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Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Mayweather-Guerrero in theaters

By Dan Rafael

Since 2009, the big pay-per-view cards that Golden Boy Promotions has put on have also been screened in movie theaters around the country, harkening back to the old days of closed circuit -- but with far superior sound and picture.

The feedback I have gotten from boxing fans about the experience of going to the movies to watch the fights has been universal praise. The price of a ticket (usually less than $20) is a lot cheaper than the pay-per-view and there is also the fun communal experience of watching the event with other boxing fans.

So it did not come as a surprise Tuesday when Golden Boy announced that it will work once again with NCM Fathom Events to distribute Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s welterweight title defense against Robert Guerrero on May 4 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to more than 400 theaters around the nation.

The movie theater showings of the card -- which also includes featherweight titleholder Daniel Ponce De Leon’s defense against Abner Mares -- will be the same as what viewers at home will see on Showtime PPV.

This will be Mayweather’s fifth consecutive fight to be screened in theaters.

"Watching Floyd Mayweather fight is a larger-than life experience and the opportunity for fans to see him on the big screen is truly extraordinary,” said Leonard Ellerbe, hype-master and CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “He has a tough test in Robert Guerrero, and we hope that fans take advantage of the opportunity to watch this amazing matchup with fellow boxing fans at movie theaters across the country.”

"Legendary Nights' returns

In 2003, HBO produced a popular and Sports Emmy-award winning 10-part documentary series called “Legendary Nights.” The 30-minute episodes told the stories of some of the networks’ most memorable fights in its first 30 years of boxing coverage, including such all-time classics as Sugar Ray Leonard-Thomas Hearns I, Aaron Pryor-Alexis Arguello I, Buster Douglas-Mike Tyson and the Riddick Bowe-Evander Holyfield trilogy.

For years, I (and countless fans) have called for more episodes. While we might not get another full slate, HBO on Tuesday announced it will produce a 60-minute "Legendary Nights" documentary that will take a look back at epic Arturo Gatti-Micky Ward trilogy. Gatti, who died in 2009 at age 37, won the second and third fights. They fought three consecutive fights over a 13-month period in 2002 and 2003. The documentary will air this fall, but no date was announced.

The show is set to mark this year’s 10th anniversary of Gatti-Ward III, the 2003 fight of the year. Gatti-Ward I was the 2002 fight of the year.

“With June 2013 marking the 10th anniversary of the third fight of the landmark Gatti vs. Ward trilogy, we believe now is the ideal moment to revisit this classic rivalry,” said HBO Sports president Ken Hershman, adding that it would debut on the night of a major fight.

The documentary will blend new interviews with fight action and previously unseen archival footage.