2016 was a year that some had suggested that new TV based boxing venture Premier Boxing Champions would finally cave in and fold but contrary to some reports, the truth was quite a bit different. The American boxing initiative along with other players in US boxing are making a noticeable effort in my view to up their respective games, to compete with the continually booming UK boxing market. The early Premier Boxing Champions schedule in 2017 looks fairly solid to be fair, on the whole.
Indeed, the early Premier Boxing Champions schedule has nine world title fights on it from my count, and that’s just before the start of March 2017 is out (first quarter of the year, give or take).
PBC announced in late 2016 that there would be multiple new TV dates to come for their boxers in 2017 on a host of different platforms, even including US media giants ESPN (expect that later in 2017 I’d imagine though).
The full details of the different TV platforms for every single fight in the early new year have now become clear however, as have the most important details – the actual fights that will be shown.
Lets take a look (information sourced from PBC website) at the some of the early bouts of 2017 so far on the TV series:
Premier Boxing Champions Schedule For Early 2017
January 13th – Erislandy Lara vs Yuri Foreman (WBA Super and IBO super-welterweight world title) – Spike TV
January 14th – James DeGale vs Badou Jack (WBC and IBF super-middleweight world titles, plus Jose Pedraza vs Gervonta Davis on the undercard for the IBF super-featherweight world title) – Showtime (Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland)
January 28th – Carl Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz (IBF and WBA Super Featherweight world title plus Dejan Zlaticanin vs Mikey Garcia on the undercard for the WBC lightweight world title) – Showtime (Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland)
February 2nd – Sammy Vasquez vs Luis Collazo – Fox Sports 1
February 10th – Robert Easter Jr vs Luis Cruz (IBF world lightweight title plus Rau’shee Warren vs Zhanat Zhakiyanov for the IBO and WBA Super bantamweight world title on the undercard) – Bounce TV
February 11th – Adrien Broner vs Adrian Granados – Showtime
February 25th – Deontay Wilder vs Andrzej Wawrzyk (WBC heavyweight championship of the world) – Showtime
March 4th – Danny Garcia vs Keith Thurman (WBC and WBA Super welterweight world title) – (TV network to be announced).
Not a bad start to the year overall, in all fairness.
The two that jump out for me straight away are obviously the Frampton vs Santa Cruz rematch and the long awaited welterweight showdown between Americans Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman.
But the fact Wilder is getting out early in the year after suffering such a significant injury last time out in 2016 is also positive to see, with the hopes of a unification between himself and IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua gathering steam at the moment for a potential heavyweight unification showdown in the summer of 2017 (should Joshua beat Klitschko that is).
The DeGale vs Jack fight is another tasty one for the purists. Two of the best super-middleweights in the world at the moment going at it in Brooklyn.
Nice to see the insurance issue for combat sports in New York has been finally resolved.
With Top Rank hot prospect Michael Conlan expected to make his debut next Patrick’s Day at Madison Square Garden, lets hope the Big Apple plays host to plenty of big time sweet science action this year.
Furthermore, with Golden Boy Promotions and some of the other top promoters in the US expected to announce their early 2017 lineup soon, it’s safe to say that US boxing is fighting back this year in a bid to put on good fights (fingers crossed on Golovkin vs Canelo for September).
Bring on 2017. On both sides of the pond.
(Image source and credit: PBC)