Pacquiao vs Horn to be broadcast on ESPN in U.S.
MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao is making the move to basic cable.
Pacquiao's upcoming WBO welterweight title defense against Jeff Horn will be shown live on ESPN in the United States, multiple news outlets including ESPN reported.
The last time a Pacquiao fight had been shown off pay-per-view was his 2005 fight with Hector Velazquez, which was part of an HBO World Championship Boxing card to boost interest in Pacquiao's rematch with Erik Morales.
Pacquiao-Horn is set to take place on Sunday, July 2, at Suncorp Stadium in Horn's hometown of Brisbane, Australia. With the time difference, the fight will air primetime in New York on Saturday night, July 1.
Pacquiao's most recent fight, a unanimous decision over Jessie Vargas to win the title he currently holds, was broadcast on an independent pay-per-view, marking the first time in nearly a decade that one of his fights wasn't shown on either HBO or Showtime pay-per-view.
The Pacquiao-Horn fight will reportedly kick off a new Top Rank series on ESPN, according to a report on RingTV. The report adds that HBO had made an attempt to carry the fight but the offer was turned down by Top Rank.
Teddy Atlas, Joe Tessitore, and former junior welterweight and welterweight titleholder Timothy Bradley – who fought Pacquiao 3 times – will be the commentators for the show, according to ESPN.
"We are excited that ESPN will air this fight throughout the US in both English and Spanish. It's going to be an unbelievable event," Top Rank chairman Bob Arum told ESPN.
"Working with Top Rank on a match normally seen on pay-per-view is a significant moment for ESPN and for boxing fans," ESPN president John Skipper was quoted as saying in the same report.
The co-featured bout underneath Pacquiao-Horn will be IBF junior bantamweight titleholder Jerwin Ancajas' mandatory defense against Japan's Teiru Kinoshita. – Rappler.com