MANNY Pacquiao has found a new worldwide network partner after Top Rank struck a deal with ESPN to air his world welterweight title defense against Jeff Horn along with the rest of the card from Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia on July 1 (July 2, Manila time) live in the U.S. on the cable channel.
The Pacquiao-Horn bout has been slammed by critics since the very moment it was announced, but the fact that the bout is on basic cable TV rather than pay-per-view, does change matters significantly. The fight will take place during Sunday afternoon July 2 Brisbane time, but the 14-hour time difference from the United States' East Coast allows for a live prime-time telecast.
The fight card will begin at 9 p.m. ET in the U.S.
The card includes a co-main event featuring 2016 Irish Olympian Michael Conlan, and as Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum has rounded up more young talent, like U.S. Olympian Shakur Stevenson, the ESPN relationship is expected to provide a more expansive showcase for talented fighters. Longtime ESPN boxing commentators Joe Tessitore and color commentator Teddy Atlas will call the fights, along with former world titleholder - and Pacquiao rival - Timothy Bradley Jr.in the third analyst's chair.
Apart from the hotel, Koncz is also inspecting the facility that Pacquiao will use as training venue beginning June 26 as the eight-division champion won't be arriving in Brisbane until nighttime of June 24.
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IN a significant move away from pay-per-view the next Manny Pacquiao fight will be broadcast on ESPN in America.
Well, that's one way to avoid an underwhelming pay-per-view total.
Pac-Man will defend his welterweight world title in the bout.
So some exposure on ESPN might do the Filipino star some good. Suncorp Stadium officials have secured an exemption to increase seating to 60,000 for the fight.
Horn used to be a school teacher in Australia before trying his hand at boxing full-time, and he has an unbeaten professional record of 16 wins and one draw.