Notebook: Expect monsters of the middleweights
Cunningham protested the result on several grounds during a hearing two weeks ago. The IBF granted the rematch based on the fact that neither fighter was given a postfight urinalysis, violating an IBF rule mandating a postfight drug screen for boxers involved in title bouts.
"I am very happy with the decision," Cunningham said. "We knew we were wronged in Poland and I am glad that IBF took the time and did their due diligence to see the matter through. I feel I won the first fight and the second time around I will prove it in a more definitive fashion. I have been training since I returned from Poland. I look forward to rematch."
Negotiations are supposed to start immediately, and if the camps can't reach agreement, there will be a purse bid.
The May 5 Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather Jr. HBO PPV fight is a huge event, and HBO is treating it that way.
|De La Hoya|
The network regularly promotes its pay-per-view offerings with the help of half-hour preview shows that air on HBO during the two weeks before the fight. De La Hoya-Mayweather is too big for just one show, so HBO is going to air a four-episode prime-time countdown series previewing the junior middleweight championship fight.
The first three episodes of "De La Hoya/Mayweather 24/7" will premiere on Sundays (April 15, 22 and 29) at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT. The final episode will air May 3 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.
HBO is clearly putting all of its muscle behind the fight -- the first three episodes will air following a block of original episodes of "The Sopranos" and "Entourage," two of HBO's most popular shows.
"In 35 years of televising boxing, this is a first for HBO," Greenburg said. "De La Hoya vs. Mayweather will be the most highly anticipated fight of the year and we are going to provide our subscribers with an all-access series that is sure to be provocative and compelling television."
Greenburg said he believed the series would appeal to more than just hardcore boxing fans because of the access producers have been granted.
"The producers will be living at the fighters' camps 24/7," he said. "Our approach will be to produce a totally unique viewing experience as these two world-class athletes prepare for a defining moment in their respective careers. And we appreciate the commitment and cooperation of the fighters and their teams with this ambitious project."
After weeks of discussion, Golden Boy announced that it has signed junior lightweight contender Rocky Juarez (25-3, 18 KOs), who lost a pair of fights in 2006 to Golden Boy cornerstone Marco Antonio Barrera, the division champion.
The first fight in May was an all-action brawl that was called a draw before a tabulation error resulted in a Barrera split-decision win. Barrera methodically and easily won a decision in the September rematch.
Juarez's contract with Main Events expired after the second fight and, after weighing offers from a variety of promoters, he and manager Shelly Finkel opted to go with Golden Boy.
"Seeing Rocky Juarez in back to back fights with Barrera showed us not only Rocky's skill and determination in the ring, but his character as well, and he is a perfect fit for our company," said Golden Boy boss De La Hoya. "We're honored to have him on the team and we're looking forward to leading him to a world championship."
Said Juarez: "I'm excited to begin the next phase of my career with Golden Boy Promotions. Oscar knows what it takes to get to that next level in this game, and I'm ready to do what it takes to not only get there, but stay there."
Juarez, 26, will make his first appearance for Golden Boy on Feb. 9, when he headlines a Telefutura card against Emmanuel Lucero at the Diamond Desert Casino in Tucson, Ariz.