American boxing fans can catch a highly anticipated UK rematch and a title fight from Macau when HBO BOXING AFTER DARK®: CARL FROCH VS. GEORGE GROVES II AND SIMPIWE VETYEKA VS. NONITO DONAIRE is seen SATURDAY, MAY 31 at 4:00 p.m. (ET/PT). The HBO Sports team will be calling both events, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.
Other HBO playdates: June 1 (8:30 a.m.) and 3 (1:00 a.m.)
HBO2 playdates: June 1 (3:15 p.m.) and 2 (11:00 p.m.)
Just six months after their first encounter, two of the UK’s favorite sons, Carl Froch (32-2, 23 KOs) of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England, and George Groves (19-1, 15 KOs) of Hammersmith, London, England, clash in a 12-round title rematch before more than 80,000 fans. Groves dominated the first eight rounds of their Nov. 2013 bout, and appeared well on his way to a unanimous decision, but Froch launched a tireless barrage of shots midway through the ninth in a dramatic turn of events. While the hurt yet gritty Groves remained on his feet, Froch’s attack compelled the referee to end the fight in controversial fashion. This highly charged 168-pound bout will air live on HBO at 4:45 p.m. (ET).
The action begins at 4:00 p.m. (ET/PT) with full same-day coverage of the scheduled 12-round featherweight title fight between challenger Nonito Donaire (32-2, 21 KOs) and titleholder Simpiwe Vetyeka (26-2, 16 KOs) from Cotai Arena at The Venetian® Macao in Macau, China. In his season debut, Donaire, who has won titles in four divisions and was the sport’s 2012 Fighter of the Year, seeks a new crown. Insightful, thoughtful and engaging, Donaire, a native of the Philippines, now living in Las Vegas, started a new winning streak last fall on HBO with a ninth-round KO victory over Vic Darchinyan in their rematch. Vetyeka, of Mdantsane, South Africa, will be making the first defense of his 126-pound title.
Later that evening (11:15-11:45 p.m. ET/PT), HBO presents the first episode of “24/7 Cotto/Martinez,” the latest installment of the Emmy ®-winning series. The show profiles superstars Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez as they prepare for their June 7 blockbuster encounter on HBO Pay-Per-View®.
At midnight (ET/PT), HBO Latino presents a special edition of “HBO Latino Boxing” from the Tropicana Casino Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas. Javier Fortuna (24-0-1, 18 KOs) of the Dominican Republic takes on Mexico’s Juan Antonio Rodriguez (26-4, 23 KOs) in a super featherweight event scheduled for ten rounds, while Luis Rosa (16-0, 7 KOs) and Luis Orlando Del Valle (18-1, 13 KOs), both of Puerto Rico, open the show with a scheduled ten-round super bantamweight fight. Subscribers can also catch the action with English-language commentary on HBO2 at midnight (ET/PT).
HBO2 and HBO Latino will replay FROCH VS. GROVES II after the action from Las Vegas concludes.
All HBO boxing events are presented in HDTV. HBO viewers must have access to the HBO HDTV channel to watch HBO programming in high definition.
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The executive producer of HBO BOXING AFTER DARK is Rick Bernstein; producer Thomas Odelfelt; director, Johnathan Evans.
® HBO BOXING AFTER DARK is a registered service mark of Home Box Office, Inc.
Photos Courtesy Matchroom Boxing