Thurman and Broner kick things off for PBC

Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions organisation kicks off in style on Saturday, with a quality double-header featuring a world-class welterweight battle and also the return of the most controversial star in the sport.  More importantly, it sees big-time boxing back on terrestrial television in the U.S., as it features on NBC TV and is the first in a series of shows to be aired on the network during 2015.  The line-up for the first card is excellent and should get the series off to a flying start.  It all takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, which will be the venue for the upcoming superfight between Mayweather and Pacquiao.

Frampton goes terrestrial

At last, after many years in the wilderness, boxing is making a comeback to one of the two mainstream television channels in the UK.  ITV is dipping its toes back into the boxing water by showcasing Belfast’s Carl Frampton this Saturday night on its main channel.  Frampton is in action against American Chris Avalos and is defending his IBF super-bantamweight belt in the process.  Although Channel 5 has been showing boxing fairly regularly over the past couple of years, that channel is still considered subservient to the traditional main channels, BBC1 and ITV.  It is a crucial weekend then for our sport in Britain and who better to represent us than the brilliant Ulsterman Frampton.  The show takes place at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast and, as is always the case, the place will be jumping!

If Chris Avalos has his way, this will be a “one and done” return to the mainstream for us, as a win for the visitor will surely curtail further involvement from ITV.  He is certainly a live challenger for Frampton, who will have to be on his game in order to successfully defend his title.  Luckily for us, Frampton is always on his game.  With the ever popular Barry McGuigan running his camp and Barry’s son Shane in his corner, what could possibly go wrong?  Hang on, this is boxing, let us not count those chickens too soon.

About Boxing: Deontay Wilder, Willie Monroe Jr. and Amir Imam

So boxing got the result that almost all non-affiliates in the sport wanted, a Deontay Wilder victory on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  Not only that, the watching public got to see several questions answered as Wilder boxed like an accomplished veteran to easily defeat the overmatched Stiverne.  The fact that Wilder won a wide points decision actually proved more than had he blasted Stiverne out inside the first four rounds, as most of us expected him to.  He showed good stamina, patience and plenty of ring smarts in outboxing his plodding foe.  Some credit must go to Stiverne for forcing Wilder to display those qualities where none of his previous opponents had been able to.

Boxcino champions return to the ring

The second show of the new Friday Night Fights season on ESPN this week features the return of last year’s Boxcino tournament winners, Willie Monroe Jr at middleweight and Russian Petr Petrov at lightweight.  On last week’s show we were treated to a top class performance by Colombian Darleys Perez, who firmly established himself amongst the top lightweights in the world with his victory over Jonathan Maicelo.  This week sees an opportunity for the winners of the two main fights on the card to also stake their claim to be considered world class.  This Friday’s show is promoted by Artie Pelullo’s Banner Promotions and takes place at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in New York state.

Both of the two successful tournament winners from last year have major tests in front of them, in fact it is not inconceivable that both could be defeated.  This really is a fine start to ESPN’s series and let us hope that this standard is retained throughout the season.

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