Al Haymon continues to rack up the networks for his "Premier Boxing Champions" series.
Mr. Haymon has been one busy bee. Not only has he secured airtime for his very own boxing series on NBC and Spike TV, the man who hides behind the shroud has just locked up CBS for 8 live shows. April 4th will mark the first CBS telecast, which will be headlined by Adonis Stevenson vs. Saiko Bika. Saiko is really a super-middleweight but will be heading up the scales for this fight. The card will also feature Artur Beterbiev against Gabriel Campillo. I suppose the best news (for a certain individual) is that the CBS shows will be marketed as being "in conjunction with Showtime." So of course Stephen Espinoza is obligated to tell us all how this whole shakeup is actually beneficial for his premium subscription network.
"The Premier Boxing Champions series on CBS will help usher in a new era in the storied history of boxing," said Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president and general manager at Showtime. "With the support of our parent company, we are uniquely positioned for a three-tiered approach that includes live boxing broadcasts on America's No. 1 network, the cable reach of CBS Sports Network and, of course, the premium television leader in boxing, Showtime.
"The benefit of elevating the sport across these platforms for all involved, including Showtime, is immeasurable."
Yes, the benefit of having boxing on network television is immeasurable for Showtime - so much so that perhaps he confused the word "immeasurable" with the word "negligible." Tell me Stephen, exactly how many even quasi-significant Showtime cards do you guys have scheduled at the moment? The answer is - not many. I know that he's been touting this theory that they're going to make big stars on these network channels and then bring them back to Showtime, but color me unconvinced. Not to say Haymon fighters won't make appearances on Showtime (they will), but the asking price will go up and you-know-who still has ultimate authority on what fights get made.
As it currently stands, Burns-Figueroa will be aired on CBS with Jhonny Gonzalez-Gary Russell, Jermell Charo-Vanes Martirosyan, and Chavez Jr.-Fonfara all appearing on Showtime Championship Boxing.
As an aside, I've also heard some rumors that Haymon might get airtime on ESPN as well - but there hasn't been any official confirmation as of yet. I guess we'll find out how all this shakes out soon enough...