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Jack 1000
I have been watching ESPN Classic boxing,

Tonight they had Robinson-Gatti I on! (One of my all-time favorite wars!) But what was interesting was that they had Dave Bontempo doing the commentary on a fight that had originally been HBO. The same with Ibeabutchi-Tua having different commentary with Bob Poppa.

Is there an agreement where ESPN will purposely use different commentary than HBO and than decide to distribute the fight if it is good to their classic boxing library? I wonder how many other fights with different commentary we may have missed? When ESPN did their old Superboats series, I recall that they would use HBO commentary for some fights, such as some Tyson fights and Pryor-Arguello I come to mind. I do sort of enjoy the different commentary, but I wonder if ESPN has some sort of different licensing arangement since they aren't under the exclusive Top Rank Boxing like they had for Superbouts and the ESPN Top Rank Boxing Series.

For the record, ESPN has show BOTH version of Douglas-Tyson with the HBO commentary and the lesser-known Don King Productions Bob Sheridon commentary.

What do you know about this topic?


I have noticed the same exact thing Jack. I really wasn't sure what to think of it the first time I noticed it. At first I thought that they went and replayed the fight before they telecast it on ESPN and dubbed in some commentary seeing as they didn't have the rights to use the HBO commentary. But I really don't get that if they can use the same video footage. Great question Jack. I am interested in this as well.
I think sometimes they just redo the entire broadcast. I think one time I heard Joe Tessatorie and Joe Mesi doing one together.
Big Slim Sweet
I first noticed this as well right before new years when they started showing a lot of main events fights. They had Tessitore and Mesi doing I think it was Lewis-Mercer, Lewis-Morrison, Holyfield-Bowe and Holyfield-Mercer. I have no doubt this was overdubbed and they were basically doing their commentary in front of a monitor a few weeks before they aired the fights on classic. It initially annoyed me - particularly during moments like the great 10th round of Holy-Bowe 1 - but whatever, so long as they're showing the real fights themselves it's not too big a deal. They also had John Scully doing a few with Tessitore, but then when they showed old Whitaker fights against McGirt, Ramirez and Pineda it sounded like the original thing. Wierd.
I have noticed that too for a while, and I don't understand it. It seems so phoney to hear commentators calling a fight that they already saw and know the outcome. It would be a million times better if you heard the original commentators, and the damn background noise from the crowd always seems muffled(which takes away from the excitement).
Michigan Assassin
Well if they use the HBO telecast they'd have to pay the HBO commentators. Often times they have several broadcast tables set up for international etc. Hence the reason the Colonel is always commentating on ESPN Classic as well.

ESPN Classic has the rights to air the fights but not necesarily HBO's broadcast.
dj necrogenic
I have Gatti - Mayweather TiVo'd and its great to hear Mesi pretend like he doesnt know the outcome of the fight, and talk about what Gatti can do to get Floyd.
What a coincidence. I made this same observation on the "CLASSIC" boards and yes it seems like an awful lot of effort to put in and it sounds so cheesy.

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