HBO Productions gears up for big fight

By Andrew Lippe

When the Oscar De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather steamrolls its way into MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 5 it will be biggest fight the country has seen in years. The set up for the big fight will begin on May 2 when John Micale, HBO Boxing VP of sports production, will bring a crew of 125 people with him to Las Vegas. For the pay-per-view fight HBO Productions will once again rely on NEP Supershooter SS19 truck, and NEP’s ST14 B-Unit.

Inertia Unlimited’s Phantom v10 X-Mo camera will be utilized to capture the high-speed action live during the fight along with Panasonic’s AK-HC910 HD Cablecam camera, and Sony’s 3300 Supermotion Cameras. The 3300 is a slow-motion camera that captures 1920 x 1080 HD images with three times the normal frame rate. “We will have two 3300 cameras ringside for the fight,” says Micale.

The fight pits Welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. against the Junior Middleweight Champion Oscar De La Hoya for De La Hoya’s Junior Middleweight title. The sold out HBO Sports extravaganza fight broadcasts live on PPV for $54.95.

HBO will have numerous hand-held and hard cameras on hand, including 11 Grass Valley LDK-6000 mk II cameras. Three cameras will be located in the host position next to the commentators table featuring former world champion Lennox Lewis, boxing analyst Max Kellerman, and James Brown. The ringside talent will feature Jim Lampley, boxing guru Larry Merchant, Emanuel Stewart, and Harold Lederman.

“We will also use one time-lapse camera called the SONY XDCAM 350.” Micale noted. The camera has a recording time of 120 minutes and has file based recording. “We will also install two Iconix POV HD Robotic cameras,” adds Micale. One POV camera will be located in each lockeroom to show the fighters prior to the opening bell. The fight has also gained tremendous attention thanks to HBO Sports four episode TV Special entitled, “De La Hoya/Mayweather 24/7”.

“De La Hoya 24/7 has stories that are interesting to non boxing fans,” says Micale. Part of the fight’s intrigue is the “Rocky” element to the fight: De La Hoya, the underdog champion vs. the faster, undefeated challenger Floyd Mayweather. There is also the complicated triangle surrounding the trainers where Freddie Roach replaced Floyd Mayweather’s own father as Oscar De la Hoya’s trainer.

Throughout the course of the show viewers have been exposed to the preparation, the extensive training and the emotional toll the fight is having on the fighters and their respective families. Two episodes are still remaining and all four episodes will air before the epic contest. Elements of the 24/7 series will be also be incorporated into the live production of the fight.