Top Rank reveals announce team for Pacquiao-Vargas PPV
- Updated: September 26, 2016
After deciding to distribute the Manny Pacquiao vs Jessie Vargas pay-per-view by themselves and leaving the usual HBO crew out of the picture, Top Rank Promotions announced a new broadcast team.
Stephen A. Smith, Brian Kenny, Timothy Bradley and Charissa Thompson will be on the call for Pacquiao-Vargas, which takes place at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas on Nov. 5.
“We wanted to give the viewers a different perspective that informs and entertains and I think we have accomplished that with this fantastic team,” Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank, said. “It’s a great combination with Brian, one of television’s top TV announcers, color commentary from Stephen A. and Charissa ‘s balanced hosting style. The expert analysis from Tim will round this out perfectly as he is considered one of the best fighters in the world and has secured victories against both Pacquiao and Vargas. We will expand the reach of this event beyond the boxing fan to an audience that has watched Stephen A., Brian and Charissa as regular fixtures in covering other major sports.”
Smith shares a featured commentator role alongside Max Kellerman on ESPN2’s popular show, ‘First Take.’
“To say I’m incredibly excited would be an understatement,” Smith said. “Anyone who knows me knows I fell in love with boxing from the time I was three-years-old, when my Dad showed me Muhammad Ali beating Jerry Quarry in October 1970. Ever since that day, Boxing has been a passion of mine. But never — ever — in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d ever get a chance to actually call a fight. November 5 can’t get here soon enough.”
Kenny, currently a host on MLB Network, was a former host of ESPN2’s ‘Friday Night Fights.’
“I’m thrilled to once again call a Manny Pacquaio fight,” said Kenny. “Pacquaio remains one of the most exciting athletes in not just boxing, but in all of sports. After his win over Timothy Bradley, he is also still at the top of the incredibly competitive welterweight division. Jessie Vargas, coming off a tough win over the talented Sadam Ali, will present Pacquaio with a challenge that will test his world class talent.”
Thompson co-hosts ‘FOX NFL Kickoff’ on Fox Sports. Bradley (33-2-1, 13 KO) has shared the ring with both Pacquiao and Vargas. He brings an extensive knowledge of the sport and has worked Top Rank events in the past as a color commentator.
Top Rank’s Crystina Poncher will serve as the roving reporter for the telecast.
The Pacquiao vs. Vargas championship event will be produced and distributed live by Top Rank Pay-Per-View, beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT, and will be available on all conventional platforms, including all major cable and satellite systems, as well as Top Rank’s digital distribution via www.TopRank.tv and mobile devices.