SHOWTIME Sports will present seven marquee boxing matches pitting top-10 rated champions in the prime of their careers against fellow top-10 rated challengers over four consecutive months beginning in December.
The schedule, which is the second robust boxing programming announcement from SHOWTIME in 2016, was announced today by Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. The lineup includes two long-awaited championship matchups, Jesus Cuellar vs. Abner Mares and Jermall Charlo vs. Julian Williams; the can’t-miss featherweight rematch between Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz, and a welterweight unification blockbuster between undefeated champions Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia. All four of these anticipated bouts will be presented in association with Premier Boxing Champions.
SHOWTIME Sports produced the strongest lineup of world-class boxing events of any network this year, delivering 18 world title fights devoid of mismatches and “tune-up” fights. The best fought the best, and the results were spectacular: two “Fight of the Year” contenders, Thurman-Shawn Porter and Santa Cruz-Frampton; a “Knockout of the Year” frontrunner by one of boxing’s biggest punchers, Deontay Wilder; and the arrival of one of boxing’s most marketable new stars in Anthony Joshua. SHOWTIME also featured the trio of junior middleweight champions, the Charlo twins, Jermall and Jermell, and Erislandy Lara, all in title fights on one card; highlighted the world’s best featherweights in Santa Cruz, Frampton, Gary Russell Jr. and Lee Selby; and set the table for the title unification fight between super middleweight champions Badou Jack and James DeGale.
Boxing’s brightest stars will again take center stage on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® as the network prepares to present the following seven matchups, including six world title fights, over a 12-week span. All bouts will air live on SHOWTIME with the exception of Garcia vs. Thurman, which will either air live in Primetime on CBS or live on SHOWTIME.
Seven of the 14 fighters are undefeated, while the champions and challengers in the six world title fights boast a combined 313 wins versus just six losses.
December 10: Jesus Cuellar (28-1, 21 KOs) vs. Abner Mares (29-2-1, 15 KOs)*
Jermall Charlo (24-0, 18 KOs) vs. Julian Williams (22-0-1, 14 KOs)*
January 14: Badou Jack (20-1-2, 12 KOs) vs. James DeGale (23-1, 14 KOs)**
January 28: Carl Frampton (23-0, 14 KOs) vs. Leo Santa Cruz (32-1-1, 18 KOs)*
Dejan Zlaticanin (18-0, 11 KOs) vs. Mikey Garcia (35-0, 29 KOs)*
February 11: Adrien Broner (32-2, 24 KOs) vs. Adrian Granados (18-4-2, 12 KOs)
March 4: Danny Garcia (32-0, 18 KOs) vs. Keith Thurman (27-0, 22 KOs)**
*World title bout
**World title unification bout
“This is a slate of high-level, evenly-matched, 50/50 fights – the best fighting the best – which has become the calling card of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING,” said Espinoza. “Every fight we are announcing today features a top 10-ranked champion taking on a top 10-ranked challenger; in many cases, it’s top-five vs. top-five.
“This is our second major boxing lineup announcement this year, further proof that no other network is delivering high-quality competitive fights – without relying on PPV – as consistently as SHOWTIME. No other network is as committed to driving the sport forward. SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is giving subscribers the best that boxing has to offer.”