Breitbart News spoke with Tulammo USA president Ed Grasso, who confirmed Thursday night that HBO requested that light heavyweight boxing champion Sergey Kovalev not wear trunks with the ammunition company’s logo on them during his July 25 bout against Nadjib Mohammedi.
HBO carries the undefeated Russian’s fight against Mohammedi on Saturday night. Tulammo sponsors Kovalev.
Grasso told Breitbart News that approximately one month ago he was told Sergey would not be allowed to wear boxing trunks with the Tulammo logo and that that decision had come from HBO. Kovalev has worn the logo on the network in the past, most notably in his dominant victory over Bernard Hopkins last fall. Fans of fighting but not of firearms took offense, and HBO acted to erase the ammo insignia.
Breitbart Sports and other outlets highlighted the company’s behind-the-scenes campaign to censor the insignia from appearing center stage on Saturday night. In the wake of a backlash against the subscription network, HBO yielded at some point during the day on July 23. HBO would, in fact, permit Kovalev to wear the trunks.
Breitbart News corresponded with Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events—Sergey’s promoter—during the afternoon of July 23. The widow of Dan Duva and daughter-in-law of Lou Duva indicated that the marquee fighter in her stable “most definitely” would wear the shorts with the Tulammo logo during his fight against Mohammedi.
When Breitbart News first reported that the pay-cable channel would not allow Kovalev to wear the Tulammo trunks, HBO’s Ray Stallone tweeted this author, saying: “This story is false. HBO boxing has made no such request or demand. The story is untrue. You need to correct your post.”
Instead, HBO corrected its heavy-handed attempt to suppress a politically-incorrect sponsor—receiving a black eye in the process.
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