OCT 17 UPDATE: The rumor mill's churn is playing out, it seems, with word spreading that Showtime boxing as we knew it will be more more. Showtime VP in media relations Chris DeBlasio acknowledged to me that what's making the rounds is so.
“It is,” he said, after I messaged him asking for corroboration of the Kevin IoleTweet:
Will There Be Any More Fights On Showtime?
They will finish the calendar, word is.
Meaning what's on the books will go forward. That includes a Bellator card, and two more boxing card. Both will be PPV.
On Nov. 26, David Benavidez tops the bill against Demetrius Andrade. Yep, one for the hardcores, the logjam having been broken a good bit, isn't it sad-ironic that Showtime will be exiting during a solid stretch of compelling matchmaking.
My sense is that is the mood felt by many over there.
Say what you will, that institution has proved a longterm and solid home base for talent, both at the “talent” table as well as on the production/technical side.
But, also, the show must go, so also being hashed out is a Dec 9 card at MGM. Danny Garcia would take part, as would Keith Thurman, and you've heard that a Floyd Mayweather exhibition would be part of the “adios” show.
That would be the 100th night of boxing at that facility, for the record.
Ending Showtime Boxing Doesn't Mean End of PBC Boxing
Other matters are playing out—Subriel Matias is a budding star, where will he go on a card? All that plays out while people who have been invested more than 30 years at one company ponder their futures.
You have heard probably the rumors, who is talking to what corporations and platforms. Amazon getting more into live sports?
If so, one could see, I guess, the part and parcel of the PBC “crew” plying their trade on the streamer, though I’d expect more movement on the announcing side, as far as dispersing after this year-end sendoff.
Jaron Ennis needs to fight, and a platform, so the shows will go on, but allow for some sentimentality, please.
And make room for some chatter about timing, too. Nope, have no idea about budgets and such, other than that they’ve trended down the last few years, and Showtime had to do an “eat what you kill” deal to justify their existence.
You see the gates, hear the numbers, do some math—monies were being made. So, hard to see why the plug was pulled….
Niches Are Getting Nichier
But I guess snot if you run the whole show. Much of the discussion of “this move” could be recycled from when the decision was made by new owners to take HBO into other directions, and that meant junking “niche” fare. That was five years ago.
One person affected likened it to cutting into good meat after any fat has been trimmed off.
Yes, change is hard, and today is something of a sad day for lots of folks who have been part of a long-standing program.
PM UPDATE: This storyline made the rounds Wednesday, but nothing more came out, to corroborate the assertions from a single source without obvious ties to the space.
Sometimes an outlet will step up to refute a sticky rumor, other times not, a choice is made not to dignify the source by referencing to what is deemed nonsense.
Looks like the latter construct is in play.
And in that case, we can trot out the Mark Twain bit, about the rumors of demise being premature, if not outright fantasy.
AFTERNOON: Say it ain’t so, Showtime.
Word ricocheting around is that Showtime Boxing will be no more, not as currently configured, after this year.
On Twitter/X, a man named Raf Miera, with ties in Italy and the UK, posted on Tuesday that Sho would be no more:
He followed that, with more specifics, on Wednesday:
I messaged the account, and asked about the info.
Who Is This Elusive Raf?
Miera told me he worked as an auditor, but is now an entrepreneur and had a number of video calls with people in the finance world.
The status of the Showtime Boxing program was discussed, he said.
Here is his YouTube site.
Raf told me Wednesday morning that, “2024 will be the last year, as Canelo is still under contract for three fights – for example.”
So, I reached out to Showtime, to get a response. I will share any replies forthcoming.
Beyond that, business is being conducted, the anticipated Canelo vs Charlo bout is almost upon us.
NOTE: It may be that Rick Glaser was out front of this matter. That right there would draw protest howls from many in the industry, as the colorful agent is skilled at conjuring buzz on social media.
Him and Showtime boxing boss Stephen Espinoza have exchanged texts with an edge.
Check out his Tweet from four days ago: