Days after HBO announced that it will no longer do regular boxing broadcasts in 2019, it's final scheduled televised card will feature a rare women's boxing match.
Originally a world title doubleheader, the October 27 HBO Boxing card from Madison Square Garden will now open with Heather Hardy vs. Shelly Vincent for the vacant WBO women's featherweight world title. The fight was previously announced, but HBO did not have plans at the time to air the women's title fight.
After Hardy made a strong effort to convince HBO Sports boss Peter Nelson, the network ultimately decided to add the fight. This is only the second women's boxing fight HBO has ever aired live with the first one being Cecilia Braekhus' undisputed women's welterweight title defense against Kali Reis.
The fight between Hardy and Vincent is a rematch from their 2016 encounter that was widely considered one of the best women's boxing fights of that year. Hardy won the first encounter by majority decision to win the WBC International title. Vincent has since then won all five of her fights since her loss to Hardy. Both women are competing for their first world title.
The October 27 card will also feature Alberto Machado defending his WBA "regular" super featherweight title against Yuandale Evans. In the main event, former world champion Daniel Jacobs faces off against Sergiy Derevyanchenko with the vacant IBF middleweight title on the line.
The WBO title was lest held by Cindy Serrano but she has not defended the title since defeating Iranda Paola Torres in May 2017.