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Anthony Joshua-Joseph Parker heavyweight title fight to be televised on Showtime

05
Feb

Anthony Joshua is seeking to add a third heavyweight title to his collection, and once again, his quest to take over boxing will televised live on Showtime.

The network announced Monday that it has acquired the right to Joshua’s heavyweight title unification matchup against Joseph Parker, scheduled for March 31 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

HBO made a push to air the fight, but Showtime retained a right of last refusal and matched their rival network’s bid, sources told RingTV.com. The clause was in the contract following the expiration of its three-fight deal with the heavyweight kingpin.

Anthony Joshua (left) and Joseph Parker are ready to put their WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight titles on the line on March 31. Photo / Matchroom Boxing

“The heavyweight division is in the midst of a renaissance, and Showtime is delivering all of the pivotal bouts to our subscribers,” said Stephen Espinoza, Showtime Sports President. “Anthony Joshua is a global superstar, and we’re proud to present his sixth, and perhaps most challenging, world title fight to the U.S. audience.

“Joshua vs. Parker will be the 12th heavyweight world championship match on Showtime since Deontay Wilder won his title in 2015, an undisputed industry-leading offering in boxing’s preeminent division.”

Before Joshua and Parker (24-0, 18 knockouts) meet, Wilder will defend his WBC heavyweight title against Luis Ortiz on March 3 in Brooklyn, New York, and that fight will also be carried by Showtime.

The hope is that Joshua and Wilder will prevail, setting up a super fight between the two big men to decide heavyweight supremacy in a fight for THE RING’s vacant heavyweight championship, which became available after Tyson Fury was stripped last week.

Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) is THE RING’s No. 1 heavyweight, and his fight against the No. 3 man in the division is just the second ever heavyweight championship unification bout between undefeated world titleholders.

Showtime announced a slew of compelling fights last month, and with HBO’s schedule pretty bare, this is yet another haymaker landed by the network in its battle with HBO.

 

Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger





  • Wade Wilson

    I’m glad. I’m not exactly happy with HBO’s commentary.

    • TMT NYC-DA REAL GHOSTBUSTERS

      Yeah. Too much of Jimmy Lamprey and Max Holloway!

  • WR

    I bet HBO gonna get the Anthony Joshua’s next fight

    • ceylon mooney

      showtime got it

      • WR

        Yea bro I read the article
        I meant AJ’s next fight the one after Parker……

        • Michel Desgrottes

          all showtime has to do his match whatever offer a competitor bids to AJ, and out of loyalty they will choose showtime, its a foregone conclusion out of respect they will choose showtime unless showtime goes cheap, but why would CBS/Showtime go cheap

          • WR

            I think AJ is gonna sign a new deal with HBO soo no more Showtime matching offers

          • Michel Desgrottes

            That’s wishful thinking there’s no indications that he would do that, especially if he wants the wilder fight, showtime will continue to match until hbo goes deeper in the bank to where cbs can’t match, which I don’t foresee

          • WR

            Well we shall see…. my skeptical friend

          • IRISHBOXING NUT STEVIE

            i believe he will sign with hbo as i cant see eddie hearn signing deal with hbo and them not making sure to include joshua in that deal down the road if they did that would be very foolish. this fight on showtime was a formality until they no longer have any rights to bid or match bids

  • Antony916

    Man! HBO literally can not buy a good fight!! How the mighty have fallen and continue to fall….and fall and fall…

    • Robert Archambault

      It’s next to impossible to win a broadcast bidding war when one channel has the right to match any offer that is made. There’s no way Showtime were going to let this fight get away from them, no matter what HBO offered. And as it will likely be an afternoon fight in the US time zone, no US based fighter involved, no big name in the US in the fight either, there is a limit to how much they will offer for it.
      And one more time… HBO is NOT a sports station or a boxing station. Their subscriber base is there for other things than boxing.

      • Antony916

        True but there was a time not so long ago that HBO would have won the bidding war regardless- if as you state there was an American in the fight or live in the afternoon, etc. They were “the heart and soul of boxing”. If the fight was significant to the sport, it was on HBO. Remember those days?

        • Robert Archambault

          In those days, HBO was the only game in town for premium cable broadcasts. Those days are long gone. And back then, the fight would most likely have featured an American and would have been scheduled in US Prime Time. People need to understand that times have changed and have to adjust their thinking processes to take that into consideration.

          • Antony916

            Ok I think you miss my point..I think you gloss over the history. I’ll try to explain.
            HBO has never been the only game in town. They just had the right people who knew the sport and were passionate about being the best boxing provider in the USA. Example: Showtime used to develop guys all the time and HBO would “poach” them so to speak when they reached the upper echelon of the sport. The best example i can give you that pertains to this conversation is Joe Calzaghe. He fought Viet & McIntyer( 2001), Pudwill and Brewer (2003) then Lacy (2004). All on Showtime.
            HBO then poached him from Showtime. After a few fights on HBO (Manfredo / Bika) they put him against Kessler (who they had only shown once before against Andrade) a Dane, in the afternoon. So there you go. Two non Americans fighting overseas in the afternoon on HBO. It happened! It happened! j/k So my point is if they truly were committed to being #1 they would have got this fight.
            The will to be #1 just doesn’t seem to be there anymore. IMHO

          • Robert Archambault

            I have a feeling you are relatively young, right? I’m talking about back in the 70s and 80s, not 2001. I consider anything after 2000 to be current era.
            And once again… boxing is not a major factor in HBO programming these days. There simply is no money in it compared to their other offerings such as Game of Thrones. The cable world has changed immensely since the turn of the century. Internet will soon totally displace cable networks when it comes to programming and viewers.
            What boxing should be doing is looking for a deal with Netflix or Hulu or other online service as they will soon take over the world of entertainment broadcasting. But just as the music industry refused to accept the future when Napster came along and offered them a fantastic deal to get the jump on things only to refuse it to end up in the mess they are currently in today, other forms of entertainment need to take the lead and not sit on their ass.
            And now boxing has MMA to deal with in the competition for viewer dollars as well. Despite what some around here seem to think, people only have so much money to spend on PPV broadcasts. And boxing no longer has the audience it once had, partly due to diva fighters getting in the ring only once or twice a year and seeing the best fight the best is the exception rather than the rule.
            The golden age of boxing broadcasts was long ago and I doubt we will ever see it come close to the level it once held in the sports world.

    • WR

      They still have better Ratings than Showtime

      • Antony916

        Well HBO has 49 million subscribers. Showtime has 23. Hard to beat them when the numbers are so wide. Even so Showtimes Boxing budget seems to be far greater than HBO’s at this point. Or as I suspect the Management at Showtime is committed to being #1 in the USA when it comes to boxing. HBO’s isn’t.

        • Hillary Porterie

          HBO has 49 million subscribers that would rather watch Veep, Game of Thrones, Westworld, and Curb you Enthusiasm, before boxing. There in lies the problem.

          • Robert Archambault

            It’s not a problem for HBO. They know where the profit lies and they spend their finances in that area. If boxing was more profitable than Game of Thrones or Westworld, they would invest more in it. But how many people do you think are eager to buy a Blu-ray box set of last year’s best fights?

          • D Johnson

            Lol I’d prepay if that wan an option.

        • Hillary Porterie

          Remember too that HBO has a HEAVILY LIBERAL fanbase. Liberals have mostly never been that into sports period, let alone boxing.

          • BobbyPFalcon

            Ali – liberal. Nearly every professional athlete of color – liberal. Their fan base – liberal. Actually, most boxers lean to the left because they grew up poor… Liberals aren’t into sports? Where on Earth did you dream up this foolishness? And what does it have to do with Showtime outbidding HBO for a fight? You got your election win, and you come here with this nonsense? When do you and people like you start loving this country more than you hate someone with a different opinion? Sheesh…

          • Ewan Leaper

            You summed that up pretty well, that was quite the remark 😕

          • D Johnson

            Such a dumb statement.

          • robert white

            agreed. they are more into giving away our rights, and, the farm. Showtime, to me, seems to have more great fights. Lots of mis matches, on hbo.

          • Crowley

            Calling a democrat a liberal is like calling a tiger a kitten. You muricans have no freaking clue what liberal means since both your parties are so right wing they’d be considered extremists everywhere else.

        • WR

          Well It’s Not HBO’s fault that Showtime has less subscribers
          They gotta work on that

  • Hillary Porterie

    Well the issue is this, the people at HBO seem to more invested in winning emmys than providing boxing programming. HBO continues to push more and more of its resources towards everything BUT HBO sports. Literally the only people they really pay there are Jim, Roy, and Max. Showtime knows they can’t compete with HBO on the programming end, and once all the Schaffer/Haymon fighters left HBO, they knew they had a MUCH bigger stable. HBO wasn’t really interested in making those fights on free tv, because HBO is all about ratings and emmys right now. So they tried to push what was left of their stable to PPV, so those guys were essentially paying for their own fights. It backfired massively when Bob Arum took essentially what was left of HBOs stable to ESPN. Now they just don’t have enough fighters to care enough. It’s really quite sad.

  • Michel Desgrottes

    HBO sucks

  • BobbyPFalcon

    I prefer Showtime’s coverage, so this is a good thing. HBO’s priorities are elsewhere.

  • Crowley

    Well can’t see it in my country without signing up for a month of their crap