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Professional boxing returns to prime time TV in USA – SportsUntapped.com
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Added March 10th, 2015 by Ian

Professional boxing returns to prime time TV in USA
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Professional boxing returned to free regular network TV on a regular basis in the U.S. on Saturday, March 7th with a card from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The show was the first of many scheduled for American networks over the course of the next couple of years and was the first to be broadcast by the NBC network in three decades. The show is named Premier Boxing Champions and is the mastermind of boxing promoter Al Haymon. It gives fans a chance to catch riding stars and established champions for free as most fights are broadcast on per-per-view platforms and subscriber-based television channels which cost viewers a monthly fee.

Haymon laid down $20 million to purchase prime time slots on a few different American networks and hopes the free fights will bring boxing back to its glory days of the past when the likes of Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, Marvin Hagler and Mike Tyson could be seen on network channels for free. The March 7th card featured a couple of good matchups as former champion Adrien Broner took on John Molina Jr. in a 12-round junior welterweight bout and Keith Thurman put up his WBA Welterweight Crown in a 12-rounder against former world champ Robert Guerrero.

The Broner vs Molina contest had its moments, but Broner won it by a relatively easy unanimous decision. However, the Thurman vs Guerrero tilt was an exciting slugfest even though Thurman managed to deck his opponent and win a wide unanimous decision. It was an entertaining two hours which should attract fans back to the next episode of the show in April. Haymon went full tilt as there were numerous announcers and commentators involved in the production such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Laila Ali, Al Michaels, Marv Albert, and referee Steve Smoger.

The live gate was about 10,000, which meant the fact the fights could be seen on free TV didn’t really affect the number of paying customers. The 26-year-old Thurman of Clearwater, Florida proved to the fans he is both an exciting and skilled boxer and will likely be featured on a future telecast. The Premier Boxing Champions show had a strong and entertaining inaugural outing and will hopefully become a staple of free TV for the next few years, especially with the world-class bouts it has lined up.

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