hbo boxing

This Bronx Latino Actor Made Mayweather-Pacquiao Bout Happen!


Thanks to the Bronx native and film and television actor, Gabriel Salvador, boxing fans from all over the world will finally see the Mayweather-Pacquiao match that many thought would never happen.

“Every tree starts with a seed, correct,” Salvador said to the Los Angeles newspaper, LA Times. Salvador, who has appeared on TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and the film All Night Bodega, is the man responsible for bringing together two key people that will present the greatest boxing fight in the past decade.

“I just knew, with no doubt, that if I brought Freddie Roach to Leslie Moonves, those two men could make the flight happen,” said Salvador, a DeWitt Clinton High School graduate in the Bronx. “I’m the finder.”

So how did Salvador, a Bronx native of Puerto Rican and Polish-Jewish decent, become the spark plug that reignited the two camps to talk? Well, besides being an actor, Salvador is a waiter at the Craig’s restaurant in West Hollywood where he occasionally serves Leslie Moonves, the CEO of CBS – which is the parent company of Showtime. The undefeated boxing champ, Floyd Mayweather, has a contract with Showtime to showcase to more fights. Moonves, who loves boxing, has brief conversations with Salvador about the sport while at the restaurant.

Freddie Roach, who trains the eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, also trains Salvador’s son at Roach’s gym, the Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles. Roach has trained 27-world boxing champions to date.

“You’re the king of making things happen,” Salvador told Moonves. “I’ll bring Freddie Roach to you.” Salvador set up a meeting at a Beverly Hills hotel.

But of course Salvador cannot take all the credit for making this fight possible. Most of the credit goes to Moonves, the CEO with strategy, negotiation and contract experience.

The welterweight title unification bout is expected to earn more than $400 million. According to ESPN the live gate for the Showtime/HBO pay-per-view fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas will generate an astounding $74 million from just ticket sales.

Because of Salvador’s efforts he will sit ringside (the seats are expected to be worth more than $5000) with Moonves for the Pretty Boy Floyd and Pac-man fight May 2.

The stars must be aligned for Salvador, who will have a reoccurring role as a guest star on Fox’s show “Bones”.

“I feel lucky and honored to have been given this opportunity in my career,” says Salvador. “I am so thrilled that FOX and the producers of Bones have entrusted me with a powerful role.”


A super middleweight showdown featuring two of the world’s top ten fighters commands the spotlight when WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: ANDRE WARD VS. CHAD DAWSON AND ANTONIO DEMARCO VS. JOHN MOLINA JR. is seen SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8 (9:45 p.m. live ET/tape-delayed PT) from Oracle Arena in Oakland, exclusively on HBO. The night of action begins with VITALI KLITSCHKO VS. MANUEL CHARR, a same-day, tape-delay heavyweight title showdown presented from Moscow’s SC Olimpiyskiy Sports Arena. The telecast will be presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.

Super middleweight champ and hometown hero Andre Ward (25-0,13 KOs) puts his title on the line against light heavyweight champ Chad Dawson from New Haven, Conn. (31-1, 17 KOs) in an intriguing 12-round bout that features the best fighters from the 168-pound and 175-pound divisions.

Ward, 28, a 2004 U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist, and the 2011 BWAA Fighter of the Year, is coming off a decisive unanimous decision victory over Carl Froch in December. This will be Ward’s fifth time fighting at the Oracle Arena, with the most recent bout there ending in a unanimous decision victory over Sakio Bika in Nov. 2010.

Dawson, 29, is widely recognized as one of the most talented fighters in the world, and is looking to build on his decisive April victory over future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins; he also owns two victories over former light heavyweight champ Antonio Tarver. Dawson’s height and reach advantages could present Ward with his greatest challenge to date.

The first bout pits belt-holder Antonio DeMarco (27-2-1, 20 KOs) from Tijuana, Mexico against John “The Gladiator” Molina Jr. (24-1, 19 KOs) from nearby Covina, Cal. in a scheduled 12-round lightweight title contest. DeMarco is coming off an impressive fifth-round knockout of Miguel Roman in his last fight in March, and has not lost in two and a half years. Molina is an all-action fighter who is looking to stage a significant upset before his hometown fans.

The night of boxing action kicks off with a heavyweight title showdown featuring world champion Vitali Klitschko (44-2, 40 KOs) from Kiev, Ukraine, putting his belt on the line against challenger Manuel Charr (21-0, 11 KOs) from Cologne, Germany. Klitschko has not lost a fight in more than nine years, a streak that includes a three-year retirement, and has seen him dispose of 12 straight opponents. Most recently, he easily handled challenger Dereck Chisora, capturing a unanimous decision victory.

Appearing in just his second fight outside of his native Germany, Charr has begun his career with 21 straight victories, but Klitschko has a 6-0 record against undefeated opponents. In his last bout, Charr was impressive, scoring a unanimous decision victory over Taras Bydenko in March.

The executive producer of WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is Rick Bernstein; producer, Thomas Odelfelt; director, Marc Payton.