Aus-Boxing.com

ESPN pick-up US television rights for Pacquiao vs. Horn

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AMERICAN cable network giant ESPN has picked up the US rights to televise ‘The Battle of Brisbane’.

Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) will make the first defence in his latest reign as WBO welterweight champion against Australian underdog Jeff Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs) to the biggest American television audience available, with the fight serving as Pacquiao’s first away from an American pay-per-view platform since Pacquiao blitzed Hector Velazquez in 2005.

Like all prior Pacquiao fights in Australia, the fight will only be available to Australian audiences through MAIN EVENT pay-per-view.

Given the Sunday afternoon kick-off, the 14-hour time difference from the US East Coast places the fight in a live prime-time slot for advertising, which is one of the primary reasons why the fight was bankrolled by the Queensland Government.

The announcement proves to be a major boost for the local talent competing on the undercard, as the weigh-in will screen live on iconic sports program SportsCenter, in addition to the televised undercard, which will be broadcast live on ESPN.

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Canberra-based talent David Toussaint (10-0, 8 KOs) will face the infamous Shane Mosley Jr. (10-1, 7 KOs), son of the legendary Shane Mosley, in an eight-round fight to open the televised portion of the undercard, followed by Brisbane’s Jarrett Owen (5-4-3, 2 KOs) who faces blue-chip prospect and former Olympian Michael Conlan (2-0, 2 KOs) over six heats.

The afternoon will boast a second world title fight in the co-feature with hard-hitting Pacquiao protege Jerwin Ancajas (26-1-1, 17 KOs) defending his IBF super flyweight crown, previously held by Vic Darchinyan, against Japanese technician Teiru Kinoshita (25-1-1, 8 KOs).

The only fighter who may consider himself unlucky is dexterous former Olympian and Indigenous firebrand Damien Hooper (12-1, 8 KOs), who challenges hard-hitting Russian prospect Umar Salamov (19-0, 14 KOs) for a pair of regional baubles on the untelevised portion of the card.

While ticket sales are yet to be confirmed, it appears likely that the live attendance for the event will exceed 50,000, eclipsing the previous record held by Jeff Fenech’s unsuccessful WBC super featherweight title challenge against Azumah Nelson, which drew 38,000 spectators to Melbourne’s Princes Park in 1992.

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