For the very first time in his career, Manny Pacquiao will have his fight aired live on basic cable when he takes on Jeff Horn in ‘the battle of Brisbane.’
USA TODAY Sports
Manny Pacquiao’s next fight will air live on ESPN this summer and take place in Brisbane, Australia. The television network and Pacquiao’s promoter, Top Rank, announced the deal early Monday for the Filipino boxer’s welterweight world title defense against Jeff Horn, which will be Pacquiao’s first ever live basic cable fight — and first non-pay-per-view fight since 2005.
The fight, being tabbed “The Battle of Brisbane,” is slated for July 1 at 9 p.m. ET in a 3 ½-hour telecast that will also air on ESPN Deportes. The 14-hour time difference in Brisbane allows for a prime-time telecast in the US. Joe Tessitore, Teddy Atlas, and Timothy Bradley Jr., will call the fight as broadcasters ringside.
Top Rank chairman Bob Arum expressed excitement in bringing boxing back to ESPN, where it was a staple in the 1980s and ‘90s, saying it would be “an incredible event.” ESPN president John Skipper said scoring a “match normally seen on pay-per-view is a significant moment for ESPN and for boxing fans.”
Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) is a 38-year-old sitting senator in the Philippines who regained the welterweight world title belt he lost to Floyd Mayweather when he defeated Jessie Vargas in November.
Brisbane’s Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs), was a 2012 Australian Olympian and will help draw a ginormous Australian crowd at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, with 50,000 tickets already sold and an expected increase in available seating by 60,000.
In the middleweight fight on the card, Shane Mosley Jr. (10-1, 7 KOs) takes on Australia’s David Toussaint (10-0, 8 KOs) in an eight-round fight. The main card will begin at 10 p.m. with 2016 Irish Olympic…