HBO changes mind on Williams-Ishida

HBO changes mind on Williams-Ishida

Published May. 19, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

Just days after green-lighting the proposed Paul Williams-Nobuhiro Ishida bout for Williams’ comeback July 9, the network has changed its mind and is now rejecting the 155-poundcatchweight contest.

Rumors abound that HBO was feeling the pressure from a negative initial public reaction to the fight and, at a time when HBO Boxing execs are rumored to be on a short leash for poor matchmaking efforts, they opted to withdraw their support.

A more likely reason, though, is that Williams-Ishida would’ve been directly up against a decidedly more fan-friendly card on Showtime, featuring Brandon Rios-Urbano Antillon and Kermit Cintron-Carlos Molina

As of now, the July 9 date is still Williams’ but the lanky southpaw from Georgia will have to find a new, presumably more fan-friendly opponent.