IT’S FIGHT TIME!
(Andre Ward set to face Paul Smith on BET Networks/Photo Credit: Khristopher “Squint” Sandifer)
BET NETWORKS & ROC NATION SPORTS PRESENT throne boxing
FEATURING WBA SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPION ANDRE WARD
WARD TO FACE PAUL SMITH AT ORACLE ARENA IN OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA
LIVE ON BET SATURDAY JUNE 20TH AT 10:00 P.M. ET/7:00 P.M. PT
He is one of the best five boxers on the planet, and even though he hasn’t fought in a loooong time, since Nov. 2013 to be achingly exact, I’m betting those skills will still be in evidence when Andre Ward gloves up on Saturday night, in Oakland, and on BET, against Brit Paul Smith.
Ward is a super middle who just might be heading soon to light heavyweight, where mouth-watering tangles await. Ward fighting Sergey Kovalev, the technical wizardry and innate instincts of fighting craft versus the also considerable chops and nasty heavy-handed-ness belonging to head-banger Kovalev, next year, is a distinct possibility…but first, the Cali boxer, who was on the shelf due to a promotional beef with ex promoter Dan Goossen, has to shed rust and see how his body works against Smith.
The Brit is a pretty heavy underdog…but he’s not a horrific stumblebum. However, he is 0 for 2 in his last two, having lost twice to Arthur Abraham. And he’s been stopped by the upper tier of Brit talent, James DeGale (in 2010) and George Groves (in 2011). So, Ward could punctuate the comeback nicely if he were to find the Smith chin and mess up that wiring.
Here is the release our friends at Roc nation sent out trumpeting the event:
NEW YORK, NY – June 11, 2015 – BET Networks is stepping into the ring with Roc Nation Sports to air throne boxing live on the network with its first event featuring WBA Super Middleweight World Champion Andre Ward (27-0, 14 KO’s) facing former World Title Challenger Paul Smith (35-5, 20 KO’s) of England in a 12 round bout on Saturday, June 20th at 10:00 P.M. ET/7:00 P.M. PT live from Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. The partnership between BET Networks and Roc Nation Sports is the first of its kind for the network and includes airing up to nine live, two-hour telecasts of Roc Nation Sports throne boxing events over the next 18 months.
Ward vs. Smith, a 12 round bout presented by Roc Nation Sports, takes place Saturday, June 20 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, will be televised live on BET and streamed globally on TIDAL.com at 10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT and is presented in association with Matchroom Sport. The fight is sponsored by The Waterfront Hotel, Venue Kings and Shoe Palace. In addition to the great action inside the ring, the event will feature several notable Roc Nation touches that will further serve spectators with an enhanced fan experience, including Nipsey Hussle taking to the ring for a special performance prior to the main event. The event will be hosted by notable emcee Sway Calloway and will also feature hit master DJ Franzen who will serve alongside Sway throughout the night. Tickets priced at $250, $125, $90, $60 and $30, not including applicable service charges and taxes, are on sale now and available at all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com and charge by phone at (800) 745-3000. Doors open at 3:00 PM, the first fight begins at 3:10 PM and the BET telecast and TIDAL.com stream begins at 10:00PM ET/7:00 PM PT.
ABOUT BET NETWORKS:
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks – BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.
ABOUT ROC NATION SPORTS:
Roc Nation Sports, a sub-division of Roc Nation, launched in spring 2013. Founder Shawn “JAY Z” Carter’s love of sports lead to the natural formation of Roc Nations Sports, helping athletes in the same way Roc Nation has been helping artists in the music industry for years. Roc Nation Sports focuses on elevating athletes’ career on a global scale both on and off the field. Roc Nation Sports conceptualizes and executes marketing and endorsement deals, community outreach, charitable tie-ins, media relations and brand strategy. Roc Nation Sports launched its boxing division, a full service promotional company which represents world champions Miguel Cotto and Andre Ward, in August 2014. Roc Nation Sports’ roster includes premiere athletes such as Robinson Cano, Skylar Diggins, Kevin Durant, Geno Smith, Victor Cruz, CC Sabathia, James Young, Dez Bryant, Ndamukong Suh, Rusney Castillo, Yoenis Cespedes, Jaelen Strong, Todd Gurley, Wilson Chandler, Erick Aybar and Frances Tiafoe. For more information please visit www.rocnation.com. Follow Roc Nation on Twitter and Instagram @rocnation and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RocNation.