ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Golden Boy Promotions and Showtime consolidated their final three boxing cards of the year into two loaded quadrupleheaders and took the Dec. 14 card headlined by the Adrien Broner-Marcos Maidana welterweight title fight off pay-per-view and moved it to the regular network, they announced at a news conference at Boardwalk Hall on Saturday night before the Bernard Hopkins-Karo Murat light heavyweight title fight.
Broner (27-0, 22 KOs), making his first title defense, and slugger Maidana (34-3, 31 KOs), the mandatory challenger, were due to meet in a pay-per-view main event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, but the fight now will headline a network quadrupleheader at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Golden Boy and Showtime eliminated a Nov. 30 card at Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, which was to be headlined by welterweight titlist Devon Alexander against Shawn Porter. Alexander-Porter was moved to the Dec. 7 card headlined by the battle for Brooklyn between former welterweight and junior welterweight titleholders Zab Judah and Paulie Malignaggi.
"We have a pay-per-view [worthy] event, but we're charging nothing for it," Showtime Sports executive vice president and general manager Stephen Espinoza said of the Dec. 14 card. "It will be produced just like a pay-per-view and it will still have its own 'All Access' (reality series). We're giving fans an early holiday gift. There were some financial sacrifices [for Showtime and Golden Boy] that had to be made all around."
Added Golden Boy chief executive Richard Schaefer: "For [Showtime] to be able to come up at the end of the year with the necessary funds is absolutely spectacular. We just rearranged everything. It's a 1-2 punch. This is the best thing for Adrien and the best for the fight fans."
As for moving the Broner-Maidana card to San Antonio, Schaefer said Mike Battah, the San Antonio promoter he works closely with, pressed hard to bring the card there.
"It's become over the last 18 months like home away from home for us," Schaefer said of San Antonio. "They really wanted to bring the fight to San Antonio again. We were planning on Nov. 30 in San Antonio, and Mike Battah really wanted it. So if we're going to eliminate Nov. 30, why not keep an event in San Antonio?"
The new lineup for Dec. 7 will include Judah (42-8, 29 KOs) against Malignaggi (32-5, 7 KOs) in a welterweight fight for Brooklyn bragging rights, with Alexander (25-1, 14 KOs), in his second title defense, taking on Porter (22-0-1, 14 KOs) in the co-feature. Also on the card are the previously announced bouts between interim junior middleweight titlist Erislandy Lara (18-1-2, 12 KOs), in his first defenses, against former titleholder Austin Trout (26-1, 14 KOs) in his first bout since losing a decision and his belt to Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in April, and super middleweight titlist Sakio Bika (32-5-2, 21 KOs) in his first defense against Anthony Dirrell (26-0, 22 KOs).
Broner-Maidana headlines a Dec. 14 card that includes four world title bouts. Also on the card, interim welterweight titlist Keith Thurman (21-0, 19 KOs) makes his first defense against Jesus Soto Karass (32-12-4, 19 KOs) and junior featherweight titlist Leo Santa Cruz (25-0-1, 15 KOs) makes his initial defense against Cesar Seda (25-1, 17 KOs). That fight originally was on the Nov. 30 card that was canceled.
Former two-time welterweight titlist Victor Ortiz (29-4-2, 22 KOs) also will be on the card against former welterweight title challenger Alfonso Gomez (23-6-2, 12 KOs). Ortiz was supposed to challenge junior middleweight titlist Carlos Molina, but the IBF would not sanction the bout because Ortiz was unranked, had not fought for 18 months and had been stopped in his previous two bouts. He has been out of action because of a badly broken jaw suffered in his June 2012 knockout loss to Josesito Lopez.
The fourth title bout will feature light heavyweight beltholder Beibut Shumenov (13-1, 8 KOs) making his fifth defense when he faces Tamas Kovacs (23-0, 14 KOs) in a fight that likely will be featured on the Showtime Extreme telecast of other undercard bouts.
"None of us were completely thrilled with putting the (Broner-Maidana) card on pay-per-view," Espinoza said. "We thought that while Broner is a star, he can benefit from the widest possible exposure at this point. We're happy we could find enough quarters in the couches to put this event back on Showtime. It's going to be the two biggest back-to-back events we've seen in quite a while."
Espinoza said the main reason for moving the card off pay-per-view was the time of year. With the holidays approaching, people are more concerned with buying gifts than spending money on pay-per-view.
"Any other time of year we would have gone on pay-per-view," he said. "The calendar was the only thing that made us hesitant to put it on pay-per-view. This is the right way to end the year. Great matchups, competitive fights, and it's going to be all action. We're very pleased we were able to work it out the way that we did."
One of the fights that was supposed to be on Dec. 14 was a junior middleweight bout between Alfredo Angulo and Jorge Melendez, but Schaefer said Melendez priced himself out of the fight and they moved on. He said Angulo would return early in 2014.