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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

HBO's Pacquiao, Hatton, 24/7 specials lead up to fight May 2, PPV

Boxers Ricky Hatton of Britain (L) and Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines (R) play darts at the New Inn pub, near Hyde, Manchester, following a press conference at The Trafford Centre in Manchester, Britain, 28 February 2009. The two boxers are due to compete in a World Welterweight Championship fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, USA, on 02 May 2009. EPA/LEE SANDERS

Ricky Hatton and Manny Pacquiao go head to head in a sport whose viewership and fans have been eaten away by MMA and UFC fights.

HBO is hoping that the huge popularity of both boxers, Filipino Manny Pacquiao and Manchester hero Ricky Hatton, will ramp up with their Pacquiao/Hatton 24/7 preview series, the lead up to fight night on May 2.

Pacquiao/Hatton 24/7 is a four-part series that will extensively chronicle the respective training of Filipino pound for pound king Pacquiao and Ricky "the hitman" Hatton for their May 2 pay-per-view fight in Las Vegas.

According to HBO senior vice president of sports operations Mark Taffet, HBO looks at Pacquiao/Hatton 24/7 as a tool to draw 18-to 49-year-old males to a sport whose median viewing age skews over 35.

“The goal of 24/7 is not only to provide an all access look at the sport's biggest events, but also to reach out to the next generation of boxing fans and to engage them with a compelling program which speaks their language," Taffet said in an article posted at

Pacquiao/Hatton 24/7 is the fifth installment of the acclaimed HBO sports series, which debuted in 2006 in the leadup to the Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather, Jr. megafight.

HBO is promoting a sweepstakes for a free trip to Las Vegas for the three days leading up to the fight. The sweepstakes runs from March 30 through April 22 on

A daily video journal will be posted on Facebook and HBO's YouTube site, according to Taffet. The winner also can have his or her photo on

Episode #2: The new influence of assistant trainer and former heavyweight champ Michael Moorer becomes more apparent in Manny Pacquiao’s Los Angeles training camp. Meanwhile, Ricky Hatton continues to train in Las Vegas and spends a relaxing night with friends downtown.

Debut date: Saturday, April 18 (10:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT)

Other HBO playdates: April 18 (12:05 a.m.), 19 (10:30 a.m., 11:30 p.m.), 20 (7:30 p.m., 12:30 a.m.), 22 (10:00 a.m., midnight), 23 (10:30 p.m.), 24 (12:05 a.m.) and 25 (10:30 a.m.), and May 1 (8:30 p.m.) and 2 (3:00 p.m.)

HBO2 playdates: April 21 (11:00 a.m., 11:30 p.m.) and 24 (8:30 p.m.), and May 1 (1:00 a.m.) and 2 (10:30 a.m.)

HBO On Demand availability begins: April 21

On Saturday, May 2 at 9:00 p.m. (ET)/6:00 p.m. (PT), HBO Pay-Per-View presents “Pacquiao vs. Hatton,” live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.


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