by Pedro Fernandez

In what amounts to the latest volley in the war between SHOWTIME and HBO, Time Warner, HBO's parent company is posed to present an offer of $20 million for Evander Holyfield and $10 million for Lennox Lewis.

It was just last week when broke the news from SHOWTIME that they were trying to make the fight for November. But there a number of "other factors" involved before making this match, besides purse money.

Lewis has one fight left on his HBO contract that is set for September against Zeljko Mavrovic. But he has an "escape" clause in the deal that could allow him to buy his way out of the pact for a fight with Holyfield.

Then there is the GIANT #1 rated Zeljko. Big, tall, strong, Lennox would be no cinch against this guy. Granted, Zeljko's fought a lot of hoboes, (who hasn't) but the 6'7 Croatian looks extremely formidable and could upset the applecart.

Remember Oliver McCall was nothing more than a "fringe" contender before he hit the "Chin Lottery" and knocked Lewis silly in their first encounter. So, you can see why Lennox doesn't need the Croatian behemoth

Then, there is Holyfield who is said to owe a debt of gratitude to SHOWTIME for giving him HUGE bucks for the Michael Moorer unification fight in November. "SHOWTIME is the network Evander prefers" according to S.E.T.'s Marina Capurro.

And lastly, there is Don King. The man has a vested interest in Holyfield and would much rather have the fight on S.E.T./King Vision than on rival HBO. The Don would want to co-promote the fight also. I just don't think one can expect him to walk away for a set fee, and that's what HBO is asking in this latest move.

It appears HBO is calling S.E.T.'s bluff. Stay tuned!

Pedro Fernandez

Notebook: Roy Jones will fill in for the "ailing" Naseem Hamed July 18, on HBO when he meets WBA guy Lou Del Valle in a WBC-WBA unification match. Jones last fought in April when, again filling in for the scrapped April 24, bout between Pernell Whitaker and Ike Quartey, when he drilled Virgil Hill to the canvas with a single body shot is a huge favorite...Who was the three division champion from South America who got drunk and acted like a fool at Graziano's Inn in Canestota, NY after last Saturday night's dinner honoring the International Hall of Fame inductees? Here's a hint, his initials were not Z.Z..Still now word as to whether WBC 105 lb guy Ricardo Lopez will engage world WBA champ Rosendo Alvarez. or step up and meet Saman Sorjaturong for the WBC 108 lb. trinket. For those of you that think I'm nuts in rating Rosendo over Ricardo, it's goes back to the old line/ "You're only as good as your last fight." And clearly, Rosendo was the better man in March..Rafael Ruelas on FOX Sports tonight at 8 PM ET facing Juan Baldwin. Rafael, now 51-3, (41 KO's) is #3 at 140 lbs. with the WBC and hopes to meet the winner of a proposed match between #1 Miguel Angel Gonzalez and #2 Kostya Tsyzu for the still vacant WBC junior welterweight diadem. Also on the bill, fighting out of NYC, unbeaten big boy Monte Barrett, 17-0, (12 KO's) in a dime with Derrek Amos of D.C. who is 12-5, (7 KO's). That's FOX Sports in English and FOX Americas in Spanish at 8 PM ET from the TRUMP Marina Hotel in A.C. Some cable systems (like mine) only carry the signal in Espanol.

I'll be in Vegas tonight for the BAM card at the ORLEANS Hotel, and then for Saturday's Ring Talk show from the Imperial Palace Hotel. This Saturday night for two hours beginning at 11:06 PM ET on the Talk America Radio Network. LIVE Internet audio is available at

Besides having the "REAL" world welterweight champion Felix Trinidad, we will air an encore presentation of Marvelous Marvin Hagler's first American radio interview in 11 years. World lightweight and IBF champ Shane Mosley, and 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist David Reid will both make a cameo appearance on Ring Talk to discuss their June 27, bouts on FX.

On Sunday at 11:06 PM ET, on the TALK AMERICA "2" Network aka "The Deuce." Ring Talk will feature Mr. HBO Larry Merchant. Listener call ins are toll free in the USA & Canada.

Ring Talk, in it's 13th year truly is "the insider's look into the world of boxing." Tune in and you will find out why I have no peers!

Pedro Fernandez

E mail can be sent to Mr. Fernandez at

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6.19.98 [Return to Top]