How the Mighty Have Fallen

By Robert Ecksel on June 19, 2017
How the Mighty Have Fallen
Teddy Atlas has had a somewhat contentious relationship with Pacquiao over the years.

One wonders how excited Top Rank really is that ESPN, which was not its first choice, is televising the fight…

The spin doctors are putting a positive gloss on the news that Manny Pacquiao’s July 1 fight at Suncorp Stadium in Australia against undefeated Jeff Horn will not be pay-per-view. Nor will be televised on HBO or Showtime. The “Battle of Brisbane” will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, which is good news insofar as not having to pay to watch a fight on TV is concerned, but it is something of a comedown for Manny, his promoter and fans, as there appears to be limited interest in the match.

Rather than list Manny’s “burgeoning list of Hall of Fame-caliber accomplishments,” with which we’re all familiar, let’s instead focus on the fight, which will be called by ESPN’s Teddy Atlas and Joe Tessitore, who will be joined by former Pacquiao conqueror and victim, guest analyst Timothy Bradley.

Atlas has had a somewhat contentious relationship with Pacquiao over the years. Whenever Manny and Mayweather were mentioned in the same breath, Teddy almost always sided with the latter. That may or may not have changed now that Floyd, in his latest and most blatant money grab, is fighting a UFC star instead of a boxer in his comeback fight. But we won’t know for sure until the telecast begins.

“The world has followed amazing Manny since he burst onto scene in his U.S. debut in 2001, where he knocked out Lehlo Ledwaba to win his second of a record eight division world titles,” said Bob Arum. “We are excited that ESPN will air this fight throughout the U.S. in both English and Spanish.  It’s going to be an unbelievable event.”

Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank, seconded that emotion.

“Manny Pacquiao has been one of the biggest global sports stars of his era,” he said, “setting attendance and pay-per-view records for over the past decade. Now, as he defends his world title in front of yet another anticipated record crowd, he will be doing it to his biggest U.S. television audience on the world’s biggest and most prestigious sports network, ESPN.

“To have ESPN, which has treated its viewers to NFL, College Football Playoff and NBA playoff games, add Manny’s title fight to its roster is the biggest compliment one can give to Manny’s star power and a great gift to sports fans.”

One wonders how excited Top Rank really is that ESPN, which was not its first choice, is televising the fight. The same however cannot be said of ESPN.

“Working with Top Rank on a match normally seen on pay-per-view is a significant moment for ESPN and for boxing fans,” said ESPN President John Skipper. “This fight, along with ESPN’s in-depth programming surrounding the fight, joins Wimbledon, Home Run Derby and the ESPYs in a stellar early July programming lineup.”

Comparing Pacquiao vs. Horn to Wimbledon, Home Run Derby and the ESPYs may add meaning to some, but to others it diminishes Manny’s “burgeoning list of Hall of Fame-caliber accomplishments” by needing to compare the fight to tennis, novelty baseball, and a sports-themed award show.

Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn will be televised live on Saturday, July 1, starting at 10:00 PM ET.

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  1. Koolz 12:41pm, 06/20/2017

    I have never seen Horn fight.  Damn I am going to be watching this! 

    Australia has huge passion for sports.  I am sure this is the biggest boxing event in their country.

  2. Ronin J 05:45pm, 06/19/2017

    Author needs clicks for his article and would write anything derogatory or sensational about any boxer with name recall. You have to remember: (1) Pacquiao is Asian and more popular there (2) the US is not the center of the world (3) Pacquiao has done most among active boxers in terms of entertaining fans and challenging himself (4) He has earned his right to the whatever shit he wants. Just stop the hate.

  3. Orlando Robbins 03:27pm, 06/19/2017

    This fight means only one thing; the US is beginning to lose the monopoly in boxing. Boxing is becoming global and it’s good news for all boxing fans around the world.

  4. John Autry 03:13pm, 06/19/2017

    @Art Ward. I agree with you 100% bro. Right on target!!!

  5. Art Ward 03:09pm, 06/19/2017

    Of course the Americans are not excited about this fight for Manny is fighting an Australian. It’s no brainer that the fight won’t sell in the US but a sellout in Australia. There are a lot of dumb writers around.

  6. ramon 02:48pm, 06/19/2017

    Manny should forget a rematch with floyd Jr. He will never win Floyd is protected same as Ward. Manny should unify the welterweight by doing this and winning it. It will be a redemtion his lost to Floyd and can argue that he lost to Floyd due to his injury. the best three fighters that Manny should fight are thurman, spence and canelo. and if he win those fight, his loss to floyd will be forgatten.

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