HBO is an exceptionally high quality premium network. They have been airing memorable boxing fights for more than 40 years, and the network has received many accolades along the way. Despite their enormous amount of success, much criticism has been drawn to HBO as of late. The network has been accused of having an ideological partisan agenda towards some of their popular fighters. HBO continues to promote seemingly marketable fighters, and shun the supposedly non-marketable fighters, and even go as far as demoting them at times.
Tha Boxing Voice caught up with Roy Jones Jr. and he explained how the HBO live commentary is censored to a certain extent. He stated, “Yeah there are things [I want to say on air] at times, [that I can’t really say]. Sometimes you want to draw reference to a guy, or he may be with another promotional situation or other network and you can’t do it, or else it would be a problem.”
In the Manny Pacquiao-Chris Algieri PPV event, both Max Kellerman and Roy Jones Jr. continued to mention Guillermo Rigondeaux in the Lomachenko-Piriyapinyo bout, despite HBO sending Rigondeaux into exile.
Rigondeaux’s name began to be mentioned when Kellerman brought up possible opponents for Lomachenko.
Kellerman: He [Lomachenko] doesn’t really recognize Guillermo Rigondeaux because he’s at a 122 pounds. He thinks Rigondeaux is too small, but Rigondeaux is right there.
Roy Jones Jr: I think Rigondeaux is a little small too, but that’s a wonderful fight. Four gold medals.
Kellerman: I agree.
Jim Lampley who has been bashing Rigondeaux ever since he defeated Nonito Donaire, mentioned other possible opponents for Lomachenko, but once again Kellerman and Roy Jones Jr. continued to mention Rigondeaux’s name.
Lampley: I mention it’s a strong division and some of the names have already come up. Lomachenko has a title belt. Johnny Gonzalez has a title belt. Nicholas Walters took one from Nonito Donaire on October 18 in Carson, California. Evgeny Gradavich has a title belt.
Kellerman: And although I agree with Roy that Rigondeaux is smaller in size than Lomachenko, that might be the best matchup of all.
Lampley: Great skill matchup.
Roy Jones Jr: And we haven’t had the chance to see two, two time gold medalist fight against one another. We rarely get to see two gold medalists fight one another.
Kellerman: Who by the way, both have a chance to be the best pound for pound fighter in boxing in the not too distant future.
It’s apparent that even though the HBO company as a whole does not want anything to do with Rigondeaux, some of their employees such as Max Kellerman and Roy Jones Jr., are adamant about having him back on the air. If Rigondeaux’s return makes sense from a business standpoint, it would not be a surprise if he were back on HBO sometime in the future. Perhaps some of the HBO’s employees, and the public demand of seeing Rigondeaux back in the ring, may convince the network to put one of the best pound for pound fighters back on premium cable. As of yet, HBO has apparently not told the commentating crew, not to mention Rigondeaux’s name anymore.