HBO VS SHOWTIME: Does HBO Win My $50 This Weekend?

28.09.05 - By Jim Jamesson: As a boxing fan, this is what I hate! Two cards that I really want to see on the same night. Nobody reading this article needs a refresher on HBO's upcoming Tarver / Jones rubber match. Seems many boxing fans have love/hate relationship when it comes to either of these two guys. The first fight was filled with drama and complaints from both camps. Roy bitched about his weight and Tarver bitched about the judges.. The second fight probably has HBO's all-time favorite sound byte, "got any excuses tonight Roy?" Every one of us has heard that phrase at least 30 times in each HBO telecast, quickly accompanied by the image of RJJ knocked out stone-cold.

This third fight is only natural, and is only now happening because it's what and when Roy wanted it to be. I think it holds a slight mental edge over Tarver, in that he still is waiting on Roy, and still won't be the main attraction. While I say slight, I don't think it's all that significant and probably won't make a bit of difference in the outcome of this fight. I am actually rooting for RJJ on this one, because I would like to see him try something else outside of the light heavies, whether challenging Hopkins or maybe even move back up to heavyweight. I just don't get excited thinking about Tarver moving up or down, No offense to Tarver, but he just doesn't capture that special something that other fighters do. All of that aside, I'm betting my money on Tarver to win the fight.

Let's take a peek at Showtime. They have a fairly decent card lined up, we all want to see how Toney fairs in his fight against Guinn, especially coming back over his win/loss/suspension with with everyones favorite fighter. I'm looking to see if Toney's body holds up, as it seems lately to fail him more and more. I expect Guinn to come into the fight well prepared, but I don't think he has the skill and grit to beat Toney. If I had to call this fight, I'd take Toney in a UD.

The Byrd / Willamson fight is probably not going to be all that exciting, and while I believe the odds highly favor Byrd in this fight, one thing he said recently really caught my attention. Byrd said something to the effect of 'long as they give me a paycheck, I'll get in the ring and fight'. This happens to come at a time when he turned down millions for a fight with Wlad, and instead takes 400,000 to fight Touch of Sleep. Coincidentally, there are talks of him sueing Don King for not making anywhere near his guaranteed contract of 2.5 million. If that's not a hypocrite, I don't know what is. What happens if Byrd comes in, totally unmotivated for this fight, and Williamson, seeing a huge potential payday and rematch with Wlad comes in highly motivated? Could we be in for an upset? With Byrd's magical gift decisions over the past couple years, (especially the Oquendo fight which I thought was one of the worst decisions around that time) I still see Byrd holding on to a split or unanimous decision.

This fight is intriguing to me more because the outcome dictates who may get to fight Wladimir Klitschko. Wlad, in my opinion would dominate either guy in a rematch, much like he did in their first fights. Neither Byrd or Williamson has the punch of Peter, and Wlad will more than likely be gleaming with confidence because of this. A confident Wlad would have attacked Peter big-time in the 12th, instead of remaining very cautious and staying in survival mode. I don't believe Wlad would do the same against either of these guys, if indeed one of the fights come off. I take Wlad in a mid round TKO over either guy.

I'm personally looking foward to seeing Valuev fight, as we've heard more and more talk of the guy lately. Unfortunately, I just haven't seen many of his fights and therefore don't feel I'm write to even comment on what he can or can't do. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing this giant though! I'd love to see any of the current crop of champs fight a guy much larger than they are.

So, each telecast has intriguing match-ups. Both could be exciting and have major upsets take place. Which brings up the big problem. Come fight night, which one do I tune into? Is HBO worthy of another $50 bucks? Or should I take my savings and spend it on extra food and beer and watch the free offering on Showtime? What's a boxing fan to do!?!

Comments are definitely welcomed on this one!

Article posted on 28.09.2005

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