TVKO is in discussions to develop a huge September
pay-per-view fight between welterweight champions Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad.
Representatives from both fighters met with TVKO executives
last week to iron out a deal that would pit World Boxing Federation champion De La Hoya
against International Boxing Federation champion Trinidad in a potentially lucrative Sept.
18 PPV event.
The deal hinges on the purses for both fighters. Trinidad,
who is promoted by Don King, initially wanted parity with Bob Arum-promoted De La Hoya,
who is one of the biggest PPV attractions in boxing.
Sources close to the situation, though, said King was
expected to deliver an offer to Arum that would work for both parties.
"There has been some progress between the
[camps]," Time Warner Sports senior vice president of programming Lou DiBella said.
The fight would be the biggest event on the horizon for the
industry. After a blockbuster first quarter that saw the boxing category contribute an
estimated $117.6 million to the industry, according to a Showtime Event Television report,
very few fights have been scheduled for the remainder of the year. And all of the
remaining bouts lack marquee PPV draws.
A much-anticipated De La Hoya-Trinidad fight would garner
significant interest among boxing fans. While Trinidad isn't a major PPV draw,
industry observers regard him as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.
De La Hoya, meanwhile, generated more than 600,000 buys and
earned more than $27 million in PPV revenue in his Feb. 13 bout against former
welterweight champion Ike Quartey.
"Boxing needs some big fights that run smoothly and
are judged fairly to get the sport back on its feet," DiBella said.
Of course, both fighters have to get through their
respective tune-up fights.
De La Hoya was scheduled to meet Oba Carr last Saturday
(May 22), while Trinidad is scheduled to fight Hugo Pineda this Saturday (May 29). Both
fights were scheduled to appear live on Home Box Office.
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.
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