truTV and Top Rank will partner to exclusively present the MetroPCS Friday Night Knockout on truTV, a live primetime boxing series set to debut Friday, May 1, at 10 p.m. ET. The new boxing series, in association with Turner Sports and HBO Sports, will launch on the eve of the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao pay-per-view fight with a card featuring two title bouts inside The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
The network’s presentation will feature the first-ever domestic use of “Spidercam” technology for a live boxing telecast, providing dynamic coverage of this new series. “Spidercam” operates on a four-point system of cables from designated points beyond the corners of the boxing ring. The suspended camera has the ability to provide compelling 360-degree angles of the action including the ability to move in three dimensions – left/right, forward/backward and up/down.
“Spidercam” will provide the definitive views of the action throughout the series, including a main event on Friday, May 1, showcasing Takahiro Ao (27-3-1, 16 KOs) from Chiba, Japan, vs. Ray Beltran (29-7-1, 17 KOs) from Los Mochis, Mexico, in a 12-round bout for the vacant WBO Lightweight World Championship. The undercard will include two undefeated fighters in action – Mikael Zewski (26-0, 23 KOs) from Quebec, Canada, vs. Konstantin Ponomarev (27-0, 13 KOs) from Miass, Russia – in a 10-round bout for the NABF Welterweight Championship.
Commentators for the event will include Kevin Kugler providing play-by-play with analyst Timothy Bradley and reporter Crystina Poncher. Kugler is a veteran announcer who has called college basketball and NFL coverage for Westwood One and college football for the Big Ten Network. Bradley is a former WBO welterweight champion and former WBO and two-time WBC junior welterweight champion, including a win over Pacquiao during his career. Poncher is a commentator and reporter for Top Rank, as well as a host, reporter and correspondent for NFL Network and NFL.com. Additionally, closed captioning in Spanish will be available.
The second week of the MetroPCS Friday Night Knockout on truTV series – live from Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on Friday, May 8, at 10 p.m. – will be headlined by Top-10 contenders Glen “Jersey Boy” Tapia (23-1, 15 KOs) from Passaic, N.J., and “Irish” Seanie Monaghan (23-0, 15 KOs) in action. Tapia will defend his NABO junior middleweight title against Michael Soro (25-1-1, 15 KOs) from France, with Monaghan (defending his WBC Continental Americas light heavyweight title) facing Cleiton Conceicao (20-6-2, 16 KOs) from Brazil.
As part of its entitlement sponsorship of the boxing series on truTV, MetroPCS will receive camera-visible center ring and corner pad brand placement for each fight, as well as inclusion in all promotional messaging across truTV and other Turner Broadcasting networks. Sony PlayStation also joins as an associate sponsor of the series, with in-ring signage and inclusion in promotional spots.
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