Showtime/PBC: Retiring Boxing Myths in 2018

By Caryn A. Tate on January 24, 2018
Showtime/PBC: Retiring Boxing Myths in 2018
“The best is fighting the best,” said Espinoza, “and you’re seeing that on Showtime.”

With this unprecedented event, Showtime and Premier Boxing Champions made it clear they’re taking aim at competitor HBO…

Showtime, along with Premier Boxing Champions, aim to retire many long-standing myths in boxing. As Showtime Sports’ newly promoted president, Stephen Espinoza, stated, “The best is fighting the best, and you’re seeing that on Showtime.”

On Wednesday, Showtime Sports with Premier Boxing Champions streamed a press conference live on YouTube to announce and present fighters from ten events that will take place in the first half of 2018. Included among those ten events are twelve world championship bouts.

With this unprecedented event, Showtime and Premier Boxing Champions made it clear they’re taking aim at competitor HBO and are making a big push in the year ahead. HBO has only announced three cards thus far in 2018, and their way of operating and marketing has largely been conventional—which, in this day and age, translates to quiet. Showtime, on the other hand, made a loud statement on Wednesday.

Stephen Espinoza opened up the event by showing a series of slides featuring stats from a variety of studies about boxing’s audience, which counters conventional wisdom about the sport and who watches it. The studies showed that the boxing audience is younger than is broadly believed, particularly when compared with other popular sports. They also show the boxing audience is more multi-cultural than many previously assumed.

Brett Yormark, CEO of Barclays Center in Brooklyn, also spoke at the event and confirmed the continuation of their partnership with PBC going forward. “We plan to host 6-8 major events this year, including the long-awaited match-up between Wilder and Ortiz on March 3. We’re also looking forward to hosting Keith Thurman’s return to the ring this May.”

On hand were many of the fighters who will compete in the announced events. Here is what some of them had to say:

Adrien Broner: “We gotta rematch Mikey. We got this fight right here [Figueroa]. I’m trying to give you your first loss too.”

Badou Jack: “I was in a contract but that wasn’t my choice [to fight Cleverly/relinquish his belt].”

Keith Thurman: “2018 is the get back year. I know there are a lot of contenders and champions gunning for my spot, but I’m going to be right here.”

Jermell Charlo: “I’m gonna get my body counts up and let my lions roar.”

Abner Mares: “All I’ve been thinking about is redemption. They think I’m going to fight the same way—they’re in for a surprise.

Leo Santa Cruz: “Fans can expect a fight like the first. Lots of action. My father and Mares are going to bring the best out of me.”

2018 Showtime Boxing Schedule:
February 17 (Las Vegas):
○ Garcia vs. Rios (WBC welterweight title eliminator)
○ Benavidez vs. Gavril II (WBC super middleweight world championship)

March 3 (Brooklyn):
○ Wilder vs. Ortiz (WBC heavyweight world championship)
○ Charlo vs. Centeno Jr. (WBC interim middleweight championship)

March 10 (San Antonio):
○ Garcia vs. Lipinets (IBF junior welterweight world championship)
○ Barthelemy vs. Relikh II (WBA super lightweight world championship)

April 7 (location TBD):
○ Lara vs. Hurd (multiple junior middleweight title unification)

April 21 (location TBD):
○ Broner vs. Figueroa (WBC super lightweight title eliminator)
○ Gervonta Davis vs. TBD

May 19 (Brooklyn):
○ Keith Thurman vs. TBD (WBA/WBC welterweight world championship)

May 19 (Canada):
○ Stevenson vs. Jack (WBC light heavyweight world championship)

June 9 (Los Angeles):
○ Santa Cruz vs. Mares II (WBA featherweight world championship)
○ Jermell Charlo vs. TBD (WBC super welterweight world championship)

June 16 (Dallas):
○ Errol Spence Jr. vs. TBD (IBF welterweight world championship)

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  1. Alfonso Bedoya 10:57am, 01/25/2018

    You can be sure of one thing….TBD means they just haven’t determined who these guys get to beat up next!

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