The first live Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN (PBC on ESPN) telecast will feature a star-studded 12-round welterweight matchup between undefeated Keith “One Time” Thurman (25-0, 21 KOs) and Luis Collazo (36-6, 19 KOs) when the series debuts on ESPN on Saturday, July 11, at 9 p.m. ET.
The opening fight will showcase a 10-round junior middleweight matchup between undefeated Tony Harrison (21-0, 18 KOs) and Willie Nelson (23-2-1, 13 KOs). ESPN3 will also carry live the preliminary bouts at a time to be determined. The card will be held in Tampa, Fla., at a site to be named.
In March, ESPN announced a multi-year agreement, to televise Premier Boxing Champions, a series created for television by Haymon Boxing, featuring top-level fights between many of boxing’s biggest names. PBC on ESPN will air 12, two-hour live shows annually on ESPN and ABC. ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s Spanish-language network, will also televise all PBC on ESPN fights as part of its Noche de Combates series and ESPN International will present coverage across its networks in Latin America, Brazil, the Caribbean and Pacific Rim. Live coverage will also be available through WatchESPN on computers, smartphones, tablets, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One via an affiliated video provider.
Blow-by-blow commentator Joe Tessitore and analyst Teddy Atlas, both recipients of the prestigious Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism presented by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA), will call the fights ringside on ESPN and ABC. Additional on-air commentators will be announced at a later date.
Florida’s Thurman—who is widely regarded to be the heir apparent in the division when Floyd Mayweather retires—is coming off a unanimous decision win against welterweight contender Robert Guerrero, while New York’s Collazo is looking to score another victory following a second-round TKO win over Christopher Degollado. Harrison, fighting out of Detroit, scored a third-round TKO win over Pablo Munguia in his last fight, while Cleveland’s Nelson is looking to rebound from a unanimous decision loss to Vanes Martirosyan.