Telefutura Drops Boxing

Bad news for local boxing. The Miami Herald article by Santos Perez explains:

Telefutura’s recent decision to cancel its Friday night boxing series has the sport’s insiders pursuing options. After Telefutura presents its final Solo Boxeo telecast next month, Telemundo will be the only Spanish- language network broadcasting fights.

The network televises Boxeo Telemundo 12 Friday nights a year, including Friday night’s telecast from Kissimmee. ”They try to pique my interest in whether we would do more shows,” Hidalgo said of the callers he spoke to last week. “Right now we are sticking to our plan, which is: Less is better.”

A downturn in the economy prompted Telefutura to scrap its boxing series, despite strong ratings. The telecasts enabled top promotional companies such as Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank to push their fighters.

Like Telefutura’s fight shows, Telemundo enjoys solid ratings, said Hidalgo. The network has presented boxing for 17 years.

Article referenced is copied in full at end of post.

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Telefutura drops its Friday boxing broadcasts

Posted on Tue, Nov. 18, 2008

BY SANTOS A. PEREZ

One outlet for showcasing fighters will soon dry out, suddenly making Jorge Hidalgo a highly targeted television network executive.

Telefutura’s recent decision to cancel its Friday night boxing series has the sport’s insiders pursuing options. After Telefutura presents its final Solo Boxeo telecast next month, Telemundo will be the only Spanish- language network broadcasting fights.

”Yes, I have been getting a lot of phone calls,” said Hidalgo, Telemundo’s senior executive vice president for news and sports. “I have been talking more about boxing than I normally do.”

The network televises Boxeo Telemundo 12 Friday nights a year, including Friday night’s telecast from Kissimmee. ”They try to pique my interest in whether we would do more shows,” Hidalgo said of the callers he spoke to last week. “Right now we are sticking to our plan, which is: Less is better.”

A downturn in the economy prompted Telefutura to scrap its boxing series, despite strong ratings. The telecasts enabled top promotional companies such as Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank to push their fighters.

Like Telefutura’s fight shows, Telemundo enjoys solid ratings, said Hidalgo. The network has presented boxing for 17 years.

But Boxeo Telemundo never has deviated from a monthly concept. Telemundo already is committed to 12 shows next year presented by Miami-based promoter Felix Zabala Jr.

”The way we go about our boxing is we try to keep the travel to a minimum,” Hidalgo said. “Moving your shows from site to site on a weekly basis could lead to cost overruns — especially now, with difficult economic times.”

Telemundo divides most of its telecasts between Kissimmee and the Miccosukee Resort and Gaming in West Miami-Dade. On occasion, the network broadcasts shows from the West Coast and Mexico. ”We’re going to produce a more competitive fight on a monthly basis,” Hidalgo said. “That has been our concept, and it has proved successful.”

TAYLOR POUNDS LACY

Jermain Taylor won a lopsided decision over fellow 2000 U.S. Olympian Jeff Lacy Late Saturday in Nashville.

Taylor, in his first fight since losing a decision to Kelly Pavlik on Feb. 16, controlled the pace throughout the 12-round, super-middleweight bout with lead left jabs, straight rights to the head and left and right uppercuts.

Taylor, a former middleweight champion who trained for the Lacy bout in Miami, won 119-109 on two judges’ scorecards and 118-110 on the third.

”It was a comeback fight. I knew Jeff was a strong fighter,” said Taylor, now 28-2-1. “It’s all about getting your confidence back.”

Lacy fell to 24-2.

A LOGJAM AT 122 POUNDS

Nine months after Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez waged the third of their thrilling super-bantamweight title bouts, two other fighters will attempt to stake claims as the best fighter in the 122-pound class.

Panama’s Celistino Caballero and Canada’s Steve Molitor will fight in a title unification bout Friday in Rama, Canada. Caballero (30-2, 21 KOs) has made five successful title defenses since winning the World Boxing Association crown in October 2006. One of those was over Ricardo Castillo at the Hard Rock Live Arena in March 2007.

Molitor (28-0, 11 KOs) won the International Boxing Federation belt in November 2006 and also has five successful defenses.

”This is a fight that I’ve been dreaming of since I started boxing nearly 20 years ago,” Molitor, 28, said in a conference call last week. “It’s something I’ve always wanted — to be the best of the best. And when you have two champions fighting, that is what you’re going to get — the best of the best.”
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About Jorge Costales

- Cuban Exile [veni] - Raised in Miami [vidi] - American Citizen [vici]
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