Dan Rafael brought the goods with his latest news updates at ESPN.com. Highlights include:
– Boxing will return to network TV when Antonio Tarver faces Elvir Muriqi on April 22nd on ABC. It will be ABC’s first televised fight in almost seven years. It is certainly a good step for boxing to get back on ABC, even if the Sunday afternoon time slot is less than appealing. Take what you can get at this point.
– For those that want PPV buyrate info, the Barrera/Marquez event from last week got 225,000 buys and $10.1 million in television revenue. The numbers are expected to go up a little when all cable system figures are collected. This was a good fight and all these numbers tell me is that a lot of people missed it.
– Sergio Mora is out. Cory Spinks is in. Jermain Taylor couldn’t reach a deal with Sergio Mora so the middleweight title shot now goes to Cory Spinks. Spinks is a light middleweight champion. This prompted a humorous quote from middleweight challenger Edison Miranda, alluding to Taylor defending his middleweight title against consecutive light middleweight fighters. Miranda will have his chance at Taylor should he defeat Kelly Pavlik in an upcoming #1 contender fight.
Fightnews.com has the matchups for Friday’s “The Contender Challenge: UK vs. USA.” All fights are scheduled for eight rounds and the fights will occur in Newcastle, England. The fight card is as follows:
Robin Reid vs. Jesse Brinkley
Ross Minter vs. Freddy Curiel
Paul Smith vs. Jonathan Reid
Anthony Small vs. Walter Wright
Nigel Wright vs. Michael Clarke
Paul Buchanan vs. Jerson Ravelo
Martin Concepcion vs. Alfonso Gomez
Colin McNeil vs. Cornelius Bundrage
I would assume that ESPN will air some edited version of this event at a future date. I’m not sure why Jerson Ravelo is involved since I’m pretty sure he wasn’t on The Contender.
– April fights that I think you should know about:
Apr 7 – Diego Corrales vs. Joshua Clottey (Showtime)
Apr 7 – Joe Calzaghe vs. Peter Manfredo WBO Super Middleweight Title (HBO)
Apr 13 – Zab Judah vs. Ruben Galvan (ESPN2)
Apr 14 – Manny Pacquiao vs. Jorge Solis (Top Rank PPV)
Apr 14 – Jorge Arce vs. Cristian Mijares WBC Super Flyweight Title (Top Rank PPV)
Apr 14 – Brian Viloria vs. Edgar Sosa WBC Light Flyweight Title (Top Rank PPV)
Apr 14 – Nicolai Valuev vs. Ruslan Chagaev WBA Heavyweight Title
Apr 18 – Chris Byrd vs. Paul Marinaccio (ESPN2)
Apr 20 – Kendall Holt vs. Mike Arnaoutis (Showtime)
Apr 22 – Antonio Tarver vs. Elvir Muriqi (ABC)
Apr 28 – Acelino Freitas vs. Juan Diaz WBA/WBO Lightweight Title (HBO)
Apr 28 – Javier Castillejo vs. Felix Sturm WBA Middleweight Title