- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Although the deal isn't signed yet, HBO is in the process of finalizing a deal to acquire American broadcast rights for heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko's defense against Alexander Povetkin on Oct. 5 in Moscow. The network would televise the fight live in the afternoon and then replay it in prime time along with live coverage of that night's Miguel Cotto-Delvin Rodriguez card from Orlando, Fla. Klitschko hasn't appeared on HBO in his past four fights, all of which were broadcast on Epix. Klitschko's last appearance on HBO was his one-sided domination of David Haye in a 2011 unification bout.
• Longtime Nevada judge Duane Ford resigned his position earlier this month, according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Ford is leaving ringside to take over as president of the North American Boxing Federation, a regional affiliate of the WBC. Ford judged hundreds of world title fights but drew heavy (and warranted) criticism for his scoring of the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley Jr. fight in June 2012. He was one of the two judges, along with C.J. Ross, to submit a 115-113 score in favor of Bradley, setting off wide outrage at the split decision (when most believed Pacquiao had clearly won). Ford opened himself up for even more criticism after the fight when he remarked that Bradley had given Pacquiao "a boxing lesson."
• Promising middleweight Gilberto "Zurdo" Ramirez Sanchez (25-0, 20 KOs), a 22-year-old from Mexico, will make his American debut on Aug. 24 (UniMas) in Glendale, Calif., Top Rank announced. He will face one-time prospect Julio Cesar Garcia (46-8, 39 KOs) in a 10-rounder. If Sanchez beats Garcia, he would then be likely to face Italy's Domenico Spada (37-4, 19 KOs) in a title eliminator. Also on the card, blue-chip junior featherweight prospect Jessie Magdaleno (15-0, 11 KOs), 21, will face stepping-stone opponent Jose Luis Araiza (31-8-1, 22 KOs) in an eight-rounder.