Golden Boy Boxing today announced a partnership with ESPN, putting on 18 shows in 2017 and another 24 in 2018 as part of the creatively titled “Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN.” The first card will take place on March 23rd, though neither the location nor the fights have been named.
But wait, there’s more.
In addition to the live fights, ESPN will also feature Golden Boy Media and Entertainment content on multiple platforms, including Golden Boy’s classic fight library; “In the Ring,” a half-hour interview show with a variety of fighters; “Mano-A-Mano,” an original half-hour series featuring fighter training; “The Ring TV Express,” which will consist of three-minute highlights of fights; and podcasts hosted by De La Hoya and other Golden Boy talent.
But what about the PBC, you might ask?
Golden Boy and ESPN worked on the deal for about six months before it was signed earlier this month. When ESPN made a deal with Al Haymon in 2015 to televise his creation, Premier Boxing Champions, part of the agreement included boxing exclusivity on the ESPN networks. However, PBC’s exclusivity on ESPN was eliminated as part of the settlement in May between Haymon and Top Rank of the $100 million federal antitrust lawsuit that Top Rank filed against Haymon accusing him of monopolistic practices and of violating federal antitrust laws. That allowed ESPN to make a deal with Golden Boy for the series.
Oscar De La Hoya stated that the series will serve as a proving ground for young fighters, rather than a platform for “fighters who just want to get a win.” Without any named fights, we can’t verify that yet. Here’s hoping.