Smith, McCalla Headline Special Thursday Edition Of FNF

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will air a special edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra and Noche de Combates presentado por Corona Extra this week.

ESPN Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra and Noche de Combates presentado por Corona Extra will air a day early on Thursday, April 30th instead of Friday, May 1st. The special edition ESPN’s weekly boxing broadcast comes only days ahead of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao’s hugely anticipated match. Thursday night’s broadcast of ESPN Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra and Noche de Combates presentado por Corona Extra will be headlined by a 10-round junior middleweight bout between former world title holder Ishe “Sugar Shay” Smith (26 – 7, 12 KOs) and Cecil McCalla (20 – 1, 7 KOs). The fight will be broadcast live from the Pearl Theatre at the Palms Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fans will take special note that this week’s card is promoted by Mayweather Promotions. Smith looks to rebound this week after suffering a tough 12-round unanimous decision loss to defending junior middleweight titlist Erislandy Lara in his last match. “I’m training in Las Vegas for this fight, right at home at the Mayweather Gym,” Smith said. “I’ve been sparring with some pretty good guys…I don’t know much about McCalla. After being in the game as long as I have, you just treat everybody the same – you don’t take anybody lightly. You just make sure you’re prepared.” McCalla will also be hungry for a win coming into this week’s main event having taken a split-decision loss to Chrs Van Heerden in his last match. McCalla was focused on this week’s fight and confident about his chances against Smith in an interview saying, “Ishe is a rough fighter, but nothing I haven’t seen before. I’m ready for this fight.” He added, “I’m definitely looking forward to it. It’s a good fight for me. I’m really determined to get this win. I want to shine this fight.”

Ahead of Thursday night’s main event, veteran junior welterweight fighters Ashley”Treasure” Theopane” (37 – 6 – 1, 11 KOs) and Mahonri “”Rusito” Montes (29 – 4- 1, 20 KOs) will face off in a ten-round co-event. Theopane will have the home advantage in Thursday night’s fight, hailing from Las Vegas. He won his most recent match–a ten-round fight–with a unanimous decision over Hector Zuniga. Montes also comes into this week’s fight on the heels of a win in his most recent fight–an eight-round bout–that resulted in a unanimous decision over previously undefeated Diego Cruz.

Joe Tessitore will have the call for Thursday’s fight on ESPN2. He will be joined by his long-time broadcast co-host Teddy Atlas at ringside. Todd Grisham will be on hand as well for this weekend’s huge fight. Pablo Viruega will have the call from ringside for Noche de Combates on ESPN Deportes. He will be joined at ringside by Delvin Rodriguez. Leopoldo Gonzalez and Claudia Trejos will be on site with all of the latest updates and news on the night’s card and this weekend’s fight. They will be joined by Hall of Fame boxing referee and analyst Joe Cortez for additional insight. Bernardo Osuna will have live interviews and reports for the night’s broadcast both on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.

Fans not near a TV for Thursday night’s broadcast of ESPN Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra and Noche de Combates presentado por Corona Extra can also catch all the action online via WatchESPN. Fans can score the matches themselves right from the comfort of their home via the “Live Friday Night Fights Voting App.” It can be obtained online via the ESPN Friday Night Fights Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf. English-speaking and Spanish-speaking fans can also get all the latest FNF news via ESPN’s official website and via Twitter at

Website: http://espn.go.com/boxing

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ESPNFNF

http://twitter.com/ESPNBoxing

http://twitter.com/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 and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN’s FNF Kicks Off Its 18th Season With A Bang

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s Friday Night Fights and Noche de Combates returns next week with a whole new season of fights.

The eighteenth season of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra kicks off next Friday, January 9th live at 9pm ET live on ESPN2. Season Eighteen kicks off with a twelve round Lightweight showdown that will have World Title implications. WBA ranked #1 Lightweight Darley’s Perez ( 31 – 1, 20 KOs) will take on Jonathan Maicelo (21 – 1, 12 KOs) live at Chumash Resort and Casino in Santa Ynez, California. The winner of the fight will be next in line to face WBA World Champion Richar Abril.

Along with its massive main event, Friday night’s broadcast will also feature a ten round co-feature featuring up-and-coming welterweight contender Francisco Santana (21 – 3 – 1, 10 KOs). ESPN’s Spanish-speaking audiences will be able to catch both matches on ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates por Corona Extra at 10:30pm ET. It will also be carried online via ESPN’s broadband Spanish-language service ESPN Deportes+. Friday’s event is promoted by Gary Shaw productions. The remaining schedule of fights for January is listed below.

Date Time (ET) Main Event Location Networks
Fri, Jan 9 9 p.m. Darleys Pérez (31-1, 20 KOs)  vs. Jonathan Maicelo (21-1, 12 KOs) —12 rounds, for the WBA #1 Ranking at Lightweight Chumash Resort and Casino, Santa Ynez, Calif. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes+, WatchESPN
Fri, Jan 16 9 p.m. Willie Monroe Jr. (18-1, 6 KOs) vs. Brian Vera (23-8, 14 KOs) —  10 rounds, Middleweights; Petr Petrov (35-4-2, 7 KOs) vs. TBD – 10 rounds, Lightweights Turning Stone Resort and Casino, Verona N.Y. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes+, WatchESPN
Fri, Jan 30 9 p.m. Karl Dargan (17-0, 9 KOs) vs. Tony Luis (18-2, 7 KOs) —10 rounds, Lightweights Foxwoods Resort and Casino, Mashantucket, Conn. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes+, WatchESPN

 

 

Next week’s season premiere of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra and ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates por Corona Extra is just part of what boxing fans have to look forward to during these cold winter months. Fans will also see the return of the Boxcino Tournament next month. The single-elimination, two-weight class tournament kicks off Friday, February 3rd at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT. It will be broadcast on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes+ and WatchESPN. It will feature eight fighters in both the junior middleweight and heavyweight divisions and will be part of the Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra and Noche de Combates por Corona Extra 2015 broadcast schedule. The complete schedule for th e2015 Boxcino Tournament is listed below.

Date Time (ET) Main Event Location Networks
Fri, Feb  13 9 p.m. Boxcino 2015 Quarterfinals- Junior Middleweight Mohegan Sun, Uncasville,  Conn. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes+, WatchESPN
Fri, Feb 20 9 p.m. Boxcino 2015 Quarterfinals- Heavyweight Turning Stone Resort and Casino, Verona N.Y. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes+, WatchESPN
Fri, Apr 3 9 p.m. Boxcino 2015 Semifinals- Junior Middleweight TBD ESPN2, ESPN Deportes+, WatchESPN
Fri, Apr 10 9p.m. Boxcino 2015 Semifinals- Heavyweight Turning Stone Resort and Casino, Verona N.Y. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes+, WatchESPN
Fri, May 22 9 p.m. Boxcino 2015 Finals- Junior Middleweight and Heavyweight Turning Stone Resort and Casino, Verona N.Y. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN

As with last year’s season of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra and ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates por Corona Extra, fans can once again follow the matches and score them round-by-round themselves online thanks to ESPN’s “Live Friday Night Fights Facebook Voting App.” Fans can download the app online via the official Friday Night Fights Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf

Joe Tessitore will be back at ringside alongside analyst Teddy Atlas once again this season. The duo will be joined at ringside this week by Todd Grisham. When he is not at ringside with Tessitore and Atlas, Grisham will have all of the latest boxing news and highlights live from the ESPN Studios throughout the season. Delvin Rodriguez will have the call for ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes+. He will be joined ringside by Pablo Viruega. Leopoldo Gonzalez and Claudia Trejos will both return as co-hosts from the ESPN studios. Hall of fame ref Joe Cortez will make special appearances throughout the season with additional insight and analysis. Bernardo Osuna will also be back this season. He will have all of the latest reports and interviews for both ESPN and ESPN Deportes each week.

ESPN’s Spanish-Speaking viewers will get even more boxing coverage this season as ESPN Deportes’ will Golpe a Golpe returns, too. The weekly hour-long boxing news and analysis broadcast will be back every Saturday at 4pm. Juan Manuel Marquez and Jorge Eduardo Sanchez will share hosting duties. And on Monday’s Bernardo Osuna and David Faitelson will co-host A Los Golpes at 7:30pm. They will be joined by analyst Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.

More information on this season of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra and ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates por Corona Extra is available online now at:

Website: http://www.espn.com/boxing

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ESPNFNF

              http://twitter.com/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 and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Announces Information For Friday Night Fights Season Premiere

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona is returning for its seventeenth season.  The Worldwide Leader in Sports has announced that FNF will begin its new season on Friday, January 3rd live at 9pm ET on WatchESPN and ESPN Deportes+.  The show’s seventeenth season will kick off with a bang, too.  Season Seventeen will open with a twelve-round IBF title bout between Junior Lightweight titlist Argenis Mendez ( 21 – 2 – 1,  11 KOs) and undefeated Rances Barthelemy (19 – 0, 12 KOs).  Also slated for the season premiere of Friday Night Fights presented by Corona will be a ten-round co-feature featuring up-and-coming Middleweight contender Caleb Truax (23 – 1, 4 KOs).  As an additional note, ESPN Deportes will re-brand its broadcasts with the new name, Noche de Combates.  The newly re-branded broadcast was previously branded as Viernes de Combates.

The season opening bout, the first of the 2014 season’s twenty-six total fights, will be broadcast live from the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN.  It is co-promoted by former Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson and his promotional company, Iron Mike Productions.  Tyson also promoted the final bout of FNF’s 2013 season, which featured Argenis Mendez in the world title main event.

Brian Kweder, ESPN Senior Director of Programming and Acquisitions, expressed expectations for the 2014 season in a recent statement.  He also  noted changes being made for the upcoming season of FNF.  “We are eagerly anticipating the upcoming season of Friday Night Fights and Noche de Combates,” he said.  “We start the season just as we finished last season with a world title fight co-promoted by Mike Tyson’s Iron Mike Productions. The biggest change for 2014 is that we are assigning dates to promoters with as much advance notice as possible to allow for even better fights and bigger crowds.  We’ve partnered with a group of promoters who have always delivered in the past and are committed to upping the ante even further for 2014. Having a world title fight and names like Kendall Holt, Zsolt Erdei and Arash Usmanee early this season show that the strategy is already paying dividends.”

Long time FNF broadcast team Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will be back again for all of the ringside action each week.  Tessitore will call the matches and Atlas will have in-match analysis for every match broadcast on ESPN2.  Both men have been awarded the Sam Taub Award for Excellence in  Broadcast Journalism.  Teddy Atlas won the award in 2001 and Tessitore in 2010.  Studio host Todd Grisham will be back for his second full season on FNF.  He will fill in for Tessitore in ESPN2’s season opener and will have all of the latest boxing news and highlights.  Also back again will be Bernardo Osuna.  Osuna will contribute to broadcasts both on FNF and Noche de Combates. 

Pablo Viruega and Delvin Rodriguez will have the call for ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes+.  The will be joined live by studios hosts Leopoldo Gonzalez and Claudia Trejos.  As a new addition to the studio show for ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes+, Hall of Fame referee Joe Cortez will join Gonzalez and Trejos in studio throughout the season.  Osuna will contribute reports and interviews each week.  The latest slate of fights is available below.

 

Date Time (ET) Main Event Location Networks
Fri, Jan 3 9 p.m. Argenis Méndez (21-2-1, 11 KOs)  vs. Rances Barthelemy (19-0, 12 KOs) —12-rounds, IBF Junior Lightweight Title Target Center, Minneapolis, Minn. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes+, WatchESPN
Fri, Jan 10 9 p.m. Arash Usmanee (20-1-1, 10 KOs) vs. Juan Antonio Rodríguez (25-4, 23 KOs) — Junior Lightweights Emerald Queen Hotel & Casino, Tacoma Wash. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes+, WatchESPN
Fri, Jan 24 9 p.m. Javier Molina (14-1, 6 KOs) vs. Kendall Holt (28-6, 16 KOs) —10-rounds, Junior Welterweights Little Creek Casino, Shelton Wash. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes+, WatchESPN
Fri, Jan 31 9 p.m. Zsolt Erdei (33-1, 18 KOs) vs. Elvir Muriqi (40-5, 24 KOs) —10-rounds, Light Heavyweights Codey Arena, West Orange, N.J. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes+, WatchESPN

 

More information on the latest from FNF and Noche de Combates is available online at http://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf, http://twitter.com/ESPNBoxeo, and http://twitter.com/ESPNFNF.  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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.