HBO Sports Goes for Knock-Out Punch With Mayweather/Cotto Coverage
Leading up to Saturday night’s highly anticipated 12-round super welterweight showdown between Floyd Mayweather and current titleholder Miguel Cotto, HBO Sports’ fight card is chock-full of behind-the-scenes shoulder programming that promises to turn the 9 p.m. ET main event into a full-day affair.
HBO will air five hours of pre-fight programming on HBO and HBO2 before Mayweather and Cotto enter the ring for their pay-per-view headliner. Beginning at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, Mayweather/Cotto HBO Roadblock will air on HBO2; Fight Day Now! Mayweather/Cotto will air on the main network at 8 p.m.
In addition to the super welterweight title bout between Mayweather and Cotto, HBO will present three undercard bouts, including a matchup between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and three-division former champ “Sugar” Shane Mosley, live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“We have a co-main event just before Mayweather/Cotto that could be a main event [on] pay-per-view in its own right: Canelo Alvarez fighting against Shane Mosley,” says Dave Harmon, who will produce Mayweather vs. Cotto for HBO Sports. “It’s a real special addition to this card that we’re particularly excited about, and we’re treating that fight almost as big as the main event.”
Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting
HBO will deploy 13 cameras for the pay-per-view telecast, including an X-Mo and two handheld super-slow-motion cameras. An overhead JITA camera and two dedicated locker-room cameras will provide coverage of all the action outside the ring, and five EVS servers located in the truck will allow immediate playback of everything from a tense moment in the locker room to a celebrity sighting in the stands.
‘The dedicated locker-room cameras are new for us,” says Harmon. “While we’ve used the JITA overheard before, we haven’t used it in this way: being able to position [the camera] to follow the entrance of the fighters and then, later in the night, be able to use it for the coverage during the fight itself.”
Covering the Action, Inside the Ring and Out
HBO’s pre-fight festivities kick off on Friday, with Weigh-In Live: Mayweather/Cotto airing live on the main network for the first time ever.
“We will show Alvarez and Mosley getting on the scales first and continue on with Mayweather and Cotto on the scales,” says Harmon, “We’ve never done anything like that live on the main network before, so we’re excited about that.”
Jim Lampley, who will call blow-by-blow for the Saturday-night bouts, will host the live telecast alongside boxing analysts Emanuel Steward and Larry Merchant. Max Kellerman will provide additional coverage as a roving reporter.
Following the live weigh-in show, HBO will replay all four episodes of 24/7 Mayweather/Cotto. The latest installment of the network’s critically acclaimed behind-the-scenes franchise documents the lives of both fighters from training camp through fight week. 24/7 Mayweather/Cotto will replay Saturday morning on HBO and Saturday afternoon as part of Mayweather/Cotto HBO Roadblock on HBO2.
Saturday’s Mayweather/Cotto HBO Roadblock begins at 4 p.m. with Face Off With Max Kellerman: Mayweather vs. Cotto, followed by Portrait of a Fighter: Canelo Alvarez, Floyd Mayweather: Speaking Out, all four episodes of 24/7 Mayweather/Cotto, Mayweather/Cotto: In & Out of the Ring, and a re-airing of Weigh-In Live: Mayweather/Cotto.
At 8 p.m., HBO’s pre-fight coverage transitions to the main network with Fight Day Now! Mayweather/Cotto. Lampley will recap the day’s preparation from the MGM Grand and lead directly into the pay-per-view telecast at 9 p.m.