HBO Boxing team: Is it biased?Written by Lee Cleveland
The distinguished boxing site FightHype.com recently caught up with former fighter and current trainer Jeff Mayweather who insists the HBO Boxing team is extremely biased in calling fights.
"There is always going to be bad decisions," Jeff told FightHype.com.
"Most cases, the guy that's favored most of the time, he's going to win. He got a deal with the network or something, chances are he's going to win."
In reference to the recent Oleksandr Usyk vs Michael Hunter bout in which the former won a close decision on HBO Boxing, Jeff Mayweather stated:
"Even the fight with Michael Hunter, I thought Michael Hunter won the first 4 rounds of the fight and it was ridiculous what kind of credit they were giving the other guy for doing nothing."
"That dude [Oleksandr Usyk] didn't even do nothing until after the 4th round. And the whole time, Harold Lederman is saying, 'This guy is this, this guy is that,' and I still hadn't seen nothing yet."
"Now, don't get me wrong, he did come around and proved himself to be the better fighter. I understand that, but at the same time, judge the fight for what it really is; don't judge the fight based on what this guy is supposed to do or who he is supposed to be."
Jeff also shared his feelings about the presumed rocky relationship between HBO Boxing and his brother, Floyd. He insists HBO changed its attitude towards Floyd when 'Money May' signed with Showtime.
"I noticed how quickly they turned on Floyd when he left...they are just so blatantly biased to the fighter that is signed with them, or the guy that is supposed to win, that it's ridiculous."
Is HBO Boxing biased?
Answer: Of course they are a little biased, but it's part of their job. It's their job to help buid stars.
If a network is heavily promoting a fighter it would make no sense not to give him a little lift. HBO is a business, and part of its job is to get fans excited about its fighters and match-ups.
If our job was dependent on ratings, I'm sure many of us would do the same thing.
As long as the real judges are 100 percent fair and impartial, a "little" biased commentary should be expected.
And fighters who serve as the 'opponent' should know the HBO Boxing team to be a little biased towards the showcased fighter. After all, they're investing money in that fighter.
HBO, like Showtime, FOX, ABC and CBS, is in the ratings business. It's their job to get behind the fighter they think will most likely achieve its objectives.
If you're an executive at Coca Cola, are you really going to boost the Pepsi brand? Sure, you might compliment Pepsi but it would be wrong to give them equal props as Coca Cola, your employer.
If an 'opponent' wants to get in HBO's good graces, he should deliver a) a knockout or b) a spectacular, unforgettable performance.
Networks will always be a little biased... But each and every fighter who fights on a network has the opportunity to shine and turn the tide of the commentary and his status with that network.