This Friday marks the end of an era for ESPN.
This Friday night, ESPN’s Friday Night Fights will come to an end after seventeen years on the air. The long-running weekly boxing series will come to a close with the highly anticipated finals of the “Boxcino 2015” Tournament. The tournament kicked off this past February. It is a single-elimination tournament made up of sixteen fighters in two weight classes—heavyweight and junior heavyweight. Friday night’s tournament and series finale will come live from the Omega Products Center in Corona, California at 10pm ET/7pm PT on ESPNs and ESPN Deportes. Those not near a television can also catch Friday night’s broadcast online via WatchESPN. Friday’s card is presented by Banner Promotions.
Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will be ringside for ESPN2. Studio host Todd Grisham will be on-site for the broadcast, too with all of the latest boxing news and information. Pablo Viruega and Delvin Rodriguez will have the call for ESPN Deportes. Leopoldo Gonzalez and Clauda Trejos will be live in studio for the network. Bernardo Osuna will have live interviews and reports for both networks. Along with the featured fights, Friday’s broadcast will also feature a special video essay looking back on the series run. Tessitore narrates the essay in which he discusses what the show has come to mean for boxing fans and what the brand has meant to the boxing community over the course of its seventeen years on the air.
Andrey Fetosov (27 – 3, 22 KOs) will take on Donovan Dennis (14 – 2, 11 KOs) in a ten-round fight in the final round of the Heavyweight Division of the Boxcino tournament. Fedosov took down Nate Heaven with a round one TKO in the tournament’s opening round. He took down Lenroy Thomas in only the third round of the pair’s semifinal bout. On the other side of the ring, Dennis opened the tournament with a fourth-round TKO victory over the previously undefeated Steve Vukosa. Dennis followed up that win with an incredible one-punch KO win over Razvan Cojanu in the tournament’s semi-finals.
Brandon “The Cannon” Adams (17 – 1, 12 KOs) will go 10 rounds against John “Apollo Kid” Thompson (16 – 1, 5 KOs) in the final round of the Junior Middleweight division. Adams was a finalist in the 2014 Boxcino tournament. He moved on to this week’s final round after defeating Vita Gasparayan in seven rounds in the tournament’s semifinals. He made his way to the semifinal round thanks to a fifth-round TKO win over Alex Perez in the quarterfinal round. Thompson opened his performance in this year’s tournament with a six-round unanimous decision win over Ricardo Pinell. He followed that up with an eight-round split decision win over Stanislav Skorokhod in the semifinals.
Boxing fans can score the fights themselves from the comfort of their homes thanks to the “Live Friday Night Fights Facebook Voting App. It can be obtained via the Friday Night Fights Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf. Fans can also get all of the latest news on this week’s matchups online via Twitter at http://twitter.com/ESPNFNF and http://twitter.com/espnboxing. FNF’s Spanish-speaking audiences can also get all of the latest news via Twitter at http://twitter.com/espnboxeo. Fans can also get all of the latest boxing news on ESPN’s newly re-designed boxing website http://espn.go.com/boxing.
While ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra is coming to an end this weekend, their end doesn’t mark the end of boxing programming on the worldwide leader in sports. Beginning Saturday, July 11th at 9pm ET, ESPN will debut is new boxing program Premiere Boxing Champions on ESPN. ESPN Deportes will carry all broadcasts of Premiere Boxing Champions on ESPN as part of its Noche de Combates series.
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