PBC on FS1 Preview: Uzcategui vs. Plant
By: Hans Themistode
The first PBC on Fox card of the 2019 year kicks off this Sunday January 13th from Los Angelos California at the Microsoft Theatre when defending IBF Super Middleweight champion Jose Uzcategui (28-2, 23 KOs) takes on mandatory challenger Caleb Plant (17-0, 10 KOs) in a clash of completely opposites styles.
For Uzcategui he will be looking to defend his title for the first time and continue his recent run of domination. Since losing to Mat Korobov in 2014, Uzcategui has gone on to mow down his opposition. A flukey loss to Andre Dirrell by disqualification which he later amended in an immediate rematch, winning that bout by stoppage has the champion in the best form of his career. There has been very few that have been able to deal with the champions power and constant pressure.
Uzcategui’s mandatory challenger Caleb Plant however will present the champion with a different style. One that could ultimately prove to be tricky for him to solve. Plant is a pure boxer and one who would prefer to not get involved in slugfests. He has not scored a stoppage victory since a 2016 fourth round knockout win over Carlos Galvan. Plant’s game plan is simple, hit and don’t get hit in return.
The constant pressure that Uzcategui employs throughout a fight can make Plant’s game plan much more difficult to execute. The lack of power the challenger possesses will allow the champion to walk right through his shots and land crushing blows of his own. This may seem like a recipe for disaster for Plant but he has in fact shown to have a good chin and is very hard to hit cleanly. Both men will also be looking to close the mouths of their respective doubters.
After winning the IBF interim title last year from Andre Dirrell, Uzcategui was in prime position to challenge than title holder James DeGale. The aforementioned DeGale instead choose to drop the title in pursuit of more lucrative fights which led to Uzcategui receiving full champion status. Many believe that although Uzcategui is a great fighter he did not necessarily earn the gold that presently resides around his waist. A win over plant will go a long way in proving that he is indeed a worthy champion.
Plant on the other hand will be facing a completely different kind of pressure. Sure he has looked tremendous throughout his career but he has never faced someone the calibre of Uzcategui. Plant will be looking to prove that he does in fact belong at the world level.
Ultimately the path to victory for both men are entirely different. Plant will look to establish his jab and ring movement to box his way to victory while Uzcategui will look to apply his trademark pressure and accumulate enough damage to put an end to this contest before it reaches the final bell. How it plays is the burning question.
This Sunday night we will receive our answers.
First Two PBC shows on ITV to be Free to Air
By: Michael Kane
The UK has yet another option for big time boxing to look forward to in 2019.
Last week it was announced that ITV had signed a deal with Haymon Sports to show exclusive coverage of Premier Boxing Champions events in the UK. ITV had shown last season’s World Boxing Super Series on their ITV Box Office channel however this deal will have a mix of free and Box Office, it seems.
The first two shows that will be covered have been announced and will be free to air on ITV 4.
Before Sky and more recently BT Sport, ITV were the kings of boxing in the UK and it will be a welcome return to free to air boxing on the channel.
The first fight to be shown is the Jose Uzcategui v Caleb Plant for the IBF Super Middleweight World Championship on January 13th from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles.
Then the following week it’s Manny Pacquiao v Adrien Broner for the WBA World Welterweight title.
Poxon Sport has been confirmed as the exclusive promoter of all UK PBC events on ITV. Richard Poxon of Poxon Sports, said: “This is an incredible opportunity for boxing and sports fans. On one hand we have a giant of UK broadcasting in ITV and on the other a giant of world boxing in Premier Boxing Champions. I’m looking forward to promoting all the fantastic PBC events in the UK on ITV. The quality of these first two free to air events should show UK fans exactly what they can expect to see over the length of this new deal, and they can expect more news in the following days about the first PBC UK boxing event.”
The deal between ITV and Haymon Sports/PBC is the first that Haymon Sports/PBC have partnered with a UK broadcaster to show regular events. In a three year deal, a minimum 15 events a year will be screened a year, with events being held both in the UK and U.S.
“This unprecedented deal between PBC and ITV is great news for boxing fans in the UK. We look forward to bringing viewers big events and superb action from some of the world’s best fighters in the coming years,” said Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport.
PBC on Fox Preview: Charlo vs. Harrison, Charlo vs. Korobov
By: Hans Themistode
Loud, brash, cocky and arrogant are words that can be used to describe the Charlo twins Jermall (27-0, 21 KOs) and Jermell (31-0, 15 KOs). Explosive, confident, impressive and revered can be used as well. Whichever word you choose will lead you to the same conclusion.
They are must watch television.
Both will be returning to the big screen this Saturday night as they put their undefeated records on the line at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn New York live on the first PBC on Fox card.
Jermall, who is the number one contender for the WBC Middleweight title and also possesses the interim title was originally scheduled to take on two time title challenger Willie Monroe Jr (23-3, 6 KOs). However with less than one week remaining until the night of the fight Monroe was busted by VADA for an adverse finding in his urine sample. He was subsequently removed from the card and replaced with Matt Korobov (28-1, 14 KOs).
Although this is considered a short notice bout, it isn’t your typical one. Korobov was already in training for a matchup against Juan De Angel on this very undercard. The bout was scheduled to take place at 168 pounds but he had no trouble in trimming down to the Middleweight limit of 160 pounds as he weighed in at 159.8 this afternoon.
On paper Korobov will provide Jermall with his toughest opponent to date. Matt was a decorated amateur having defeated the likes of Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Oleksandr Usyk to amass a record of 300-12. In the pros he has been impressive as well. He handed current IBF Super Middleweight champion Jose Uzcategui his first defeat in his biggest win to date. Korobov’s lone defeat came in 2014 at the hands of now retired fighter Andy Lee. Matt was ahead on the scorecards and in complete control of the fight before a right hand by Lee followed by a flurry of punches put a halt to the contest. He has gone on to win four bouts in a row since then. In short this will in many ways present a much tougher task for Jermall then his originally scheduled opponent.
The interim champion has looked great thus far but many would venture to say that he is still unproven and not quite ready for the elite of the Middleweight division. A win over Korobov won’t silence his doubters but a dominant performance just might.
Speaking of dominance, that is the exact word that can be used when describing Jermell’s title run at Jr Middleweight. The younger by one minute Charlo has knocked out four of his past five opponents. He will be looking to add another highlight reel knockout to his name when he takes on Tony Harrison (27-2, 21 KOs) in the co main event.
Jermell has his eyes set on a future showdown with unified champion Jarrett Hurd. It would be a matchup of arguably the two best Jr Middleweights. As much as Jermell wants that fight to happen he would be foolish to overlook Tony Harrison.
Boxing ability, punching power, ring IQ. Tony has it all.
His biggest problem has always seemed to be his gas tank. He was stopped by both Jarrett Hurd and Willie Nelson in the ninth round of both contest while leading on the scorecards. Tony’s stamina failed him on both occasions. Coming in to this contest however, Tony has told anyone that will listen that he has solved his issues.
If he truly has found a way to keep a consistent pace for a full 12 rounds then he will pose plenty of issues for the champion.
Many have dismissed both Matt Korobov and Tony Harrison as easy fights for the Charlo’s. Both bouts will be anything but that. If the twins hope to continue their dominant run they will both have to overcome two great challenges ahead of them come Saturday night.
PBC on Fox Preview: The Charlo Brothers Are Ready to Headline in Brooklyn
By: Sean Crose
This Saturday night, the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York, will host the final major fight card of 2018. The fights begin airing live at 8 PM eastern standard time, on Fox, which has recently made a deal with Al Haymon’s Premiere Boxing Champions, the promoter behind the card. There will essentially be two main events, each featuring one of the Charlo twins, 27-0 middleweight Jermall, and 31-0 super welterweight Jermell. The Houston, Texas natives have a strong chance of landing notable fights at the pinnacle their respective divisions, provided they get past their respective competition this coming weekend.
Jermell will be facing the 27-2 Tony Harrison for the WBC super welterweight title that he won in 2016 by knocking out John Jackson and has successfully defended three times since. Harrison, who hails from Detroit, will be coming off a split decision win over Ishe Smith last May. This will be Harrison’s second attempt at a world title. Back in 2017, he was knocked out by Jarret Hurd while competing for the IBF super middleweight title in Alabama. Since that time, the fighter has gone on to win three straight. The match with Charlo will be a scheduled twelve round affair.
Meanwhile, Jermell’s brother, Jermall, will be facing off against the 28-1 Matvey Korobov for the interim WBC middleweight title strap. Stepping into the ring at Barclay’s for his third fight in a row, Jermall recently bested Hugo Centeno Jr by knockout last April. Korobov, on the other hand, is coming off a March unanimous decision victory over Jonathan Batista in Miami. This will be Korobov’s second bout this year after taking all of 2017 off. Korobov’s one loss was to Ireland’s Andy Lee, who knocked the Russian out in December of that year in Las Vegas. Korobov will be facing quite the challenge in Jermall, who has stopped his last three opponents within the distance.
Jermall was originally set to face Willie Monroe Jr on Saturday, but the Monroe, who is best known for getting stopped by Gennady Golovkin in 2015, showed traces of a prohibited substance in a VADA drug test and the fight was subsequently called off. Fortunately for all parties involved, Korobov was able to step in and fill the void left by Monroe. Should he somehow emerge victorious in the scheduled 12 round affair with Jermall, Korobov will have most likely pulled off the upset of the year.
When Heavyweight Champions Retired with Their Titles
By: Ken Hissner
James J. “The Boilermaker” Jeffries retired as World Heavyweight Champion in August of 1904 with a 19-0-2 (16) record. He had defeated the likes of Australia’s Peter Jackson, 51-3-13, from the Virgin Islands, Ireland’s “Sailor” Tom Sharkey, 26-2-6 (twice), New Zealand’s “Ruby” Bob Fitzsimmons, 55-7-13 (twice & for the title the first time), former world champion James J. “Gentleman Jim” Corbett, 10-2-3 (twice), and Gus Ruhlin, 27-6-3 (reversing an earlier draw).
It was only the demand from his pastor stating “we have a coward amongst us” not coming out of retirement that forced him back. He had gained over 100 lbs and hadn’t fought in a month shy of six years but came back as the “white hope” to dethrone World Champion Jack “Galveston Giant” Johnson, 52-5-11, on July 4th, 1910 in Reno, Nevada before approximately 16,528 in attendance under the blistering hot sun. Promoter and then referee Tex Rickard would halt the bout in the 15th round of a scheduled 45 rounds as Johnson retained his title.
“The Fighting Marine” Gene Tunney, took the title from Jack “The Manassa Mauler” Dempsey, 57-4-11, in September of 1926 at Philadelphia’s Sesquicentennial Stadium before a whopping 120, 557 fans in attendance. One day shy of a year Tunney repeated the win though having to come off the canvas during the “long count” in Chicago, IL. Tunney would retire after his next fight defeating New Zealand’s Tom “The Hard Rock from Down Under” Heeney, 32-8-5 on July 26th 1928, with a 65-1-1 (48) record. His lone loss and draw were with Middleweight great Harry “Pittsburgh Windmill” Greb, 195-10-16, prior to winning the heavyweight title. He had four more bouts with Greb going 3-0-1.
It wasn’t until Rocky “The Brockton Blockbuster” Marciano retired in September of 1955 did another heavyweight world champion retire while still champion. He won the title knocking out “Jersey” Joe Walcott, 51-16-1, in September of 1952, while behind in the fight in the 13th of a scheduled 15 rounds. He knocked out Walcott in his first defense in the first round. He defeated former World Champion Ezzard “The Cincinnati Cobra” Charles, 85-10-1, in back to back fights before ending his career coming off the canvas against Light Heavyweight Champion Archie “Old Mongoose” Moore, 149-19-8, to score a knockout in the 9th round.
The last world heavyweight champion to retire with the title was Lennox “The Lion” Lewis, the 1998 Olympic Gold Medalist Super Heavyweight for Canada, but born and now lives in London, UK. He won the world heavyweight title defeating Tony “TNT” Tucker, 48-1, in May of 1993.
Lewis would lose and regain the title in bouts with Oliver “The Atomic Bull” McCall, 24-5, and Hasim “The Rock” Rahman, 34-2. He would retire after in June of 2003 stopping on cuts Ukraine’s Vitali “Dr. Ironfist” Klitschko, 32-1.
More Boxing History
Fox’s ‘PBC Countdown’ Series Debut Exposes Charlo Brothers—And Boxing—To Wider Audience
By Jake Donovan
From brand inception through present day, the brass at Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) have looked past mounting criticism of its product with its eyes on the bigger picture.
Its parternship with Fox Sports has already begun to show why patience remains a virtue.
The rebranding of the PBC on Fox primetime boxing series—which was formally announced during a glossy press conference on November 13—is due to launch with a December 22 tripleheader live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The event will kick off a lucrative multi-year agreement between PBC and Fox Sports, with live shows due to run monthly in primetime on Fox and FS1.
The first show under the new agreement is headlined by the Charlo twins—Jermall and Jermell—in separate title bouts, marking the first time either Charlo serves in the main event of a primetime boxing telecast after years of frequently playing in supporting capacity on cable giant Showtime. Jermall (27-0, 21KOs) defends his interim middleweight title versus Willie Monore, Jr. (23-3, 6KOs) in the main event, while Jermell (31-0, 15KOs) defends his 154-pound strap versus Tony Harrison (27-2, 21KOs) in the co-feature.
Both bouts served as the first offerings of Fox’s ‘PBC Countdown’ series, airing this past Saturday immediately following the network’s live coverage of Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup series. ‘PBC Countdown: Jermall Charlo vs. Willie Monroe Jr.’ drew a favorable 1.0 overnight rating (roughly 1.2 million viewers; final figures to come Tuesday morning) for its 11:00pm timeslot, doing well on an active sports night to hold the majority of the audience from MLS Cup, which at 1.35 million viewers drew its best televised audience since 1998.
The 11:30pm-slotted ‘PBC Countdown: Jermell Charlo vs. Tony Harrison’ special pulled a 0.6 overnight rating.
“The PBC’s entire mission has been to find a partnership that will allow boxing to reach a mass audience and we believe we’ve found that partner in FOX,” Tim Smith, vice president of communication for PBC told BoxingInsider.com. “Having an opportunity to reach a potential audience of 120 million viewers on a regular monthly basis with events and other shows is a real game changer for the sport.”
The launching of ‘PBC Countdown’ comes on the heels of network promos for the December 22 telecast having frequently run during every edition of NFL (National Football League) on Fox since the initial November 13 network presser.
The latest batch came in Sunday’s Game of the Week offering, where the Dallas Cowboys beat the Philadelphia Eagles in an overtime thriller which produced a 16.0 overnight rating, the best for any NFL afternoon game this season. Promos for the Charlos’ bouts were also part of network coverage which drew more than 50 million viewers for pro and college football a week ago, as well as back-to-back Thursday Night Football telecasts on Fox—both featuring the Cowboys in games watched by more than 53 million combined viewers.
Network promos will continue to run throughout this Thursday’s edition of NFL on Fox, pitting the 11-2 Kansas City Chiefs versus the 10-3 Los Angeles Chargers in a game with major playoff implications at stake. The Charlos will garner more exclusive coverage this Saturday afternoon, starring in the network’s debut of ‘PBC Face-To-Face’ series hosted by award-winning sports writer Mike Coppinger.
Similar coverage will come with every edition of PBC on Fox. The next primetime edition will air January 26—also live from Brooklyn, New York—followed by shows on February 14 and March 9 leading into the debut of “PBC on Fox Pay-Per-View”, headlined by Errol Spence Jr. in a welterweight title defense versus Mikey Garcia, who moves up from lightweight in a battle of unbeaten pound-for-pound entrants.
Spence and Garcia have both benefitted from NFL exposure, each making separate appearances at Cowboys Stadium for November 22 and November 29 games which aired live on Fox.
The November 22 Thanksgiving edition drew 30.8 million viewers, while the November 29 showing—in which the Cowboys upset the NFL-best New Orleans Saints—drew more than 21 million viewers, the best-ever showing for any NFL Thursday Night Football installment (excluding Thanksgiving games) since the primetime series debuted five years ago.
“Our boxers have made in game appearances on NFL broadcasts that have been viewed by tens of millions of people,” Smith points out. “[T]he Charlos, who fight on December 22 have been the beneficiaries of the first Countdown show and teases of their upcoming fights during each NFL game on FOX since the fight was announced.
“That’s the kind of complete commitment that will foster real growth in the sport. We’re excited about the 2019 season of PBC on FOX.”
The PBC is Primed to Take Over the PPV Market
By: William Holmes
Much has been written about in the past several months about the arrival of streaming as a viable platform for boxing promoters. Top Rank has aligned themselves with ESPN+, which is available to subscribers for $5 dollars a month. Golden Boy Promotions and Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing have aligned themselves with DAZN, which is available to subscribers for $10 dollars a month.
Both platforms seem intent on convincing promoters to abandon the traditional Pay Per View(PPV) model in favor of the newer streaming model.
Photo Credit: Stephen Espinoza Twitter Account (@StephenEspinoza)
However, there’s still one major player in the sport of boxing that isn’t aligned with any streaming service, and they appear to be focused on their relationship with Fox Sports and Showtime with an eye towards PPV for their bigger fights.
That player is Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).
HBO’s retreat from the Pay Per View Boxing business left a hole that the PBC appears to be more than ready to fill. On Saturday December 1st they’ll put on Heavyweight Title Fight on PPV between undefeated Tyson Fury and undefeated champion Deontay Wilder.
The Heavyweight division was considered to be boxing’s golden division in the Pay-Per-View business before Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. came along, and it is still the division that attracts casuals to the sport with its propensity for knockouts.
But the undercard for December’s heavyweight pay per view attraction shows the PBC’s serious commitment to PPV.
There appears to be at least nine different fights which showcase a boxer who has previously headlined a big event, holds a world title, or is line for a future title shot.
Jarrett Hurd will be defending his junior middleweight title in the co-main event with a possible shot against one of the Charlo brothers hanging in the balance. Luis Ortiz is looking for another title shot and will be facing Travis Kauffman in the heavyweight division. Anthony Yarde and Joe Joyce are two boxers who have been making a name for themselves in the United Kingdom and will be fighting stateside on December 1st in separate bouts. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is still a big name that carries a lot of attention, and he’ll be facing the always tough and former title challenger Alfredo Angulo.
Wait, there’s more…
Mark Barriga and Carlos Licona are also fighting on the undercard for the vacant IBF Strawweight Title. Chris Arreola is still a big name in the heavyweight division, and he’s facing Maurenzo Smith. Former world titlist Robert Guerrero is coming out of retirement to make his return in the welterweight division.
There’s a lot of fights and fighters on this card that are capable of headlining their own card on Showtime or Fox Sports that will be featured on this PPV. A card stacked with this much talent shows PBC’s commitment to the PPV model.
But, their PPV commitment doesn’t stop at the heavyweight division.
The PBC is expected to announce an upcoming PPV fight with Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner. Pacquiao, a long time client of Top Rank Promotions, is still a big pay per view draw if he is matched up with the right opponent. The only viable pay per view opponent Pacquiao had with Top Rank was Terence Crawford. Even though Crawford’s skills as a boxer and undeniable and he would probably be considered a favorite if he fought Pacquiao, he hasn’t shown that he has the name recognition to sell pay per view.
Broner is just one of many fascinating matchups that the PBC has for Pacquiao. Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter, and even Mikey Garcia are all possible opponents for Pacquiao that could eventually wind up on pay per view.
Most importantly, a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a more realistic possibility now that Pacquiao has signed with the PBC.
The PBC has also announced a PPV fight between Errol Spence Jr. and Mikey Garcia. Garcia brings the loyalty of the Mexican boxing fan base into play when it comes to pay per view buys and Spence is considered by many to be one of the top pound for pound talents in the sport today. It’s a good fight worthy of pay per view, but probably won’t sell as well as most Pacquiao or Mayweather PPVs.
What about the Charlo brothers? They’re highly entertaining and have engaging personalities. They’re two other highly talented boxers on the PBC roster with PPV potential, provided they can find quality opponents.
The co-main event of December 1st features one such opponent, IBF/WBA Junior Middleweight Champion Jarret Hurd.
The talent that the PBC has on their roster is undeniable. Can they turn that talent into PPV success? Wilder vs. Fury and the signing of Manny Pacquiao shows they’re certainly going to try.
Spence-Garcia Highlights PBC Rollout
By: Sean Crose
Premiere Boxing Champions announced a major lineup of fights on Tuesday in Los Angeles, California. The highlight of the afternoon? The announcement of an Errol Spence – Mikey Garcia IBF welterweight title bout, which will go down on March 16th at AT&T Stadium in Texas. Garcia, 39-0, will be making a notable jump in weight divisions to face the 24-0 Spence, and will most likely step into the ring a prohibitive underdog, even though both fighters are known as world class talents.
Other notable PBC fights will appear on Fox, which recently made a deal with PBC. On January 26th, Keith Thurman, 28-0, will be making his long awaited return when he faces Josesito Lopez, 36-7, in a bout which will be aired live from the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. Leo Santa Cruz will be defending his WBA featherweight tile when the 35-1-1 Californian faces the 23- 2 Miguel Flores in another live Fox broadcast, this one from Los Angeles on February 16th. Another major bout will feature WBC welterweight champ Shawn Porter, 29-2-1, as he battles the formidable Yordenis Ugas, 23-3, live in front of Fox cameras in Las Vegas on March 9th.
According to PBC, Fox will air “eight televised world title fights in the first three months of the new deal, featuring eight world champions and more than two dozen of the world’s best boxers going toe-to-toe. The schedule includes five world-class boxing fight nights live on FOX and FOX Deportes, four more on FS1 and FOX Deportes, and the first FOX PBC Pay-Per-View in March.”
PBC also “announced the on-air personalities who will call all the thrilling action.” Needless to say, some of the names are well known and quite respected. “Former heavyweight world Champion Lennox Lewis and former lightweight world champion Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Mancini join FOX Sports as boxing analysts,” PBC stated, “while Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Chris Myers and Emmy Award-nominee Kenny Albert serve as blow-by-blow announcers. Seasoned FOX broadcaster Kate Abdo joins as a studio and fight night host. Plus, Boxing Hall of Famer Larry Hazzard works as a Rules Expert/Unofficial Scorer.”
Fox Deportes can now boast of having “International Boxing Hall of Fame member and former four-division world champion Erik ‘El Terrible’ Morales,” on the team, “working with Jaime Motta and Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award winner Jessi Losada.” PBCs fight schedule will begin on December 22nd, when the Charlo brothers showcase their skills in Brooklyn, against Willie Monroe Jr, and Tony Harrison respectively, and will end on April 20th, when Danny Garcia, 34-2, makes his comeback fight against Adrian Grenados, 20-6-2, at a location to be announced.
Fox Sports and Premier Boxing Champions Announce Eight Title Fights Over First Three Months, Spence Jr. vs Garcia, March 16th
FOX Sports and Premier Boxing Champions today announced eight televised world title fights in the first three months of the new deal, featuring eight world champions and more than two dozen of the world’s best boxers going toe-to-toe. The schedule includes five world-class boxing fight nights live on FOX and FOX Deportes, four more on FS1 and FOX Deportes, and the first FOX PBC Pay-Per-View in March.
“We’re thrilled to have Premier Boxing Champions’ brightest stars coming to FOX Sports reaching the biggest audiences on broadcast television,” says Mark Silverman, FOX Sports President, National Networks. “The 2019 PBC schedule kicks off with high-stakes action and excitement, making FOX the premier home for boxing and the continued leader in live sporting events.”
Schedule highlights include world champion twins Jermall and Jermell Charlo defending their titles in separate fights live in primetime on FOX on December 22; followed by welterweight champion Keith Thurman’s ring return on FOX January 26; featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz headlining on FOX February 23; 147-pound Champ Shawn Porter defending his world title March 9 on FOX; and the blockbuster showdown between welterweight Champ Errol Spence Jr. and four-division world champion Mikey Garcia, on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View March 16, live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
FOX Sports and FOX Deportes also announced the on-air personalities who will call all the thrilling action. Former heavyweight world Champion Lennox Lewis and former lightweight world champion Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini join FOX Sports as boxing analysts, while Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Chris Myers and Emmy Award-nominee Kenny Albert serve as blow-by-blow announcers. Seasoned FOX broadcaster Kate Abdo joins as a studio and fight night host. Plus, Boxing Hall of Famer Larry Hazzard works as a Rules Expert/Unofficial Scorer.
FOX Deportes taps International Boxing Hall of Fame member and former four-division world champion Erik “El Terrible” Morales, working with Jaime Motta and Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award winner Jessi Losada.
More on the FOX Sports PBC Schedule:
Jermall Charlo vs. Willie Monroe, Jr. and Jermell Charlo vs. Tony Harrison, Saturday, December 22, 2018, 8:00 PM ET on FOX. Barclays Center, Brooklyn
Twin titans kick off the new season of PBC on FOX, as Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21 KOs) defends his WBC interim middleweight title against top-rated contender Willie Monroe, Jr. (23-3, 6 KOs), while Jermell Charlo (31-0, 15 KOs) makes the fourth defense of his WBC Super Welterweight Championship against hard hitting former title challenger Tony Harrison (27-2, 21 KOs). Rounding out the evening, WBC mandatory challenger and 2012 U.S. Olympian Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale (19-1, 17 KOs) battles Carlos Negron (20-1, 16 KOs), a member of the Puerto Rican boxing team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Jose Uzcategui vs. Caleb Plant, Sunday, January 13, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FS1. Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live in Los Angeles
IBF Super Middleweight Champion Jose Uzcategui (28-2, 23 KOs) battles undefeated, top-rated challenger Caleb Plant (17-0, 10 KOs).
Keith Thurman vs. Josesito Lopez, Saturday, January 26, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FOX. Barclays Center, Brooklyn
Undefeated WBA Welterweight Champion Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) ends a long injury layoff to defend his title and starts to reclaim the division against battle-hardened veteran Josesito Lopez (36-7, 19 KOs). Also that evening, Adam Kownacki (18-0, 14 KOs), one of the fastest rising stars in the heavyweight division, takes on his toughest challenge to date when he steps in against U.S. Navy veteran and USC football standout Gerald Washington (19-2-1, 12 KOs).
Leo Santa Cruz vs. Miguel Flores, Saturday, February 16, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FOX. Los Angeles
WBA Featherweight Champion Leo Santa Cruz (35-1-1, 19 KOs), one of the highest volume punchers in the sport, defends his title against the always tough Miguel Flores (23-2, 11 KOs). Plus, former WBC Lightweight Champion Omar Figueroa Jr. (27-0-1, 19 KOs) returns after a long injury layoff to face former title challenger John Molina Jr. (30-7, 24 KOs).
Anthony Dirrell vs. Avni Yildirim, Saturday, February 23, 2019, 10:00 PM ET on FS1. The Armory, Minneapolis
Former WBC Super Middleweight Champion Anthony Dirrell (32-1-1, 24 KOs) battles once-beaten Avni Yildirim (21-1), who faces the stiffest competition of his career, in a clash for the vacant WBC Super Middleweight Championship.
Shawn Porter vs. Yordenis Ugas, Saturday, March 9, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FOX. Las Vegas
WBC Welterweight Champion Shawn Porter (29-2-1, 17 KOs) makes his first title defense against top-rated mandatory challenger Yordenis Ugas (23-3, 11 KOs), who gets his first world title shot.
Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia, Saturday, March 16, 2019, 9:00 PM ET on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View. AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
In one of the most highly anticipated and intriguing matches in boxing, IBF Welterweight Champion Errol Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) will defend his title against four-division world champion and current WBC Lightweight Champion Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs), who is moving up two weight classes to challenge Spence.
Lamont Peterson vs. Sergey Lipinets, Sunday, March 24, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FS1. MGM National Harbor, Oxon Hill, MD
Former junior welterweight and welterweight world champion Lamont Peterson (35-4-1, 17 KOs) clashes with former junior welterweight champion Sergey Lipinets (14-1, 10 KOs).
Caleb Truax vs. Peter Quillin, Saturday, April 13, 2019, 10:00 PM ET on FS1. The Armory, Minneapolis
Former super middleweight champion Caleb Truax (30-4-2, 19 KOs) meets former middleweight champion Peter Quillin (34-1-1, 23 KOs) in a battle to determine who climbs back into title contention.
Danny Garcia vs. Adrian Granados, Saturday, April 20, 2019, 8:00 PM ET on FOX.
Former junior welterweight and welterweight champion Danny Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) wants to rebound from a razor-thin loss in his last bout to take on battle-tested Adrian Granados (20-6-2, 14 KOs).
FOX Sports PBC Additional Dates:
(Fights confirmed on a later date.)
Saturday, May 11, 2019, FOX
Saturday, May 25, 2019, FS1
Saturday, June 1, 2019, FS1
Sunday, June 23, 2019, FOX
Saturday, July 13, 2019, FS1
Saturday, July 20, 2019, FOX
Saturday, August 3, 2019, FOX
Saturday, August 24, 2019, FS1
Sunday, September 1, 2019, FOX
Saturday, September 21, 2019, FS1
Saturday, November 9, 2019, FS1
Saturday, December 14, 2019 on FOX
Saturday, December 21, 2019 on FS1
With the recently announced four-year deal, the FOX broadcast network will feature 10 marquee fight nights in prime time each year, while FS1 and FOX Deportes will telecast 12 fight nights annually. The package includes FOX Sports-PBC Pay-Per-View events. The Emmy Award-winning FOX Sports production team will produce more than 175 hours of original PBC boxing content per year across its channels.
All PBC on FOX Sports events and programming will be streamed live on the FOX Sports app, available in English or Spanish through the FOX, FS1 or FOX Deportes feeds. FOX Sports will offer a platform inside the app to allow viewers to stream the PPV events. In addition, FOX Sports Digital will have a dedicated FOXSports.com and FOX Sports App page for PBC coverage, in addition to dedicated YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels.
FOX Sports and PBC launched the highly regarded primetime boxing series TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and FOX Deportes in the fall of 2015, featuring PBC’s brightest up-and-coming boxers. The deal was expanded to include several fight nights on the FOX broadcast network, including exciting title fights such as heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder defending his title in February of 2016, July of 2016, and again in February of 2017, plus the exciting welterweight showdown between Danny Garcia and Robert Guerrero in January of 2016.
Senator Manny Pacquiao Joins Forces with Al Haymon and his Premier Boxing Champions as He Prepares for Ring Return
Senator MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO, boxing’s only eight-division world champion, announced today that he has entered into an exclusive agreement to work with manager / advisor Al Haymon.The new alliance will have team Pacquiao and Haymon work together to navigate the remainder of his illustrious career. Pacquiao’s first defense of the World Boxing Association welterweight world title will kick off the new partnership and will have Pacquiao appear on the Premier Boxing Champions series. Pacquiao’s promotion company, MP Promotions, will promote all of his upcoming bouts under this new alignment with Haymon.
Photo Credit: Manny Pacquiao Twitter Account
MP Promotions will also work with Al Haymon to bring some of the best fighters from the Philippines and Asia to the United States to appear on the PBC series.
“I’m very excited about this new chapter in my career and I’m looking forward to a fresh start. I’m reinvigorated by the prospects of bringing up new fighters under the MP Promotions banner,” said Pacquiao. “My team will work closely with Al Haymon for the remainder of my career to deliver the most anticipated fights with the top PBC fighters. Those are the fights the fans want to see and the ones I want to have to close out my career.”
“MP Promotions is very excited about this last phase of Senator Manny’s Hall of Fame Career. We look forward to launching this new relationship with Manny’s first world title defense,” said Joe Ramos, who heads MP Promotions. “I would also like to acknowledge matchmaker Sean Gibbons, legal counsel Tom Falgui, and Senator Manny’s aide Steve Jumalon for their tireless efforts and invaluable advice.”
Pacquiao, a three-time Fighter of the Year and Boxing Writers Association of America’s reigning Fighter of the Decade, will return to the ring early next year. The fight, which will be announced soon, will be co-promoted by MP Promotions and TGB Promotions.
With Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duerte and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad in attendance (the first time two heads of state attended a championship boxing event), Pacquaio regained the welterweight title for a fourth time on July 15 at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia by knocking out defending WBA champion Lucas Matthyssee in the seventh round.
Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), who hails from Sarangani Province in the Philippines, is the only sitting Congressman and Senator to win a world title. After serving two terms as congressman, Pacquiao was elected to a Philippine Senate seat in May 2016, capturing over 16 million votes nationally. Pacquiao’s boxing resume features victories over current and future Hall of Famers, including Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, and Juan Manuel Marquez.
Pacquiao-Broner Likely For January 19 in Las Vegas; Fox, Showtime In Play
By Jake Donovan
While the bout itself has yet to be formally announced, it’s entirely possible that by as early as Tuesday the heavily rumored showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner could very well have a fight date, location and televised platform.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission will meet on Tuesday, October 23 for its monthly agenda hearing, which covers reviews of past events and approvals for requested future business conducted in the state. Among the budget items is a list of three requested fight dates for TGB Promotions, with plans to stage events on January 19, February 16 and March 9 all at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Photo Credit: Manny Pacquiao Twitter Account
A Pacquiao-Broner showdown has been targeted for January 19, according to several sources who’ve declined to speak any further on the matter—even off the record—and with Las Vegas as the most likely location.
All three dates are currently slated for the rebranded version of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox, a development first reported by RingTV.com senior writer Mike Coppinger. PBC renewed long-term deals with Fox and Showtime, both of whom remain very interested in airing this event although BoxingInsider.com has learned through three credible sources that no decision has yet been made and likely won’t until the fight is formally announced.
The first Fox prime telecast under the renewed PBC on Fox series is currently slated for December 22, with plans to run shows once per month. There also exists the possibility of one or more of those dates moving to a Fox-distributed Pay-Per-View event, according to details revealed in the initial announcement this past September.
Speculation has already begun about Pacquiao-Broner likely going that route, as the price tag that would come with such a fight would figure to heavily eat into the allotted annual budget provided by either Fox or Showtime.
Talks of the matchup surfaced almost immediately after it was revealed that Pacquiao—the only eight-division titlist in boxing history and currently a secondary beltholder at welterweight—inked a deal with adviser Al Haymon, who founded PBC in 2015.
The move came as a surprise only from a historical perspective. Pacquiao managed to miss out on several key fights at welterweight due to his fighting for years under the Top Rank promotional banner, whose founder Bob Arum has been embroiled in a years-long feud with Haymon. The heart of that standoff stems from Haymon’s relationship with Floyd Mayweather, who left Top Rank for good in 2006 and has since emerged as the biggest box office attraction in boxing history.
Arum and Haymon were literally locked in a room and forced to do business together at the demand of Les Moonves, then head of CBS Corporation (parent company of Showtime) to make Mayweather-Pacquiao a reality in 2015 after more than five years of their careers managing to run parallel.
The bout itself was a stinker—with Mayweather winning a wide but dull unanimous decision—as was the half-assed promotion offered by Mayweather Promotions which demanded lead status. Still, the most anticipated boxing event of the 21st Century secured box office benchmarks which will likely never be surpassed, including more than $72 million at the live gate and more than $400 million in U.S. PPV revenue.
At the time, it was believed to be a one-and-done event, with the 12 rounds of non-action and the nauseating building not providing any reason to do it all again. However, the two were recently at the same event in Japan this past September and took to social media together in teasing the possibility off a rematch in 2019.
The postings came on the morning of the rematch between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Genandy Golovkin, leading many to believe it was just another tactic employed by Mayweather to upstage any event involving Golden Boy Promotions. He did as much in announcing his one-fight return to the sport in 2017, staging his August ’17 bout with UFC superstar and boxing debutante Conor McGregor in Las Vegas just three weeks prior to Alvarez-Golovkin I and drawing four times as many PPV buys.
Few paid this recent round of trolling any mind, until it was revealed that Pacquiao—no longer under contract with Top Rank—had joined forces with Haymon and the PBC family.
There still doesn’t exist any real possibility of Mayweather-Pacquiao II, with Mayweather having not fought since the aforementioned highly lucrative McGregor sideshow and more interested in boxing vs. UFC pairings (rematch with McGregor, or a first fight with his most recent conqueror and UFC pound-for-pound king Khabib Nurmagomedov). By his own admission, a Pacquiao rematch requires more public massaging.
In that vain came the idea to pair Pacquiao with Broner, a former four-division titlist who has long ago maxed out his boxing celebrity credit card and could stand a notable win or two in the twilight of a frustrating career.
Broner has not fought since a 12-round draw with Jessie Vargas this past April. The 29-year old from Cincinnati has not won a fight since a narrow victory over Adrian Granados in his hometown last February.
Pacquiao is 3-1 in his life after Mayweather, managing to win some version of a welterweight title in each victory. He entered as the challenger in a pair of 2016 unanimous decisions in Las Vegas over Tim Bradley (in their third fight) and Vargas bookending his successful turn at securing one of 12 open Senate seats in his native Philippines during the general election, following a two-term tour as a Congressman in the Sarangani province.
His title reign following the Vargas win lasted just under eight months, ending in highly controversial fashion in losing an unpopular split decision to Jeff Horn last August in his opponent’s native Australia homeland. Efforts to secure a rematch proved exhausting, also signaling the end of a nearly two-decade long stint with Top Rank.
Their last bit of business together came in July, when the Las Vegas-based company secured the U.S. TV distribution rights for his stoppage win over Lucas Matthysse. The bout took place in Malaysia, with Top Rank managing to distribute via ESPN+ through its ESPN deal. A subsequent dispute came when Pacquiao claimed to have not been properly paid the rights fee by Top Rank, with the two sides settling before moving about their separate ways.
Now under the PBC banner, Pacquiao’s debut on the other side of the street is not without its snags. The Filipino southpaw has yet to resolve a multi-million dollar tax debt with the U.S. IRS, the principle cause for his having not fought stateside since the Vargas bout.
That financial matter will need to be resolved before Pacquiao can ever again fight in the U.S. However, it won’t have any bearing on whether the Nevada commission approves TGB Promotions’ fight date requests, since none come with solidified main events including the planned January 19 show in Las Vegas.
Still, Pacquiao didn’t head to PBC just to sit on the sidelines or for the outfit—which has yet to stage a branded event outside of the U.S.—to take its act overseas on his behalf. Chances are, his tax status will soon be resolved—whether fully settled or through a long-term installment agreement—as will full details of his forthcoming showdown with Broner.
Manny Pacquiao to the PBC
By Jake Donovan
Less than a month after teasing the possibility of a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao has made the first significant move toward clearing any hurdles.
Heavy rumors have swirled about the former eight-division titlist joining forces with Mayweather’s longtime adviser, Al Haymon and his Premier Boxing Champions outfit. Manila Bulletin’s Nick Giongco was the first to break the story on Wednesday, which has since gained considerable momentum despite a single source willing to go on record to verify.
It been suggested that Pacquiao’s first fight under the PBC umbrella can come as early as next January.
Several PBC representatives have declined comment to BoxingInsider.com on the subject, although also didn’t dismiss such rumors.
The development would be the latest in a series of significant boxing power moves within the past few months. As far as stateside boxing content goes, there are three major entities currently controlling the landscape: Haymon’s PBC series, which recently renewed lucrative, long-term pacts with Showtime and Fox/FS1; Eddie Hearn through subscription-based DAZN USA streaming service; and Pacquiao’s former long-time promoter Bob Arum, whose Top Rank outfit is the primary content provider for ESPN and its ESPN+ streaming app.
Pacquiao’s contract with Top Rank expired earlier this year. His last fight officially promoted by Top Rank came last July, when he suffered a shocking and highly controversial split decision defeat to Jeff Horn in Australia. The bout ended his third reign as a welterweight titlist, also snapping a two-fight win streak following his loss to Mayweather.
The final piece of business between the two came in his July knockout win over Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Top Rank didn’t directly promote the event, but offered live coverage on ESPN+ after Pacquiao’s MP Promotions missed numerous deadlines to distribute through Pay-Per-View.
There remained little doubt as to their going separate ways when Pacquiao (or more likely a team member speaking on his behalf) took to social media to demand money owed by Top Rank for U.S. TV rights to the aforementioned event. The issue was quickly resolved, followed by confirmation that Pacquiao would take his career in a different direction.
Later that very week, the legendary southpaw from Philippines joined in with Mayweather in trolling the boxing community in suggesting a rematch to their May ’15 blockbuster event was in the works.
The declaration came on the morning of the September 15 rematch between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, leading many to believe it was simply yet another stunt by Mayweather designed to steal attention from a Golden Boy Promotions event. Mayweather came out of retirement last summer to face UFC superstar and boxing debutant Conor McGregor, staging the event three weeks prior to Alvarez-Golovkin I and drawing more than three times as many PPV buys.
Once Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39KOs) joined in on the fun—posting “No Excuses #50-1”—skepticism quickly switched to curiosity as to whether it was actually going to happen.
Their first fight destroyed all box office numbers within the sport, setting benchmarks that will likely never be surpassed in this lifetime. Even if the rematch doesn’t happen, Pacquiao agreeing to do business with Haymon and PBC opens up a number of future possibilities. Most of the best welterweights in the world—including Errol Spence, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia—all fight under the PBC umbrella.
It also opens the door for Pacquiao to secure U.S. TV dates for his MP Promotions stable, which sources in the Philippines claim as an additional motivating factor.
Though far from substantiated, a potential first fight for Pacquiao could come versus former four-division titlist Adrien Broner. Where such a fight would land depends on the willingness of PBC’s chief two outlets – Showtime and Fox – ponying up the necessary funds to avoid having to go PPV in back-to-back months, with Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury locked in for December 1 on Showtime PPV live from Los Angeles, California.
A far less expensive route could see him instead take a fight with a PBC second-tier welterweight such as Andre Berto, Devon Alexander, Josesito Lopez or John Molina Jr.
Whatever is Pacquiao’s next move, it will come with an entirely new team in place.
The future Hall of Famer—who turns 40 in December—parted ways with trainer Freddie Roach earlier this year, thus ending a 17-year run with the Hollywood-based cornerman. Under Roach’s tutelage, Pacquiao managed to win titles in seven weight classes together (winningthe lineal flyweight champion prior to hooking up with Roach) and enjoyed a mercurial rise to superstardom.
His fight with Matthysse came with longtime assistant Buboy Fernandez as his head trainer, who will presumably serve in that role for as long as Pacquiao continues with his career. Along with Roach and Arum no longer along for the ride, BoxingScene.com has reported that Pacquiao has also cut ties with longtime manager Michael Koncz.
Terence Crawford: Only Wants the Champions at 147
By: Rich Mancuso
Undefeated Jose Benavidez Jr. is the next opponent for Terence Crawford next Saturday evening at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Crawford, the three-division world champion, will defend his WBO Welterweight title for the second time. But this is not the opponent he wants in a fight that will be televised on the ESPN platforms.
Don’t get this wrong. Crawford, not one to stir the pot, is honored that Benavidez took this fight. And the home crowd will be thrilled to see their champion again. Many consider him to be either number one or two in the pound-for-pound discussion.
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Not to overlook Benavidez, Crawford is very content with the promotional deal he has with Top Rank. However, in a Thursday afternoon conference call with media the names of champions such as Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter and Errol Spence Jr. came into the discussion. These are some of the elite fighters in the 147-pound division along with some others.
The welterweight division is the talk of boxing. Spence Jr. is known as the elite champion and always a target. With that in mind, where does Terence Crawford stand in the mix of all this? He is with Top Rank, the others with PBC and their platforms of Showtime and Fox.
“Spence, Porter, Thurman, those are the only champions,” Crawford said. “ I don’t look at the WBC Silver interim belts . I look at the actual champion in the division.”
So this is a matter, first of Crawford getting past Benavidez Jr. and then the talk about a mega fight with Spence Jr. who holds the IBF title. The issue is logistics with two major platforms of promoters and networks putting their differences aside and giving fight fans what they want.
Crawford has Top Rank in the corner. The ESPN deal with his promoter is strong and delivering what boxing fans and the sport desire. The Crawford camp is content but as everyone is aware, this is a business.
The talk has to be done at the table, and very similar to the deal that was made when Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. got in the ring three years ago. Brian McIntyre, manager and trainer for Crawford wants the elite fights to be made. He made his case on the conference call.
“We want after the champions, man,” McIntyre said. “There is no reason to be fighting a No. 6 dude or a No. 7 dude. Terence wants the best fighters out there at 147.”
Top Rank president Todd duBoef was also on the conference call. McIntyre is seeking the best for his fighter and said the heat is on with Top Rank and all for the best involved.
“We’ll put the heat on him,” he said. He’s the one who makes the fights happen. He could go to ESPN and make those fights happen. Terence wants the fights to happen. Let’s go. The only fights out there is the other champions.”
They don’t want a number 7 or 8 fighter in the division, because this is about the elite fighters at 147.
To that, duBoef said, “We have said this regardless of your affiliation, we don’t care what you are ,what you do, Terence is an elite fighter. in fact elite fight, all they talk is about Terence. “We’ve done the biggest fights with all the complications. We’ve done the biggest with no complications”
But there are always complications. Venues, purse, and how two networks that are in competition can co-exist. A response from the PBC was unavailable when reached for comment.
“We’re gonna go after all those guys,” duBoef said. “We’re not allowing anything, no politics, no nothing, to get in the way. They wanna do it, we wanna do it, let’s just get it done. We’ll figure out a solution.”
Crawford, on the other hand, avoids this discussion about fighting the elite champions. He is focused on this fight next weekend and when it comes to consideration about being the Number 1 pound-for-pound, he just goes about his business. He wants to take on opponents and bypass the talk of Top 10 fighter or who is Number 1 or 2.
“Some people rate me number 1 some people rate me number 2,” Crawford said. “I can’t complain some people rate me number 2. Don’t pay attention. My main attention is Benavidez. I’m focused and ready to go next week. Keep winning in tremendous fashion.”
He added: “ I never predict a knockout. I just go in there if I see a chance for a knockout I’ll go for it. All i do is go in there and get the win. I believe he is going to come out and try and make it a fight and if he does do it we have a game plan for that as well.
However, this could be the tune-up fight towards the next one. There is time for the respective promotions and networks to stage an eventual Crawford and Spence Jr. title fight.
“Still growing up in this division,” Crawford said. “Not looking to move up. Great relationship with Top Rank. We build a lot of great memories together and built me up to where I am now. Takes me wherever I want to go.”
Benavidez Jr. sought this fight and there was no hesitation. Because Terence Crawford never ducks an opponent, and in boxing you take the opportunity as there is always a chance to pull off the unexpected. And by all means, the height and reach is something to look at with that undefeated record coming in against the champion.
But we all know, this fight is all about Terence Crawford. It’s about getting to the elite and opposing Errol Spence Jr. and soon.
Comment: Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso [email protected]
PBC on Fox Sports 1 Preview: Joyce vs. Kiladze, Figueroa vs. Escandon
By: Oliver McManus
*The main event featuring Victor Ortiz has been cancelled as of 9/27/18.
Joe ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce touches down on US soil at the weekend as he looks to continue his rocketing rise up the rankings against Iago Kiladze over eight rounds. The card itself is headlined by a 12 round welterweight contest between Victor Ortiz and John Molina Jr with the pair, who’s combined ages hit 66, looking for one final crack at the jackpot.
Truth be told, both gentleman look as though their best days are behind them but you suspect Ortiz will come into it the more confident with the ever brash 31 year old having held talks to fight Brandon Rios earlier in the year – Ortiz admits that he will be throwing fire from the very off, those are his intentions anyway, and the 12 rounds he shared with Devon Alexander, whilst not of any particularly notable quality, will stand him in good stead.
Photo Credit:PBC Twitter Account
Molina is in his second contest since a brutal, one-sided demolition loss to Terence Crawford – a fight that saw him knocked out in the eighth round – and that initial comeback fight, against Ivan Redkach, was far from impressive. A reckless fight, Molina was dropped before sending his counterpart to the canvas twice to claim a fourth round stoppage but that was a result that flattered to deceive.
These two know that, with all due respect, they are fairly inconsequential names in the welterweight division as it stands with no major draw for those at the top, if they are to get back into the mix where they are even being TALKED about in the same sentence as Amir Khan, Manny Pacuqiao and so on then they need to pull it out of the bag and send a statement come Sunday night.
Joe Joyce will be in his sixth paid contest and goes up against the ‘Georgian Grizzly Bear’ in Iago Kiladze. Once hailed as a prospect to watch in the cruiserweight division – some eight years back – Kiladze returned to the ring in 2017 as a heavyweight, following a two year absence, and since then has racked up wins against Byron Polley and Pedro Rodriguez before becoming the prey against Adam Kownacki and Michael Hunter.
Both those defeats came this year – January and June, respectively – and the odds are stacked firmly against him this time around. He’ll give it a go, though, he always does but this fight is more about getting Joyce the American exposure that Ringstar crave so desperately.
In a career filled with late replacements and disappointing opponents, this is the 2nd best foe that Joyce has looked to slay thus far and with a combined 13 rounds under his belt – an average 2.6 per contest – it wouldn’t do him harm to get some rounds under his belt.
Bring on that Putney-Mexican hybrid style of dancing after the fight because Joyce looks certain to win unless Kiladze can produce a colossal upset.
Also in the heavyweight division is Efe Ajagba who will be hoping to get more of a challenge than he did last time out – Curtis Harper, that’s all that needs to be said – and he shares the ring with, also unbeaten, Nick Jones over the course of scheduled six rounds.
Brandon The Heartbreaker Figueroa will look to continue his impressive development by adding Oscar Escandon to a CV already 16 names long – his last three fights have seen him emerge victorious thanks to a knockout and it seems that, as the 21 year old goes through the motions, he’s really growing into his man power and that’s not meant in a disrespectful way but his body is still filling out and if you look at the 3, 4lbs that he’s put – on the scales – over the past couple years then you start to understand where that extra power is coming from.
Escandon, vastly experienced, is looking to cause an upset and resurrect his career which is currently on a drastically downward spiral having lost three of his last four and the last two back to back – against Gary Russel Jr and Tugstsogt Nyambayar. Neither are opponents to sniff at, by no means, but you get the impression that Escandon is becoming a bit of a gatekeeper for these up and coming prospects to get a name on their resumé.
Two ageing sluggers, a James DeGale hoping to look as good as he did four years ago, 11 unbeaten prospects – Figueroa, Joyce, Davies, Ajagba, to name four – and a debutant. Sunday night on FOX Sports 1 delivers it all and it is set to be a stonker.
PBC Boxing on Showtime Results: Porter Edges Garcia in Thriller
By: Sean Crose
The Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York hosted the WBC welterweight title bout between Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia on Saturday before Showtime cameras. The belt, which was open due to mutli titlist Keith Thurman’s abdication, offered the opportunity for two of the biggest names in the perennially competitive welterweight division to prove who was the better man in the ring.
First on the Showtime card was a 10 round heavyweight contest between the undefeated 17-0 Adam Kownacki and former titlist Charles Martin, 25-1-1. The hard hitting Brooklyn native, by way of Poland, banged away at Martin early on in the first, with Martin offering little in the way of resistance. The second round showcased more of the same. Kownacki’s pace slowed bit in the third, but by the middle of the fourth, he had his man hurt. The bout essentially remained the same throughout the middle rounds. Martin simply didn’t look to be in the fight.
Photo Credit: Showtime TWitter Account
Stepping things up a but, Martin carried the seventh with activity. He also landed effectively in the eighth, taking his second round in a row. The ninth round was a very close affair, with both men throwing and landing hard. The fight had developed a neck and neck feel, but the early rounds might have cost Martin the fight. Regardless of outcome, the final round was absolutely explosive, with each man firing away and giving it his all. Kowacki ended up walking out of the ring with a UD victory.
Next up was a welterweight throwdown between Yordenis Ugas, 22-3, and the 34-3-2 Cesar Barrioneuevo in a scheduled 12 round elimination battle. The first was fast paced, but the discipline and sharp body work of Ugas told the tale. Barrioneuevo looked outclassed in the second and third as Ugas continued to work the body. The Cuban’s foundation and body work were showing him to be a level above his Argentine counterpart. As the fight headed into the middle rounds, it was essentially more of the same Ugas was simply proving to be the more skilled of the two fighters.
Photo Credit: Showtime Twitter Account
By the eighth, Ugas was ready to ended. The first half of the round saw the Cuban throw furiously at Barrioneuevo, though the game Barrioneuevo survived the onslaught. The fight more or less leveled out after that. Fans at the Barclays Center booed, but there was no denying the disciplined contender was carrying the fight away. Ugas simply dominated from beginning to end, but was not powerful enough to put his game opponent away (which may have had as much to do with Barrionuevo’s chin than it did Ugas’ blows). After the final bell, an obvious UD decision went Ugas’ way.
It was time for the main event. Garcia stepped into the ring with a record of 34-1, while Porter boasted a 28-2-1 resume. The first was a tight affair that Porter may have edged slightly. The second round was razor sharp, yet Garcia looked to perhaps have landed the sharper punches. Garcia landed a beautiful right early in the third, then landed a nice left a few seconds later. Garcia was also avoiding Porter’s right hook effectively. Porter came alive in the fourth, ripping into Garcia’s body. Garcia came back strong in the fifth, landing effectively to the body in his own right.
Photo Credit:Showtime Twitter Account
The sixth saw Porter upping the action. The Ohio native then began to really take it to his man in the seventh. Garcia was very game, though – and very dangerous. Garcia looked better in the eight and ninth, though Porter’s attack was fierce. The tenth was an all out war with each man throwing and landing hard. Things remained close in the eleventh, with Porter going strong to the body, but Garcia having moments of his own. Things ended close, though Garcia looked to have taken the twelfth with cleaner shots.
It was a close bout that could have went either way, but the judges ruled it for Porter with scores of 116-112, 115-113, and 115-113.