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List of Articles by Ed de la Vega, DDS


 

HBO Boxing Drops Curtain For the Last Time

By Ed de la Vega, DDS
PhilBoxing.com
10 Dec 2018



HBO Boxing was an institution for the last 45 years. They have presented more than 100O fights and for a while they were the top banana of boxing shows.

But as they say, all good things must come to an end. For the giant network that time was last Saturday December 8, 2018 at the famed StubHub Center at Carson, California. The promoter for the last fight card is the very amiable Tom Loeffler of 360 Promotions.

Sadly however, the last show had all the trimmings of a “last-show”. There were less than a thousand people in attendance. That count includes all the media folks that did not travel to New York to see Lomachenko beat the challenger to his crown, Jose Pedraza; and the red or black clad employees of StubHub.

There were so few auxiliary media photographers in attendance that MagnaMedia refused to open the press box for them. Therefore they had to shot from Section 25. In fairness, Section 25 is a great spot to shoot from but it is out in the open and not really a great place to be on a cold December night in SoCal. The temperature drops to about 52 degrees Fahrenheit this time of the year.

One rather well known writer from Southern California posted in the net that “he was attending a funeral”. Another loudly announced when he walked in - “It this the library?” Both comments were obvious reference to the almost empty stadium.

In fact, there were far more fans in attendance at the first US promotions of Cebu’s ALA Boxing at the same venue than those who came last Saturday night.

Yes it was that quiet. In fact there were so little fans in attendance that all the usual concession stands were closed. There were only two miserable bars at the floor area and one food truck up above on the concourse area.

The ushers were visibly bored having no one to “usher” or at the very least tell to “tone down their alcohol driven frenzy”. In fact one hang out in our area just so she will be with people. Oh, one the men’s room was immaculately clean. No tissue paper thrown on the floor and there was no soul to see refreshing himself.


PhilBoxing's Jhay Otamias (L) and the author at HBO's last card at StubHub Center in Carson, California Dec 8, 2018.

Curious how the last HBO Show will turn out, Philboxing reps in the Southern California area in the person of Jhay Otamias and yours truly were at the event. After all, it is somewhat a “historical” night in boxing - the end of the HBO era. “I would not miss this for anything, Otamias told this writer even if it’s my wife’s birthday today. Many folks surely are interested to know how the last HBO event went, particularly the readers of Philboxing and its our job to cover it,” he added.

The HBO people in an unprecedented move gathered everybody connected to their company for a last photo op at the StubHub seats and from the floor with the ring in the background with two lonely souls beating each other’s guts. It was the ultimate in disrespect for the fighters and the handful of fans present. They could have done the photo op before the fights started or at the very least, between fights.
But they did not seem to care or perhaps they were so caught up in getting their last group photo that they forgot that a fight was going in the ring.

In retrospect it's sad that HBO Boxing has to end. The famed sports channel after all brought many of Many Pacquiao’s fights to the world. To the Filipinos, myself included, that meant a lot.

We will miss the very well informed commentator, Jim Lampley like we miss the old man Larry Merchant and the very vociferous color commentator, Max Kellerman.

But most of all, we will miss more great fights that made HBOBoxing what it was in the last 4 decades.

Farewell fellows. Thanks for the memories.


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