Is It Worth The Extra Money?


San Francisco, CA– Having had many people I know remove HBO from their Cable lineup and bill, I am here to ask the $64,000 question that is the title of this article. While there have been changes to the HBO hierarchy as the departure of HBO Sports CEO Ross Greenburg was a plus, seeing less of Larry Merchant and more of Max Kellerman is a negative. When they tried to send Larry packing a few years ago, the Time Warner suits realized that Merchant, having done boxing on the network then known as Home Box Office since their first fight I believe in 1978, was the “face” of HBO’s boxing team, like him or not. Thus they backed away from having Kellerman, AKA “Kellerboy” to some people in boxing, push right Larry off the end of the broadcast bench.


Last Saturday night, the Ultimate Fighting Championship card did not produce the expected fireworks, and afterwards UFC President Dana White said that he was both “ashamed and embarrassed.” He went on to say that since they took over the UFC with UFC 33, that you could “count the number of shows that have sucked on one hand.” To me, that took some guts. That being said, has HBO ever apologized for the seemingly constant mismatches and easily predictable endings?


That’s an easy one, “negative.” While Merchant has aired regrets on air, nobody else, not on the broadcast team, or the suits that have offices at 1100 Ave. of The Americas in New York City, have ever come out and apologized to the fight fans who subscribe to HBO because of the boxing coverage for the “showcase” (easily predictable endings) bouts, nor the mismatches they air. Boxing After Dark, the original series concept in 1996 was to pit starving fighters against one another. Now they have pugilistic lions against pugilistic alley cats, so again there is no intrigue as to who will win or lose.


I was going to put this in the “poll” box in the left hand margin of the home page at, but I think this is not just a “yes or no” type of question, thus I’ll leave the room below to express your feelings. The question again, “Is HBO Worth Paying For Boxing Fans?”

Pedro Fernandez


  • They are just barely worth it anymore. A few years ago it was a different story but they are in sharp decline now. They need to ban all 3 Watson idiots from entering the ring now. Everyone is sick of their faces and camera whoring. That is a start. Then they can work on phasing Kellerman out. You have Steward, Jones, Merchant, how many color guys do you need? Choose one to go along with Lampley and have a 2 man crew so we don’t have to hear 3 guys talking over each other. Kellerman has no business there and is in way over his head. Go back to ESPN2 FNF, pal. Next, improve BAD. No more showcase fights. It should feature fights that have the potential to be wars like it used to. Dump this B-Team behind the mic on that series as well. Bob Papa blows on HBO and is another one that needs to either stick to calling NY Giants Football or go back to ESPN2 if he is going to call boxing. He just doesn’t have what it takes for HBO. But even Joe Tessitore is better than Papa so I doubt Papa could go back. HBO has a lot of work to do. Some real inept morons running the show over there right now.

  • HBO used to stand for Home Box Office…Now it can be called Hyped Boxing Only.

  • Predictions: Hbo PPV will try and have a very snall ring for Martinex – Junior(15 or 16′(ala the Andy Lee fight), Martinez will be introduced first even though he is the lineal champion(ala the second Paul Williams fight) and Martinez will get less money(ala the second Martinez/Williams fight). I hope I am wrong but only time and HBO’s dubious history will tell. Guess what? We won’t have to see Al Haymon or the Watsons. That alone prompts a buy……..

  • Is HBO to blame for the lack of an abundance of high quality competitive bouts, or is it just the state of boxing overall?

    So, if everything else remains the same except that Larry Merchant is brought in for Max Kellerman, does this change make the bouts better?

    For those of you who have a problem with the bouts that HBO broadcasts, list five fights that HBO should broadcast or should have broadcasted in lieu of the fights that they, in fact, broadcasted.

    Finally, I was going to address the poster who has deemed HBO “Your Reparations Station”, but, after I re-read his post, I thought, “why waste my time?”

  • Newark…Thomas Hauser joined HBO as a consultant…I don’t know how many whistles he’ll be blowing, and if his job depended on it, would more than likely keep things “in house”. I asked a reliable source what his thoughts are in regards to Thomas Hauser being hired by HBO and was told “he was connected and pro establishment.”

  • Pedro Fernandez, Steve Kim, and Thomas Hauser are the only writers who dare blow the whistle on the corruption taking place for years at HBO.

  • Larry Merchant is the only credible man on their broadcast team. Kellerman is a joke who unlike Larry, has fear of asking the right questions. Other than that, he has been given strict orders to be the antithesis of Jim Gray. BAD is pure garbage.

  • In the 90″s you had Cedric Kushner acting as HBO’s house promoter on behalf of DiBella. Now, Haymon is the front man for Kerry Davis. Fighters are being told, if you want TV time, you must sign with Haymon. The truth of the matter is that ESPN with its low budget has better fights. Corruption has been a main stay at HBO for years. They have diluted the brand and made a mockery of the sport. HBO, with its clout in boxing should have someone in charge who say’s this is the fight we want regardless whether Golden Boy or Haymon are involved. There needs to be a major house cleaning at HBO and Davis, Haymon, and Kershman must be immediately fired. Davis and Haymon are splitting the 18% that Haymon is taking from his fighters. Finally, Watson and those two clowns he has for kids must be banned from entering the ring. Like many, my subscription has been cancelled.

  • José-Ariel Cuevas

    (To the tune of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson) “Where have you gone/Lou Di Bella/The country needs you more than you will know.” For all-around entertainment purposes, HBO still serves its function (The Newsroom, Real Sports, most of their movies), but boxing… damn, it reminds me of the WWE in the 80s, when it was known as the WWF and their over-the-air shows had their marquee talent going in against jobbers (“ham-and-eggers”, as Bobby “The Brain” Heenan would call them.) Upsets aside, the only cards that seem to have some parity are ones involving non-Golden Boy, non-Al Haymon-managed fighters.

  • Personally, I like Kellerman… If they dump him, then I’ll dump HBO. It’s time for a new generation to take over HBO Boxing, and the last thing I want to see is Larry Merchant stumbling all over and reasking questions like
    Ferdie Pacheco… Allow him to go out on top!

  • Sorry folks that I blamed HBO for the Canelo/Lopez travesty when in fact Showtime is drumming up interest(or trying to)in that fight. I guess I have been overwhelmed with GBP fights and fighters(ie: Canelo) that I misstated the network. In any case I still feel the way I posted about HBO…..

  • HBO has become the joke of the boxing industry whereas it used to be excellent. You can blame it on the suits at HBO, Al Haymon produced mismatches, Max “The Shouter”Kellerman, Jim “Huge Right Hand”Lampley(when the punch either missed or landed on a glove and was thrown by the house fighter(Haymon or a GBP product), etc. I have subscribed to HBO since the very beginning and I do so because of the boxing, period! If we get a diet of the aforementioned crap, out it goes in this household……..Example: Look at what they did with Sergio Martinez and now they are trying to ramp up interest in Canelo Alvarez fighting a JUNIOR WELTERWEIGHT for God’s sake instead of a legitimate junior middleweight. Erislandy Lora should sue the crap out of the crooked WBC and the bogus GBP. Also remember their dirty handed deal with the WBC to get Chavez, Jr. a title and screw up the legit champ Martinez. Nuff said!!!

  • For just boxing yea it’s not worth it. But the channel as a whole it’s worth. What happened to B.A.D hamed morales Barrera??? Tua ibeabuchi??!!! Dibbella??? Where are u

  • Like Howard Cosell said tell it like it is, HBO boxing is “Your Reparations Station” What about HBO adviser Tom Hauser?? What has he got to say about last weekends Boxing

  • I only have HBO because of boxing for so many years. But, I just cancelled it this month because of lousy, over mismatched fights. HBO should announce and make a commitment to the boxing fans that they will only air fights that is worth paying for…. Until then, I won’t miss my HBO at all!

  • Not worth it … let’s look back at the fights over the last few years…ok let’s not, it’s not even worth it.

  • I have Hbo for over 30 years ,But that Pacquiao vs Bradley fight was the worst decision ever,What it did was made me where I will never buy a HBO PPV AGAIN .To pay $60.00 and see that crap.That fight was a setup by bob arum ,to have three fights between Bradley & Pacquiao ,I promise Hbo won’t get my money.Just plain terrible to see manny beat Tim all over the ring and lose wow!!!

  • B.A.D. has become just plain bad literally. The Broners, Bertos, Canelo’s of the World need to fight more OFTEN period. Nothing wrong with showcase fights and tuneup figths but DO IT ON ESPN or SOLO BOXEO or gasp, network TV! WHy the heck does Canelo HAVE to fight on HBO every single time out? These guys, should be fighting 6 to 7 times a year, and they all don’t have to be top showcase fights. If HBO delivered ONLY fights that were evenly good matchups, they would have a deserving product worth paying for. As of now, I would say no, there product is NOT worth paying extra for.

  • The_Bronx_Bomber

    No!!! Not worth my monthly ten bucks. Just like Pedro, I’m spending those $10 on something more productive than listening to Kellerman’s annoying voice.

  • 10-1 by the odds makers sorry.

  • I think at this point we need to you all to sign a petition and send it to HBO.They need to buy fights and not fighters. 18 dollars a month for fights that are 10-0 on the books? Not acceptable.

  • I am dumping HBO this month.I kept it for 25 years just for boxing.
    Besides Jim Lampley being annoying (bang bang bang). The Al Hammon
    fighters win 99% of the time. And they are the HBO house fighters…

  • NO!!! Boycott the tools at HBO. I just canceled my subscription.

  • “Is HBO Worth Paying For Boxing Fans?” Yes, if Al Haymon disappears into thin air, period.

  • Good article. I think a good example regarding how HBO operates is Amer Kahn. Overrated and over promoted by HBO who was trying to lead him to a match with Mayweather.
    As far as Kellerman is concerned; one man to many all trying to outtalk each other. Lampley andRoy Jones Jr. are all that’s needed. Kellerman is constantly trying to outdo Jones who does a good job..
    Larry Merchant deserves respect. He’s been around a long time and sometimes says something that makes you flinch but he’s genuine and that’s his appeal.

  • If golden boy continues manipulating hbo boxing i wont watch anymore of their programs!!!

  • No. +1 on too much Kellerman and not enough Merchant and too much of that camera whore Watson and his sons.

  • Since I can think of better things to spend my money on than Al Haymon’s agenda, and watching the Watson Boys squeeze their faces into every possible camera shot, it’s not at this time.

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