Two days before the much-anticipated welterweight unification title fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, a special Thursday edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra and Noche de Combatespresentadopor Corona Extra will air live April 30, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and via WatchESPN.
The show, from the Pearl Theatre at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, will be headlined by former world titleholder Ishe “Sugar Shay” Smith (26-7, 12 KOs) taking on Cecil McCalla (20-1, 7 KOs) in a 10-round junior middleweight bout. The card is presented by Mayweather Promotions.
Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will describe the action on ESPN2, while studio host Todd Grisham will be on site providing the latest news on Mayweather-Pacquiao. Pablo Viruega and Delvin Rodríguez will call the fights ringside for Noche de Combates on ESPN Deportes, while Leopoldo González and Claudia Trejos will co-anchor the studio on site. Hall-of-Fame boxing referee and analyst Joe Cortez will join Trejos and González during the telecast. Bilingual reporter Bernardo Osuna will provide live interviews and reports for both shows.
Las Vegas’ Smith, a former junior middleweight titleholder, is looking to rebound from a 12-round unanimous decision loss to defending junior middleweight titlist Erislandy Lara.
“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.”
Baltimore’s McCalla is looking to get back to his winning ways following a split-decision loss to Chris Van Heerden.
“Ishe is a rough fighter, but nothing I haven’t seen before. I’m ready for this fight,” McCalla said. “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.”
Thursday’s 10-round co-feature will pit veteran junior welterweight Ashley “Treasure” Theophane (37-6-1, 11 KOs) against Mahonri “Rusito” Montes (29-4-1, 20 KOs). In his last fight, Theophane, who hails from Las Vegas, won a 10-round unanimous decision over Hector Zuniga, while Mexico’s Montes won an eight-round unanimous decision over previously undefeated Diego Cruz.