HBO boxing boss Ken Hershman is proud of the upcoming slate, and talked up the scraps the cabler will be offering starting Saturday night, and stretching into June. He of course is focused on the May 2 super-fight, but wants the world to know that there are compelling bouts before and after May 2.
“Parts have been pleasant and parts have been unpleasant,” he admitted, when I asked about the process of putting May 2 together. So many agendas make the road occasionally bumpy, he said. The mission is to sell as many PPVs as possible, so basically, he and his friends at Showtime are on the same page in that regard.
We touched on Terence Crawford; I expect the Nebraskan to get the better of Puerto Rican Thomas Dulorme in Texas on Saturday. What then?
“We will see how he does at 140,” said Hershman, and then go from there.
No, not coincidental that we see Lucas Matthysse meeting Ruslan Provodnikov in a 140 showdown, from Verona, NY, also on Saturday. “Those would be fantastic fights,” said Hershman, who iterated that all these guys want the stiffest tests, and aren't interested in walkovers.
I also inquired about HBO regular Andre Ward, off since Nov. 2013. Is he not going to be on HBO again? No door is closed, said Hershman, though his June 20 fight vs. TBD will not be on HBO. Hershman said he believes heavily in Ward's skills, and he called him supremely talented. But he wants Ward in the right fight, he stated.
But of course, we were on the subject of Gennady Golovkin and Sergey Kovalev, the Kaozakh and the Russian sharks who crave stoppage wins. “We find fighters that want the biggest challenges, that have fan friendly styles, that reflect on the sport and HBO well,” he said.
Speaking of immense challenges, Hershman believes Bryant Jennings knows what he must do on April 25, at MSG. Throw punches in bunches, and take it to Wladimir Klitschko. The bossman is thinking that truly Jennings has the right mindset to bother the Ukrainian ace…
We got much more from Hershman during our Tuesday chat…