Premier Boxing Champions coming to CBS
- Updated: February 17, 2015
Al Haymon has been making some big moves in relation to getting boxing on primetime both on basic cable and on network TV. Within the past two weeks, Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions series has been announced to be coming to both NBC and Spike TV, and today, Showtime has announced a deal in place to bring the series to CBS.
The deal is a multi-year joint venture between CBS and Showtime, which will see up to eight live events on CBS in 2015, beginning with an April 4 afternoon (3 p.m. ET) show.
According to Showtime, there will be cross-platform promotion on CBS, Showtime and CBS Sports Network, so fans can expect a big marketing push for boxing on all three networks.
“The Premier Boxing Champions series on CBS will help usher in a new era in the storied history of boxing,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Showtime Sports. “With the support of our parent company, we are uniquely positioned for a three-tiered approach that includes live boxing broadcasts on America’s No. 1 network, the cable reach of CBS Sports Network and, of course, the premium television leader in boxing, Showtime. The benefit of elevating the sport across these platforms for all involved, including Showtime, is immeasurable.”
First up on the schedule will be a March 28 card that sees Jhonny Gonzalez defend his WBC featherweight title against Gary Russell Jr., while Jermell Charlo takes on Vanes Martirosyan.
The CBS debut of Premier Boxing Champions on April 4 will include the WBC light heavyweight title defense of Adonis Stevenson against Sakio Bika. In the co-feature, undefeated light heavyweight Artur Beterbiev will face former titlist Gabriel Campillo.
Then on April 18, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. takes on Andrzej Fonfara, of course barring any issues with Top Rank, whom he is in a contractual battle with.
CBS will then air a May 9 card that will see Omar Figueroa take on Ricky Burns in a super lightweight clash.
Additional dates will be announced later for PBC cards, which are expected to take place in June, July and September, along with three other events throughout the year. Outside of the premiere, all PBC cards will air live at 4:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. PT.
Aside from a one-off live event featuring Leo Santa Cruz in 2012, CBS has not actively aired boxing since Bernard Hopkins knocked out Glen Johnson in 1997.