NNS Back Under The Lights This Weekend At RIR

Courtesy:  NASCAR/ESPN/ESPN2/ABC

Courtesy: NASCAR/ESPN/ESPN2/ABC

The NASCAR Nationwide Series is back under the lights again this weekend.

The NASCAR Nationwide Series will hit the track Friday night at Richmond International for the Toyotacare 250. JR Motorsports driver Chase Elliot currently leads teammate Regan Smith by thirteen points. He will look to extend that lead when he and the rest of the field take the green flag at 7:14pm ET on ESPNNEWS. NASCAR Countdown opens the night’s broadcast at 6:30pm ET on ESPNNEWS.  ESPN2 will carry live qualifying for Friday night’s race at 3:30pm ET.

Nicole Briscoe will anchor Saturday evening’s broadcast of NASCAR Countdown. Allen Bestwick will have lap-by-lap coverage of the race. He will be joined by analysts Rusty Wallace and Andy Petree for all of the action.

More information on the ESPN family of networks’ coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series is available online at http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Title Fight Headlines April 19th Edition Of FNF

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

This week’s edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights is headlined by a title fight between Interim Featherweight Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna (21 – 0, 1 NC 15 KOs, The Ring No. 10) and challenger Miguel “Michael” Zamudio (24 – 1 – 1, 13 KOs) in a twelve round main event live from the Tropicana Resort and Casino in Atlantic City, NJ.  The match will air live at 10:30pm on ESPN2 HD and ESPN Deportes.  It will also be available online and through mobile media via WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app.  This is a slight change from the usual broadcast time of 9pm.  The re-broadcast will air this Saturday, April 20th at 2:30am on ESPNNEWS. 

Fortuna won the WBA Interim Featherweight title in December 2012 in a twelve round unanimous decision win over the previously undefeated Patrick Hyland.  ESPN.com boxing writer Dan Rafael wrote of Fortuna after the bout with Hyland, “Fortuna has looked sensational in some of his fights and has scored some tremendous knockouts, including in his previous two fights – a first-round blowout of fellow prospect Yuandale Evans and a second-round stoppage of former Featherweight titlist Cristobal Cruz. Fortuna burst to a big lead over the first half of this fight, but Hyland hung in there and tried to make it a brawl. Hyland, who had never faced a quality opponent, showed toughness and a good chin but little else as Fortuna boxed circles around him.”

Zamudio makes his U.S. debut in Friday’s fight.  His most recent fight resulted in an eight-round split decision win over Gilberto Bolanos.  He discussed this week’s fight in an interview, noting his respect for Fortuna but his desire to make a big impact in his U.S. debut.  “I like the way Fortuna fights,” Zamudio said.  “I respect him, but in the ring it will be totally different. This will be the first time that I’ve been to the United States. My dream is to be champion of the world, and I want to make my dream come true. I’m going to win this fight.”

Friday’s main event will be accompanied by a pair of pre-fight warm-up matches.  The first of the night’s events will pit a pair of undefeated Welterweights against each other.  Emmanuel Lartey (15 – 0, 8 KOs) will face Jhonathan Batista (13 – 0, 6 KOs) in a six-round fight.

The evening’s second fight on the card features Jr. Middleweight “Sir” Cerresso Fort (16 – 0 – 1, 11 KOs) facing off against 2008 Olympian John “The Rock” Jackson (15 – 1, 14 KOs) in an eight-round co-feature.  Both fighters come into Friday’s match looking to extend their respective winning streaks.  Cerresso comes into this week’s fight on the heels of an eight-round unanimous decision win over Dennis Sharpe.  Jackson’s most recent fight resulted in a first-round TKO win over Ramon Pena.

Joe Tessitore is off this week.  Bernardo Osuna will fill in for him, calling the action alongside Teddy Atlas.  The pair will be live, calling all the action for ESPN2 HD.  Todd Grisham, will be in studio with all of the latest boxing news and highlights.  Alex Pombo and Delvin Rodriguez will be back once again to call all the action live for ESPN Deportes along with all the latest boxing news and highlights from studio hosts Leopoldo Gonzalez and Pablo Viruega. 

Friday’s card is presented by Corona Extra and promoted by Sampson Boxing.

To keep up with the latest news from ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, fans can follow the show on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf and through the official ESPN website at http://www.espn.com/boxing.  All the latest boxing news is also available on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ESPNboxing.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

FNF Features Pair Of Heavyweights This Week

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

This week’s edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights features a pair of undefeated fighters.  In the evening’s main event, undefeated Lightweight Jonathan “Inca Peruano” Maicelo (16 – 0, 10 KOs) faces a tough challenge as he goes toe-to-toe with Rustam “The Mongoose” Nugaev (22 – 6, 12 KOs) in a 10-round matchup.  The bout will be aired live from the Chumash Resort Casino in Santa Ynez, California.  The fight will air at 9 EST/8 CT on ESPN2 HD, ESPN Deportes and online and via mobile internet on Watch ESPN and the WatchESPN app.  ESPNNEWS will re-air the fight this Sunday, April 6th at 5am.  ESPN Deportes will also re-air the fight.  It will have the re-broadcast at 6:30pm that same day.

This week’s fight marks Maicelo’s American television debut.  He comes into Friday’s fight fresh from a 2nd round TKO victory over Tyler Ziolowski.  The native Peruvian has already appeared in TV commercials in his home country, has his own clothing line, and can even boast his home nation’s president as one of his many fans.  Maicelo talked about his upcoming debut, expressing his desire to show boxing fans just what he is made of.  “Come April 5th, the people of the United States are going to see a technical boxer, a boxer with a lot of drive, a lot of hunger and a boxer they’re going to want to see again,” he said.  “I will not disappoint and I’ll give the fans what they want, which is action.”

On the other side of the ring, Maicelo’s opponent, Rustam Nugaev comes into Friday’s fight on the heels of an eight-round majority decision win over Shavkat Madaminov.

Before the main feature, audiences will be treated to a pre-fight show featuring another undefeated fighter, Jorge “Machito” Maysonet, Jr. (11 – 0, 10 KOs).  Maysonet will face off against Gabriel “The Ghost” Tolmajyan (12 – 2 – 1, 3 KOs).  Maysonet’s most recent match ended in a second round KO win over Pedro Salcedo.  Tolmajyan picked up a victory in his most recent match against Juan Sandoval.  Tolmajyan’s victory came in the form of a six-round unanimous decision.

Friday’s card is a special show as it features not two matches, but three.  This week, fans will be treated to a special four-round opening fight between Heavyweight bout between Avery Gibson (1 – 4 – 2 0 KOs) and John Sarellano.  The fight marks the professional debut for Sarellano. 

The whole Friday Night Fights crew—Teddy Atlas, Joe Tessitore, etc.—will be on hand for all the action, news and more.  To keep up with all the latest news from ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, fans can “Like” its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf, where they can also score the fights live themselves courtesy of the “Live Friday Night Fights” Facebook voting app.  Fans can also follow all the latest news and more from Friday Night Fights on Twitter at @ESPNFNF.  Spanish speaking audiences can also follow the show on Twitter at @ESPNBoxeo.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

NASCAR Now Returns This Friday

Courtesy:  NASCAR/ESPN/ESPN2, ESPNNews/Rick Hendrick Racing

Courtesy: NASCAR/ESPN/ESPN2, ESPNNews/Rick Hendrick Racing

ESPN2’s NASCAR Now returns this Friday.  The hit show will air its first new broadcast of the season live from the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina.  This year marks the show’s seventh season on ESPN2.  The broadcast will air at 3pm EST.  It will broadcast live from the NHOF as part of the sport’s celebration of the latest class of inductees into the NASCAR Hall.  Among this year’s class of inductees is former driver and NASCAR Now analyst Rusty Wallace.  Also included in this year’s class are:  Leonard Wood, Cotton Owens, Buck Baker, and Herb Thomas.

The broadcast will be anchored by Allen Bestwick.  He will be joined by analysts Dale Jarrett and Ray Evernham.  Both Wallace and Leonard Wood are expected to appear on the broadcast as special guests.  Regular broadcasts will resume Monday, February 11th.  For the first time, NASCAR Now will broadcast in West Coast prime time this year.  Viewers should check local listings for air times each day.  Also new for this season of NASCAR Now is the inclusion of special segments focusing on drivers Juan Montoya, Joey Logano and Nationwide Series driver Travis Pastrana.  Pastrana’s segments are expected to generally run during the show’s weekday editions while the segments featuring Logano and Montoya are expected to run on race-morning editions of NASCAR Now

The entire NASCAR Now staff will be back once again with some new additions this time around.  This season, ESPN SportsCenter anchors Lindsay Czarniak and Jonathan “The Coach” Coachman will also fill in occasionally.  The “NASCAR Nation” can tune in to ESPNNews on Valentine’s Day, for a very special three-hour edition of NASCAR Now beginning at 12pm EST.  The broadcast will be live as part of the Daytona 500 Media Day.  This broadcast and all NASCAR Now broadcasts are available both on TV and online on WatchESPN and on the WatchESPN app.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Wednesday Superbowl Live Coverage Announced

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s countdown to the Superbowl continues Wednesday with even more coverage live from New Orleans.  Mike and Mike start things off once again from 6-10am EST/5-9am CT.  The guys welcome a load of new guests on this pre-Superbowl hump day starting with former Dallas Cowboy/Fox analyst Daryl Johnston at 6:30/5:30 CT.  Rising star and Seahawks QB Russell Wilson will join the guys next at 8/7 CT.  Also joining the show live will be NFL Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz at 8:15/7:15 CT.  The show’s last hour and a half will see former Ravens coach and FOX analyst Brian Billick, ESPN analysts Cris Carter and Mark Schlereth and former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum.  Audiences that can’t be there in person can tune in live on their local ESPN Radio affiliate and on TV on ESPN2.

Hannah Storm takes over at 9/8 CT on SportsCenter.  She’ll be joined by analysts Ron Jaworski, Merril Hoge, and Jerry Rice.  Guests scheduled for the show Wednesday include:  retired Cowboys Fullback Daryl Johnston, Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri, and the Saints’ very own Drew Breese.  That’s all from 9/8 CT – 3/2 CT on ESPN.

Colin Cowherd will take audiences into the afternoon hours on The Herd with Colin Cowherd.  Colin will be on the air from 10am/9am CT – 1pm/12pm CT.  Drew Breese will be making his way to Colin’s show for those that missed him on SportsCenter as will Colts Kicker Adam Vinatieri.  Also joining the lineup will be ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer.  Fans can check it all out on their local ESPN Radio affiliate and onTV on ESPNU.

The next three hours will be taken over by SVP and Rusillo.  Scott and Ryen welcome Steelers Defensive End Brett Keisel, Ron Jaworski, Jacksonville Jaguars Running Back Maurice Jones-Drew, and Giants Offensive Linesman David Diehl.  Fans can catch all the action live from 1/12 CT – 4/3 CT on ESPN Radio affiliates across the nation and on TV on ESPNNEWS.  It’s just one option that fans have in the early hours of the afternoon.  Fans can also tune in to ESPN from 3/2 CT – 4/3 CT for a SportsCenter special presented by Little Caesars pizza hosted by Mike Tirico.  Mike will be joined by analysts Trent Dilfer, Herm Edwards and Tom Jackson.

Next up as the afternoon passes is NFL Live from 4/3 CT – 5/4 CT on ESPN.  Host Trey Wingo will be joined by analysts Ron Jaworski and Mark Shclereth as the trio talks up Sunday’s big game.  Also from 4/3 CT – 5/4 CT is SportsNation on ESPN2.  Hosts Charissa Thompson and Marcellus Wiley welcome guests Greg McElroy (NY Jets QB) and NY Giants Tight End David Diehl.  Analyst Herm Edwards will also join the days’ lineup.

As the sun starts to set for the day, the action doesn’t let up on the ESPN family of networks.  Hosts Suzy Kolber and Chris Mortensen will be joined by analysts Trent Dilfer and Tom Jackson on ESPN2 on NFL 32 from 5/4 CT – 6/5 CT.  That is followed by another edition of SportsCenter from 6/5 CT – 7/6 CT on ESPN.  Hispanic audiences will also get a dose of football week frenzy with an NFL Semanal Special from 8/7 CT – 9/8 CT on ESPN Dos.  It will also air at 9:30/8:30 CT and 12am/11pm CT on Latin North.

Rounding out the day’s coverage is one more edition of SportsCenter on ESPN from 9/8 CT – 12am/11pm CT.  Host Stuart Scott will be joined by analysts Cris Carter and Tedy Bruschi.

It all starts again Thursday morning with another new edition of Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio and on TV on ESPN.  Fans are encouraged to come and join ESPN’s hosts as each show will be open for public viewing.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.