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HBO Still Bullish on Alvarez-Golovkin’s Chances

HBO is not worried about the Aug. 26 Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight undercutting what it hopes will be a blockbuster on Saturday, Sept. 16, featuring middleweight champions Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.

HBO pay-per-view vice president Tony Walker told Multichannel News that Mayweather-McGregor was more of an event, whereas Alvarez-Golovkin should appeal more to traditional boxing fans. HBO even hopes to piggyback on the Mayweather-McGregor hype, having marketed its event during the run-up to that Aug. 26 bout, in which boxer Mayweather defeated mixed-martial-arts specialist McGregor.

“There’s some distance between the two fights,” Walker said. “I fully expect a lot of people who purchased [Mayweather- McGregor] to come back and buy [Alvarez- Golovkin] on Sept. 16.”

In addition to the hard-core boxing crowd, more Hispanic viewers are expected to buy the HBO fight, due to Alvarez’s popularity among those viewers. Walker said the Aug. 26 premiere of HBO’s 24/7 Canelo-Golovkin preview show drew an impressive 350,000 viewers despite going directly up against the Mayweather-McGregor PPV event.

HBO will run promotional spots for the fight during high-profile sports events like National Football League, Major League Baseball and college football games.

Walker would not project how many PPV buys HBO expects to generate from Alvarez-Golovkin, but said he thinks it could surpass Alvarez’s best PPV performance. Alvarez’s May 6 fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. generated 1 million buys, according to fight promoter Golden Boy Promotions.