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 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.

FNF Makes History This Week

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

U.S. Cellular Field, home to the Chicago White Sox, will host its first professional boxing match in over fifty years this weekend.  The last time that the venue played host to a match was on September 25th, 1962 when Charles “Sonny” Liston knocked out Olympic Gold Medal boxer Floyd Patterson in the first round to take Patterson’s title.  The victory earned Liston the world heavyweight championship.  This weekend, boxing fans will see another huge card as there will be not one, not two, but three matches in a special three-hour edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights

This week’s edition of Friday Night Fights will be broadcast live at 9pm ET on ESPN2, WatchESPN and broadband Spanish-language ESPN Deportes+.  ESPN Deportes will join programming in progress Friday night at 10:30pm ET.  Friday’s card is anchored by two main event fights.  The first of the night’s main events is a twelve-round matchup between former Light Heavyweight titlist Gabriel “Chico Guapo” Campillo (22 – 5 – 1, 8 KOs) and Andrzej “The Polish Prince” Fanfara (23 – 2, 13 KOs).  Campillo comes into Friday’s fight having won his most recent fight with a fourth-round TKO over Ionut Illie.  Fonfara, a Chicago native, came out on top in his last match having scored a seventh-round TKO over Tommy Karpency.  And before that match, Fanfara added another notch to his “W” column in taking a ten-round unanimous decision over former Light Heavyweight titlist Glen Johnson.

Fanfara was unflinching in his mental preparation for his match against Campillo.  “I’m prepared for this fight,” he said.  “I want to win this fight and show people I’ll be the next world champion.”

Fanfara and Campillo’s matchup is just one half of Friday’s double main event.  The second of the night’s main event fights features a rematch between undefeated Heavyweight Arthur “The Pin” Szpilka (15 – 0, 11 KOs) and Mike Mollo (20 – 4 – 1, 12 KOs).  Szpilka is said to be a fan favorite among Chicago’s Polish community.  He comes into Friday’s fight looking to keep his winning ways going after taking a ten-round unanimous decision over Brian Minto in his most recent fight.  Mollo’s first match against Szpilka didn’t go so well for him [Mollo].  It ended in a sixth-round KO loss to Szpilka.  Fans can get caught up on that match as Friday’s show will open with a recap of that first meeting between the two men. 

In between Friday’s dual main event, fans will be treated to an eight-round fight between Jr. Welterweight Marc “The Rising Shark” Salser (15 – 0,  9 KOs) and Adrian “El Tigre” Granados (9 – 1 – 2, 5 KOs).

The commentary team of Teddy Atlas and Joe Tessitore will be ringside calling all the action for ESPN2 and WatchESPN.  They will be joined by Todd Grisham at the ESPN Studios.  Grisham will have all of the latest boxing news and updates, as he does each week.  Alejandro Palumbo will fill in once again for Delvin Rodriguez.  Palumbo will join Pablo Viruega ringside to call all of the action for ESPN Deportes+ and ESPN Deportes.  The pair will be joined in studio by Leopoldo Gonzalez and Claudia Trejos.  Bernardo Osuna will have live interviews and reports for both English and Spanish speaking audiences.

Friday night’s fight is presented by Corona Extra.  Next up for ESPN’s Friday Night Fights is a twelve-round Jr. Lightweight bout next Friday between Argenis Mendez (21 – 2, 11 KOs) and Arash Usmanee (20 – 1, 10 KOs)  Next week’s fight will be broadcast live from Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY.  It will be broadcast live on ESPN2, WatchESPN, and ESPNDeportes+. 

Fans can keep up with all of the latest Friday Night Fights news on the official FNF Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf.  When fans “Like” the FNF Facebook page, they can also download the Live Friday Night Fights Facebook voting app.  The app allows viewers to score the fights themselves round-by-round from the comfort of their own homes.  Audiences can also keep up with all of the latest Friday Night Fights news on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ESPNFNF and 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.

Lightweights Lead Second FNF Broadcast Of August

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Tonight’s edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights leads off with a Lightweight division fight.  Lightweights Rustam “The Mongoose” Nugaev (24 – 6, 14 KOs) will take on Jose “EL Loco” Hernandez (14 – 6 – 1, 6 KOs) in the night’s main event.  The pair will face off in a ten-round bout live from the Morongo Casino Resort in Cabazon, California at 10pm ET.  Tonight’s fight will be broadcast live on cable on ESPN2 and online via WatchESPN and broadband Spanish-language ESPN Deportes+.  ESPN Deportes will carry the fight on TV via tape delay Saturday night at 6pm.

Nugaev, a California native, comes into tonight’s fight on the heels of a fourth-round KO win over Daniel Attah.  The fight preceding his match against Attah ended in an eighth-round KO over previously undefeated Jonathan Maicelo.  ESPN.com boxing writer Dan Rafael wrote of the fight, “Nugaev wound up scoring a highlight-reel upset knockout over Maicelo. Nugaev and Maicelo fought a good, competitive, toe-to-toe slugfest that came to an abrupt end when Nugaev caught Maicelo with a clean and powerful right hand that dropped him face-first before he rolled over on his back.”

Hernandez is also looking to improve his “W” column.  He comes into tonight’s fight after having taking down previously undefeated Tony Luis in an eighth-round TKO.  Despite this win under his belt, Hernandez’s trainer, Richard Best, was not about to take tonight’s fight lightly.  “The first thing that comes to mind with this guy we’re fighting (Nugaev) is that he’s tough,” Best said.  “You can see in his fights that he tries to wear his opponents down with pressure. He’s a tall guy, and comes in forward. He’s not too technical, but we are not underestimating him.”

Before the bell rings for the main event, audiences will also get to see undefeated Junior Lightweight Jose “The Sniper” Pedraza (13 – 0, 9 KOs) face off against Gabriel “The Ghost” Tolmajyan (13 -2 – 1, 3 KOs).   Pedraza won his most recent fight with a seventh-round TKO over Sergio Villenueva.  Tolmajyan also comes into tonight’s fight with a win in his most recent fight.  He defeated previously undefeated Jorge Maysonet, Jr. in an eight-round unanimous decision.

The team of Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will be ringside to call all of the action tonight, while Todd Grisham will be in studio with all of the latest boxing news and highlights for ESPN2.  Alejandro Pombo fills in tonight for Delvin Rodriguez.  He will have the call tonight for ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes+ alongside Pablo Viruega.  Leopoldo Gonzalez and Claudia Trejos will be in studio. Bernardo Osuna will have live interviews and reports.  Fans can keep up with all of the latest Friday Night Fights news online via Twitter and Facebook at http://twitter.com/ESPNFNF and http://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf.  While at the Friday Night Fights Facebook page, audiences can get the Live Friday Night Fights Facebook Voting app.  The app lets viewers score the fights themselves round-by-round, from the comfort of their own homes.  Spanish speaking audiences can keep up with FNF on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ESPNBoxeo.

Tonight’s card is sponsored by Corona Extra and promoted by Gary Shaw Productions.  The most current Friday Night Fights schedule is available below.

Upcoming Schedule:

 

Date Time (ET) Main Event Location   Networks
Fri., Aug 16 9 p.m. Andrzej Fonfara (23-2, 13 KOs)  vs. Gabriel Campillo (22-5-1, 9 KOs)—12 rounds, Light Heavyweights U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago ESPN2, ESPN Deportes+, WatchESPN
Fri., Aug 23 9 p.m. Argenis Méndez (21-2, 11 KOs) vs. Arash Usmanee (20-1, 10 KOs)—12 rounds, Jr. Lightweights  Turning Stone Casino, Verona, N.Y. ESPN2,  ESPN Deportes+, WatchESPN

 

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.

Burgos, Amidu Lead FNF July 26th

 

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s Friday Night Fights is back again this week with another big card.  This week’s show is headlined by a bout between former Junior Lightweight and Featherweight title challenger Juan Carlos “Mini” Burgos (30 – 1 – 1, 20 KOs, ESPN.com ranked #4 Junior Lightweight) and Yakubu “The Black Mamba” Amidu (18 – 4 – 1, 16 KOs).  The twelve-round fight comes to viewers live from the Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln, California.  It will be broadcast live at 9pm EST on ESPN2, WatchESPN, and broadband Spanish-Language ESPNDeportes+.  ESPN Deportes will carry Friday’s show Saturday, July 27th at 9pm EST.

 

Burgos, a native of Mexico, comes into this week’s main event on the heels of a twelve-round fight against Roman Martinez that ended in a draw.  The fight was a Junior Lightweight title fight.  ESPN.com boxing writer Dan Rafael wrote of the bout, “Making his first defense, Martinez escaped with his belt on another highly debatable decision. Almost all of press row, as well as the Twitterverse and HBO’s Harold Lederman, had Burgos winning the fight. He hammered Martinez with hard body punches throughout the bout. According to CompuBox, Burgos landed more punches in 10 out of the 12 rounds. Burgos just seemed more in control, stronger and better able to do what he wanted to do. Martinez seemed to have a hard time dealing with his height and reach.”

 

Amidu also comes into this week’s main event looking to get back in the “Win” column after suffering a split-decision loss in his last fight, a ten-round bout against Haskell Rhodes.  Amidu’s co-manager and trainer, Baba Sumaila, discussed expectations for this week’s fight in a recent interview, expressing his confidence in his fighter in his comments.  “I’ve been working with Yakubu since he came to the United States,” he said.  “I managed his brother, Abdullai. So when Yakubu came here, I started working with him. Yakubu is always training. When we have a fight, he increases the tempo to make him more ready for the fight. We know our opponent is very good, but we’re ready for that. We are ready.”

 

Friday’s main event will be accompanied by a ten-round co-feature between Lightweights Miguel “Silky Smooth” Gonzalez (21 – 3, 15 KOs) and Josenilson “Jo” Dos Santos (24 – 1, 14 KOs).  Both fighters look to keep their “Win” column growing, coming into this week’s bout.  Gonzalez’s most recent fight ended in a unanimous decision win for him in ten rounds over former Lightweight titlist Miguel Acosta.  Dos Santos’ most recent match ended in a unanimous decision for him in a twelve-round fight against Carlos Rodriguez.

 

Teddy Atlas and Joe Tessitore will be on hand this week ringside to call all the action for ESPN2, while Todd Grisham will be in studio with all of the latest boxing news and highlights.  Delvin Rodriguez, and Pablo Viruega will have the call for ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes+.  Leopoldo Gonzalez and Claudia Trejos will be in studio and Bernardo Osuna will have live interviews and reports for ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes+. 

 

Fans of Friday Night Fights don’t have to be in attendance to be part of each week’s fight.  Fans can get the LiveFriday Night Fights app on the FNF Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf.  The app allows viewers to score the fights round-by-round from the comfort of their own home.  And while they score the fights, fans can stay up with all of the latest FNF news and more on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ESPNFNF and http://twitter.com/ESPNBoxeo

 

The latest Friday Night Fights schedule is listed below.

 

Upcoming Schedule:

 

Date Time (ET) Main Event Location   Networks
Fri., Aug 2 9 p.m. Javier Fortuna (22-0, 16 KOs) vs. Luis Franco (11-1, 7 KOs)—10 rounds, Featherweights  Buffalo Run Casino, Miami, Okla.  ESPN2, ESPN Deportes,  WatchESPN
Fri., Aug 9 10 p.m. Rustam Nugaev (24-6-1, 14 KOs) vs. José Hernández (14-6-1, 6 KOs)—10 rounds, Lightweights  Morongo Casino, Cabazon, Calif.  ESPN2, ESPN ESPN Deportes+ , WatchESPN
Fri., Aug 16 9 p.m. Andrzej Fonfara (23-2, 13 KOs)  vs. Gabriel Campillo (22-5-1, 9 KOs)—12 rounds, Light Heavyweights U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago ESPN2, ESPN ESPN Deportes+ , WatchESPN
Fri., Aug 23 TBD Argenis Méndez (21-2, 11 KOs) vs. Arash Usmanee (20-1, 10 KOs)—12 rounds, Jr. Lightweights  Turning Stone Casino, Verona N.Y. ESPN2, ESPN ESPN Deportes+ , WatchESPN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Alvarez, Green Headline FNF This Week Live From Hartford, CT

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

This weeks’ edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights is another big one.  This week’s show is headlined by a matchup of undefeated Light Heavyweight fighter Eleider “Storm” Alvarez (12 – 0, 8 KOs) and former Super Middleweight title contender “Sweetness” Allan Green (32 – 4, 22 KOs).  The pair will face off in a ten-round main event broadcast live from the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut.  The fight will be broadcast live at 9am EST on ESPN2 HD, ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN.

Alvarez, a Colombian 2008 Olympian, last fought in the ring on March 22nd, 2013.  He faced Nicholson Poulard and defeated him with a TKO in the third round.  Green’s last fight, a seventh-round TKO over Renan St. Juste, was on November 3rd, 2012.  Alvarez’s trainer, Marc Ramsay, talked to reporters about this week’s fight.  During his interview, he expressed his confidence in Alvarez.  “I’m pretty sure Alvarez hasn’t fought a guy like Allan,” he said.  “But this kid (Alvarez), he’s not an Olympian for nothing. He’s very strong. He has a great 1-2 and is kind of sneaky with the right hand.  Allan can’t stand in front of him. He’s got to do a lot of head movement, a lot of boxing.  If Allan does what he’s supposed to do and listens, we’ll win the fight.”

Before the main event, audiences will be treated to a ten-round co-feature pitting former Featherweight titlist Billy “The Kid” Dib (35 – 2, 21 KOs, The Ring magazine No. 7 ranked boxer) against Mike “Machine Gun” Oliver(25 – 3, 8 KOs).  Dib is hungry to get back in the win column, having lost to Evgeny Gradovich on March 1st, 2013.  Dib lost that match in a twelve-round split decision loss for Dib.  Oliver too, is looking to get back in the win column, coming into this week’s matchup.  His last major match was nearly two years ago against former Junior Featherweight and Featherweight titlist Juan Manuel Lopez.  That match, fought October 1st, 2011 ended in a second-round knockout loss against Lopez.

Joe Tessitore will be back ringside this week after a much needed vacation last week.  He will be joined by his broadcast co-host, Teddy Atlas.  Todd Grisham, who filled in for Tessitore last week, will be back in studio this week with all of the latest boxing news and highlights.  Robert Sierra will be filling in for Delvin Rodrigue on ESPNDeportes this week.  He will be joined ringside by Pablo Viruega.  Leopoldo Gonzales and Claudia Trejos will both be in studio with all the latest boxing news and highlights for ESPNDeportes.  Bernardo Osuna will be on hand for both networks with live interviews and reports.

Fans of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights can keep up with all of the latest from FNF on the official FNF Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf.  While there, fans can get the ESPN Live Friday Night Fights Voting app.  The app will let viewers score the fights themselves round by round from the comfort of their own homes.  Fans can also keep up with all of the latest FNF news on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ESPNFNF and 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.

No. 1 Contender Match Tops Tonight’s Edition Of FNF

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s Friday Night Fights returns with another big show tonight.  Tonight’s show features a big match for its headliner.  Undefeated Junior Lightweight Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy (18 – 0, 11 KOs) will take on Fahsai Sakkreerin (39 -3 – 1, 21 KOs) in a bout that will put the winner in the number one ranking and in turn will give the winner the opportunity at a world title shot.  The fight will be broadcast live tonight from the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, MN.  It will air live at 10pm EST on ESPN2 HD and ESPN Deportes.  It can also be viewed online on WatchESPN. 

Tonight’s match is a big one especially for Barthelemy, the brother of 2004 Olympic gold medalist Yan Barthelemy. Barthelemy comes into the fight on the heels of what is the biggest match of his career.  He defeated the now previously undefeated Arash Usmanee in a twelve-round fight this past January in a unanimous decision win.  Jon David Jackson, Barthemely’s trainer, was very confident about his fighter’s abilities tonight in a recent interview.  “He’s (Barthelemy) a good boxer and a good puncher,” Jackson said.  “I’ve seen video of his opponent (Sakkreerin). Let’s see what he can do when Rances is putting pressure on him. Then we’ll see what he’s made of. The wraps are off – I think Rances is going to surprise a lot of people in this fight. Rances should be champion.”

Sakkreerin was just as confident about tonight’s fight when asked about facing Barthelemy.  “I am proud to be a Karen boxer,” he said.  “Karen is a hill-tribe peoples from north of Thailand. I want people to see a Karen boxer become the first world champion.”

As with previous FNF Fights cards, tonight’s match will be preceded by a ten-round co-feature.  Tonight’s co-feature is a Middleweight showcase.  Middleweights Don “Da Bomb” George (24 – 3 – 2, 21 KOs) will face off against Caleb “Golden” Truax (21 – 1 – 1, 12 KOs).  Truax looks to extend his win streak tonight.  His last match was a ten-round unanimous decision win over Matt Vanda.  George on the other hand, will look to get back into the “W” column tonight.  His most recent match was a ten-round fight with David Lopez.  That fight ended in a draw.

Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will be on hand ringside to call all the action tonight. They will be joined by Todd Grisham in studio with all the latest boxing news and highlights.  Pablo Viruega and Delvin Rodriguez will have the call for ESPN Deportes.  They will be joined by studio hosts Leopoldo Gonzales and Claudia Trejos.  Bernardo Osuna will also be on hand live interview and reports for ESPN2 HD and ESPN Deportes.

Date Time (ET) Main Event Location   Networks
Fri., June 28 9 p.m. Grzegorz Proska (29-2, 21 KOs) vs. Sergio Mora (23-3-2, 7 KOs)—10-rounds, Middleweight Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Fla. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes WatchESPN
Fri., July 5 9 p.m. Allen Green (32-4, 22 KOs) vs. Eleider Alvarez (12-0, 8 KOs)—10-rounds, Light Heavyweight Hartford Convention Center, Hartford, Conn. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes WatchESPN
Fri., July 12 10 p.m. Drian Francisco (24-1-1, 19 KOs) vs. Chris Avalos (21-2, 16 KOs)—10-rounds, Super Bantamweight Texas Station Casino, Las Vegas, Nev. ESPN2, ESPN Deportes WatchESPN

ESPN’s Friday Night Fights is presented each week by Corona Extra.  Tonight’s card is promoted by Warriors Boxing.  The latest slate of upcoming fights is available below.

Upcoming Schedule:

 

 

Friday Night Fights fans can keep up with all of the latest upcoming matches and even score them at home thanks to the Live Friday Night Fights Facebook Voting app on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf.  This includes tonight’s match and every match to come.  Fans can also keep up with all of the latest Friday Night Fights news on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ESPNFNF and 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.

Former Title Contenders Headline FNF This Week

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

This week’s edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights will be headlined by a pair of former title contenders facing off against each other.  Former Junior Middleweight and Welterweight title challenger Delvin Rodriguez (27 – 6 – 3, 15 KOs) will face off against former Welterweight title challenger Freddy “El Riel” Hernandez (30 – 4, 1 ND, 20 KOs) in the 10-round Junior Middleweight main event.  The main event fight will air live from the Mohegan Sun arena in Uncasville, CT at 10pm ET.  It will air on ESPN2 HD, ESPN Deportes, and WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app. 

Rodriguez, a CT native, will be the hometown favorite.  If his name rings a bell, it should.  Rodriguez also serves as a boxing analyst for ESPN Deportes.  Friday’s fight will be his sixteenth appearance in the ring on Friday Night Fights.  His record speaks for itself.  His 2011 fight against Pawel Wolak was named the year’s “Fight of the Year” by the Boxing Writers Association of America.”  A later ten-round unanimous decision win over Wolak gave Rodriguez a shot at defending titlist Austin Trout.  The ten-round fight was broadcast live on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.  It ended in a draw.  He claimed a win in his most recent fight this past February.  He defeated George Tahdooahnippah with a sixth-round TKO.  He also has wins against Mike Arnaoutis, Shamone Alvarez, and Oscar Diaz.

Rodriguez’s opponent, Freddy “El Riel” Hernandez, comes into tomorrow’s fight with quite the record, too.  Hernandez challenged former titlist Andre Berto for his WBC Welterweight title in 2010.  He holds wins over former world titlists Luis Callazo (W10) Mike Anchondo (WTKO4), and DeMarcus Corley (KO5).  He comes into tomorrow’s fight looking to rebound after losing his most recent match this past January to 2008 Olympian Demetrius Andrade.  Hernandez lost the fight in a ten-round unanimous decision.

Hernandez’s advisor Nigel Burns commented on what Hernandez needs in order to add another notch to his “W” column.  “He (Hernandez) needs to get a ‘W’ now to get some more opportunities, and he’s fighting a guy who’s going to give him that opportunity,”, he said.  “That’s not a knock on Rodriguez, but Rodriguez is more of a fighter than a boxer. I think it should be a good fight. Rodriguez is a good fighter and has fought some good people, and I expect him to actually stand in the pocket and trade with us.”

Friday’s main event will be preceded by a ten-round co-feature pitting the undefeated Junior Welterweight Issouf “Volcano” Kinda (16 – 0, 6 KOs)  against Chris “Hurricane” Howard ( 15 – 2 – 1, 7 KOs)  Kinda comes into tomorrow’s bout fresh on the heels of a second-round KO win over Javier Loya in his most recent fight.  Howard comes into tomorrow’s fight after taking an upset third-round TKO win over Bayan Jargal. 

Before all of this, ESPN2 and WatchESPN will air a pair of specials leading up to the night’s fights.  They will air The Best KOs of Friday Night Fights at 9pm ET and Mike Tyson’s Greatest Hits at 9:30pm ET. 

Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will both be on hand to call all the action from ringside, while Todd Grisham will have all the latest boxing news and more from the ESPN studios.  Pablo Viruega and Leopoldo Gonzalez will call all the action for ESPN Deportes with Claudia Trejos live in studio.  Bernardo Osuna will have live interviews and reports for ESPN2 HD and ESPN Deportes.

To keep up with the latest FNF news and more, “Like” the FNF Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf.  Fans can also follow all the latest from the show on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ESPNFNF and http://twitter.com/ESPNBoxeo.  Fans can score the match live at home thanks to the “Live Friday Night Fights Facebook voting app. 

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.

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

George, Lopez Headline FNF This Week

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s Friday Night Fights returns with another new card this week.  This Friday, March 22nd features Junior Middleweight title challenger David “The Destroyer” Lopez taking on Don “Da Bomb” George in a 10-round main event.  The men will face off live from the UIC Center at 10pm EST on ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes, and online at WatchESPN.com.  It will also be available on smart phones and tablets through the WatchESPN app.

George (24 – 3 – 1, 21 KOs)  comes into Friday night’s fight on the heels of a first round knockout victory over James Cook in his most recent fight.  Peter George, Don George’s father told reporters that his son is working hard, preparing for this week’s fight and is taking his opponent very seriously.  “Don’s a warrior,” he said.  “He’s really preparing hard for this fight and not cutting any corners.  He’s training harder than I’ve ever seen him.  We know we’ve got a tough guy in front of us and I think he’ll perform impressively on the 22nd.  I think he’s going to do very well.”

Lopez (41 – 13, 25 KOs) comes into Friday’s fight fresh off of a unanimous 10-round decision win over Julio Garcia.  He also brings some important experience into the match having also fought Junior Middleweight titlist Austin Trout.  In speaking to reporters, Lopez noted that he knew this Friday’s fight would be a tough one, but that he was also quite confident in his own abilities.  “Donovan George is a good fighter,” he said.  “I cannot take praise away from him.  I know I’m going to be fighting the crowd that night, as well as George, but George is also going to have a problem—he’s never faced anybody like me.  The experience that I’m going to bring is going to make it a very difficult night for him.  This fight is going to put me back on track toward my ultimate goal, which is to become world champion.”

Friday’s main event will be accompanied by a pre-main event fight between former Welterweight titlist Kermit Cintron (33 – 5 – 1, 28 KOs) and Adrian “El Tigre” Granados (9 – 1 – 1 5 KOs).  The pair will face off in a 10-round fight that will mean a lot for both men.  Cintron is looking to get back in the “W” column after a fifth round TKO loss to Junior Middleweight titlist Saul Alvarez.  Granados on the other hand, is looking to add to his current win streak with a fourth straight win.  Granados comes into Friday’s fight fresh off of a fifth round TKO win over Antonio Canas.

This week’s broadcast will see a slit change as Bernardo Osuna will be filling in ringside for Joe Tessitore.  Osuna will be joined by Teddy Atlas for the night’s call on ESPN2 HD.  Todd Grisham will be in studio with all of the latest boxing news and highlights.  Alex Pombo and Delvin Rodriguez will call all the action ringside for ESPN Deportes.  They will be joined by Leopoldo Gonzalez and Pablo Viruega in studio for ESPN Deportes.

To follow all the latest news on this week’s matchup and more, follow Friday Night Fights online via Twitter at @ESPNFNF and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/espn.fnf.  Fans can also follow all the latest from Friday Night Fights online at http://www.espn.com/boxing.  Spanish speaking audiences can also follow Friday Night Fights online via Twitter at @ESPNBoxeo.  Fans can even score the fights themselves round-by-round with the “Live Friday Night Fights” Facebook voting app. 

This Friday’s edition of Friday Night Fights is presented by Corona Extra and is promoted by Warriors Boxing.

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 get the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.