Thurman vs. Collazo Headlines First PBC on ESPN July 11
Harrison vs. Nelson Showcased in the Opening Fight
PBC on ESPN to Bring Boxing to a New Level on the Network

LOGO_SWEATGRAY_BLACK_JPGThe 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.

Boxing on ESPN

Boxing has been a staple of ESPN’s programming for 35 years. ESPN began televising boxing on April 10, 1980 – the network’s first year on the air – when weekly boxing returned to television for the first time since 1964. For the past 17 years, ESPN Friday Night Fights has showcased some of the best bouts in the boxing industry and introduced fans to future stars and champions. Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN will take fights to a level never seen before on the network.

About Haymon Boxing Management
Haymon Boxing Management is based in Las Vegas, Nevada, and manages and advises more than 200 professional fighters

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COMMENTS

-deepwater2 :

Rotten fight. Collazo is a huge step down for Thurman.I know Thurman wants to fight better competition but tsAH is feeding him junk food. Come on.how the hell is Thurman supposed to develop? Guerrero is one tough guy but didn't really pose a threat to one time. I was sure Thurman was going to step up after Thurman. Jeez Collazo just beat a cab driver that lost 5 of his last 6 fights. These showcase fights are bad for boxing. Joe Public wants to see competitive matchups ,not a favorite beating on a 20-1 underdog. Terrible matchmaking. Paulie has one foot out the door and he would do better against Thurman.


-deepwater2 :

Maidana ,Rios, hell even Berto or Alexander would be better. Collazo isn't even a top 35 welterweight. Prospect Errol Spence is ranked higher than Collazo. Thurman will not improve with fights like this. Julio Diaz ,Soto Karass and Zavack fights were bad enough. Once a boxer is at a high level it hurts to go backwards.


-oubobcat :

Rotten fight. Collazo is a huge step down for Thurman.I know Thurman wants to fight better competition but tsAH is feeding him junk food. Come on.how the hell is Thurman supposed to develop? Guerrero is one tough guy but didn't really pose a threat to one time. I was sure Thurman was going to step up after Thurman. Jeez Collazo just beat a cab driver that lost 5 of his last 6 fights. These showcase fights are bad for boxing. Joe Public wants to see competitive matchups ,not a favorite beating on a 20-1 underdog. Terrible matchmaking. Paulie has one foot out the door and he would do better against Thurman.
Agreed on Thurman-Collazo 100%. I like Collazo a lot and he is a solid fighter. But he was beaten handily by Khan and not on the same level as Thurman. I really do like the Harrison-Nelson fight. And this brings me to something I have noticed with Haymon. He is putting some prospects and fringe contenders in tough fights pick em style fights on this series. In essence, protecting his stars and wanting to see other fighters step up to become starts. Tony Harrison is someone who can become a star but Haymon wants to see him tested (and for it to be on tv in case he shines). Javier Fortuna could also be a star and Haymon is testing him next week against Bryan Vazquez. Sammy Vazquez has looked great recently and Haymon is testing him against Omataso. Its interesting, almost like he gives us one competitive fight and one showcase fight on these series.


-Chris L :

Eww, I saw somewhere (I think, can't remember for sure) that Thurman Maidana was in the works which would have been a must-see - but now we get this?


-brownsugar :

Couldn't be any worse than GGG vs Willie Monroe Jr ... Thurman has called out Brook, Bradley, Mayweather and every good fight than can be made but nobody will give One-Time the time of day. Getting a decent fighter in the ring with Keith is like trying to get Quillin in the ring against Golovkin. In the meantime, as the process of elimination narrows the playing field and intensifies the glaring limelight on the last man standing, public opinion will eventually force a confrontation against whomever perceived as Keith's counterpart at welterweight. The same way Golovkin had to take on the questionable opposition of guys like Rubio, Stevens, and other names which I cannot spell or pronounce just to stay busy in order to get his name ingrained into the imagination of the fans who will eventually recognized his worth. If you take a closer look into the situation you'll find that Maidana (who has finally gotten a big bite of the money frosted cake provided by his two outings with Mayweather) is busy trying to get Danny Garcia into the ring while rejecting anyone who cant add at least seven figures into his bank account. Bradley has a date to attempt to maul and brawl his way to victory against former Floyd protege' and Money Team fighter,.... Jessie Vargas. And As the World Turns, Brook will feast upon the underwhelming challenge of Gavin Rees. While the Young and the Restless Sadam Ali is preparing for his debut on the big stage against the winner of what will surely be a foul filled scuffle between Bradley and Vargas. Honorable mention fighters, Devon Alexander and Andre Berto will hang on the sidelines as they look to continue the delicate process of rebuilding their confidence and their records via the consumption of less than worthy challengers.


-deepwater2 :

Couldn't be any worse than GGG vs Willie Monroe Jr ... Thurman has called out Brook, Bradley, Mayweather and every good fight than can be made but nobody will give One-Time the time of day. Getting a decent fighter in the ring with Keith is like trying to get Quillin in the ring against Golovkin. In the meantime, as the process of elimination narrows the playing field and intensifies the glaring limelight on the last man standing, public opinion will eventually force a confrontation against whomever perceived as Keith's counterpart at welterweight. The same way Golovkin had to take on questionable opposition of guys like Rubio, Steven, and other names which I cannot spell or pronounce to stay busy and get his name ingrained into the imagination of the fans who eventually recognized his worth. If you take a closer look into the situation you'll find that Maidana (who has finally gotten a big bite of the money frosted cake provided by his two outings with Mayweather) is busy trying to get Danny Garcia into the ring while rejecting anyone who cant add at least seven figures into his bank account. Bradley has a date to attempt to maul and brawl his way to victory against former Floyd protege' and Money Team fighter,.... Jessie Vargas. And As the World Turns, Brook will feast upon the underwhelming challenge of Gavin Rees. While the Young and the Restless Sadam Ali is preparing for his debut on the big stage against the winner of what will surely be a foul filled scuffle between Bradley and Vargas. Honorable mention fighters, Devon Alexander and Andre Berto will hang on the sidelines as they look to continue the delicate process of rebuilding their confidence and their records via the consumption of
Willie was at least an up and comer who is fresh,beat down Vera for an alphabet title, was never stopped and won the boxino tournament. Monroe was at least in the top 20 rankings. Collazo is a very old 34 years old. He is 6-8 years past his prime.Was shut out and on the floor a few times against Khan in a boring affair.He has 6 losses.He was fighting at Cowboys dance hall ,right next to the mechanical bull a few fights back. Why not Berto? Berto at least beat Lopez last time out.


-Kid Blast :

Easy meat for Thurman


-brownsugar :

Willie was at least an up and comer who is fresh,beat down Vera for an alphabet title, was never stopped and won the boxino tournament. Monroe was at least in the top 20 rankings. Collazo is a very old 34 years old. He is 6-8 years past his prime.Was shut out and on the floor a few times against Khan in a boring affair.He has 6 losses.He was fighting at Cowboys dance hall ,right next to the mechanical bull a few fights back. Why not Berto? Berto at least beat Lopez last time out.
I feel asleep before I could finish my post. Lol. Yes ... Collazo has no chance, my question is who does, or who thinks they have a chance?? And look at how many bums Kovalev and GGG fought in between cleaning out the division and waiting for a definitive fight? I'm not knocking that.... I'm saying it's not Thurman's fault only the Guerrero's of this world are willing to face him. But like GGG, Thurman's job is to keep knocking off whomever they put in front of him until the opportunity to fight someone worthy presents itself. Fighting often keeps a fighter in a state of battle readiness, GGG never suffered from fighting knocking out stiffs, he looks better every time out. Now GGG finally has his fight with Froch. This is nothing but a stay busy fight ... I believe Thurman's opportunity will come. But in the mean time its hypocritical to blame a fighter for poor opposition when nobody else wants to fight. Killers like GGG and Kovalev fought sub top 40 opposition for years. Guys like Rigondeaux can't get anybody with a pulse to fight him. Don't act like this type of thing isn't a regular part of boxing. At least Thurman is keeping busy which is all he can do at the moment.


-the Roast :

I agree with the above posts. Collazo is in for a beating. If Floyd has only one more fight left as he has stated Thurman would be a good pick.


-Radam G :

I agree with the above posts. Collazo is in for a beating. If Floyd has only one more fight left as he has stated Thurman would be a good pick.
That is not going to happen. Holla!


-deepwater2 :

Yes these type of bad match ups happen and I wish they didn't . Most of the time they are off tv not the featured bout of the night , in a brand new series called premium boxing. This fight should be at the 99 cents store. TsAH has plenty of fighters to pick other than Collazo. If he gave Quillin money to sit out , why not give Thurman money and have him spar Errol spence for a few days. Sparring Errol would do so much more for Thurman than fighting Collazo. Thurman is taking a step back. Thurman will be ridiculed by hardcore boxing fans. Casual fans will be turned off by mismatches. Thurman might lose fans with this one. I bet Thurman is not happy at all about this but he is under contract not to complain. GGG fought b level opponents but they were fresh and had some good things going for them.


-brownsugar :

Yes these type of bad match ups happen and I wish they didn't . Most of the time they are off tv not the featured bout of the night , in a brand new series called premium boxing. This fight should be at the 99 cents store. TsAH has plenty of fighters to pick other than Collazo. If he gave Quillin money to sit out , why not give Thurman money and have him spar Errol spence for a few days. Sparring Errol would do so much more for Thurman than fighting Collazo. Thurman is taking a step back. Thurman will be ridiculed by hardcore boxing fans. Casual fans will be turned off by mismatches. Thurman might lose fans with this one. I bet Thurman is not happy at all about this but he is under contract not to complain. GGG fought b level opponents but they were fresh and had some good things going for them.
Neither GGG or Kovalev fought an impressive array of fighters when they first started to gain traction. Rubio looked good on paper but he quit. Others have layed down prematurely or didn't measure up to GGG and fought just like their 10 - 1 status indicated Tyson knocked out bums and in both cases nobody cared. I'm sure Thurman and his manager/trainer have an effective training routine. And they certainly wont let him spar a future (and much better) prospect like Erroll Spence, but fighters have to have live exposure under the hot lights in front of a live audience as often as possible to stay battle ready. And unfortunately hardcore fans don't have much say so in boxing. The same could be said of Lomanchenko's last outing. Arum has stated many timed.... why pay for a decent undercard if you have a dynamite main event. Nobody is criticizing Loma and all the paying fans remember is that he looked good. I'm not defending the choice, or your right to complain ....we all know Collazo will catch a beat down, I'm simply voicing a different point of view... Some fights suck. But this is neither bad for boxing or the beginning of the end for boxing. Its Just another payday for a guy that no one else of note is willing to fight yet. Its a theme thats been played repeatedly throughout boxing and unfortunately we will surely see it again on any given fight card.


-deepwater2 :

Neither GGG or Kovalev fought an impressive array of fighters when they first started to gain traction. Rubio looked good on paper but he quit. Others have layed down prematurely or didn't measure up to GGG and fought just like their 10 - 1 status indicated Tyson knocked out bums and in both cases nobody cared. I'm sure Thurman and his manager/trainer have an effective training routine. And they certainly wont let him spar a future (and much better) prospect like Erroll Spence, but fighters have to have live exposure under the hot lights in front of a live audience as often as possible to stay battle ready. And unfortunately hardcore fans don't have much say so in boxing. The same could be said of Lomanchenko's last outing. Arum has stated many timed.... why pay for a decent undercard if you have a dynamite main event. Nobody is criticizing Loma and all the paying fans remember is that he looked good. I'm not defending the choice, or your right to complain ....we all know Collazo will catch a beat down, I'm simply voicing a different point of view... Some fights suck. But this is neither bad for boxing or the beginning of the end for boxing. Its Just another payday for a guy that no one else of note is willing to fight yet. Its a theme thats been played repeatedly throughout boxing and unfortunately we will surely see it again on any given fight card.
Loma fought top guys in every fight! That last guy was decent enough and he beat Cruz for a title in the fight before. Loma should not be compared to Thurman's resume. Thurman has already feasted on soto K and shot Julio Diaz . He is the champ and should be fighting progressively better guys. Imagine shot collazo puts up a good fight? Thurman has nothing to gain.


-deepwater2 :

Triple fought credible opponents too. Rubio might have been long in the tooth but Ishida knocked out Kirkland in 1 and went 12 hard rounds with the top guys Pirog and Paul Williams. GGG iced Ishida like no one ever did. Geale was a legitimate champ in his prime, Rosado is a tough fight for most back then, and Martin Murray was the uncrowned middleweight champ . GGG not only beat these guys, he demolished them. Thurman should have dispatched Guerrero the way he was pounding on him and Thurman's steady diet of no hopers and old fighters will catch up to him. Thurman is way past the point of taking fights like this and Kovalev and GGG had their bums in the beginning not at the peak.