HBO will televise its 1,000th boxing match on Saturday since its Jan. 22, 1973, debut. The boxers who receive the distinction will be Oscar Valdez and Ruben Tamayo, the undercard for the Timothy Bradley Jr.-Jessie Vargas fight. The telecast goes live at 9:45 p.m. ET from Carson, Calif.
The first HBO bout was Joe Frazier against George Foreman from Kingston, Jamaica. The lone announcer on the cablecast was Hall of Famer Don Dunphy.
Most people remember the ABC Wide World of Sports rebroadcast handled by Howard Cosell, with his famous call: “Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!” as Foreman won the heavyweight fight with a second-round technical knockout.
The late Billy Costello, the world champion from Kingston, never appeared on HBO. Tracy Harris Patterson, the multiple world champion from the Mid-Hudson, had both of his losses to Arturo Gatti (Dec. 15, 1995 and Feb. 22, 1997) shown on HBO.
Greenwood Lake heavyweight Lou Savarese posted a 1-3 record on HBO. He lost to George Forman on April 26, 1997; lost to David Izon on Nov. 1, 1997; beat Lance Whitaker on March 6, 1999; and, lost to Michael Grant on June 19, 1999.
Newburgh’s Luis Del Valle lost to Vic Darchinyan on Sept. 29, 2012.