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The End Of Showtime Championship Boxing?

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The End Of Showtime Championship Boxing?

Showtime Boxing Photo

The End Of Showtime Championship Boxing?

The 37-year run for Showtime Championship Boxing is over effective at the end of 2023.

Official confirmation came later Tuesday but, our insider Dan Rafael, who is as plugged in as anyone in the sport, had reported first earlier that the former premium network, which has now been folded into Paramount+’s streaming, will cease to exist at the end of this year. And therefore, so too will Showtime’s sports division and it’s dozens of employees.

The news, while jolting to the sport on television in the United states, does not come as a big surprise as rumors of Showtime ceasing under the Paramount new streaming umbrella have been in existence for months.

The rumors further heated up at the end of September in Las Vegas during fight week for the Canelo Alvarez – Jermel Charlo pay-per-view that was produced and delivered by Showtime.

The network does have a couple of months remaining to still schedule another fight card, but it appears that at most there will only be one more show before the end of the year. And, even that is not certain at this point.

Just this past weekend the network televised the WBO junior middleweight title defense of Australian Tim Tszyu who was fighting in his homeland Sunday afternoon, while Showtimes production and announcer crew was based in their studio with Mauro Ranallo, hall of fame analyst Al Bernstein and former world champion Abner Mares calling it remotely off of television monitors. Tszyu delivered an impressive 12 round decision over American Brian Mendoza in the main event in the middle of the night Eastern time.

As Rafael has reported on this site and on the Big Fight Weekend podcast feed, the yet to be announced full fight card for the November PPV featuring David Benavidez vs. Demetrius Andrade in a super middleweight contender clash could be the last event Showtime boxing does.

It is also believed that WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo will come out of a two and a half year hiatus to finally defend his championship, as part of the Benavidez-Andrade undercard.

Rafael also detailed on our most recent “Fight Freaks Unite Recap” podcast that there are numerous fights for Premier Boxing Champions, who has a deal with Showtime, that still have to take place and it’s entirely possible that Showtime could still put a card together for December for several of those title fights in a  “swan song” broadcast.

Showtime got into the foray of televising boxing back in the mid 1990s and in specific hitch their wagon to former undisputed heavyweight champ Mike Tyson upon his release from prison on rape charges. Tyson ascended to becoming unified heavyweight champion again, while fighting on Showtime PPV only to be beaten in a massively popular and prominent battle by heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield in November 1996. Famously, Tyson bit off part of Holyfield’s ear in the third round of their June 1998 rematch, again on Showtime pay-per-view.

There have been numerous championship moments on either Showtime’s regular boxing series on their premium service or on pay-per-view, including the epic 2005 war between Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo. That’s, where Corrales was all but knocked out by Castillo, before rallying for one of the most stunning reversal TKOs in championship boxing history. And, it was an obvious choice for the ’05 fight of the year.

The network was also home late in his career to the iconic Floyd Mayweather and his PPV championship fights and obviously, in the present day with the likes of the future hall of famer Canelo, as well.

It was thought that Showtime would continue to produce pay-per-views in 2024, as Rafael has also reported that the network and Premier Boxing Champions still have an existing contract for potential pay-per-views that runs through next year. However, Paramount announced Tuesday that it’s over and there will be no depart for such a scenario next year. So, there will be a seven figure buyout to PBC of that deal.

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A veteran broadcaster of over 25 years, T.J. has been a fight fan longer than that! He’s the host of the “Big Fight Weekend” podcast and will go “toe to toe” with anyone who thinks that Marvin Hagler beat Sugar Ray Leonard or that Tyson, Lennox Lewis or Deontay Wilder could have beaten Ali!

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