Showtime announces Thurman-Garcia for March 4
Much as the network did in March, Showtime unleashed a barrage of fights for its end of 2016 and first quarter of 2017 schedule on Tuesday, highlighted by the welterweight unification clash between Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman, which is set for March 4 and could land at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Showtime boxing chief Stephen Espinoza told RingTV.com on Tuesday.
Garcia (32-0, 18 knockouts) has a tune-up scheduled for Nov. 12 in Philly against journeyman Samuel Vargas while Thurman (27-0, 22 KOs) will go into the March 4 encounter with an eight-month layoff after his difficult fight with Shawn Porter in June, which he’s still recovering from, Espinoza said. Garcia-Thurman will either land on Showtime or primetime in CBS, the network’s parent company. The bout was briefly discussed as a Showtime PPV vehicle before officials decided to put it on regular Showtime or on CBS, Espinoza told RingTV.com.
Among the other notable announcements by Showtime with Al Haymon/PBC fighters is Adrien Broner’s Feb. 11 bout with Adrian Granados (18-4-2, 12 KOs) at a site to be determined at 140 pounds, which Espinoza called the “sleeper” of the announced match-ups. And the long-awaited super middleweight unification match between titleholders Badou Jack (20-1-2, 12 KOs) and James DeGale (23-1, 14 KOs) on Jan. 14 on Showtime. Espinoza told RingTV.com the fight will land in the U.S., possibly in New York at Barclays Center.
The other fights were reported by RingTV.com last week but they are nonetheless exceptional: Jesus Cuellar (28-1, 21 KOs) vs. Abner Mares (29-2-1, 15 KOs) in the main event for a secondary featherweight title on Dec. 10 on the campus of USC with Jermall Charlo’s 154-pound title defense against Julian Williams (22-0-1, 14 KOs) in the co-feature. Then, there is the highly anticipated rematch between Carl Frampton (23-0, 14 KOs) and Leo Santa Cruz (32-1-1, 18 KOs) for a featherweight title on Jan. 28 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas with Dejan Zlaticanin (18-0, 11 KOs) defending his lightweight title against the come-backing Mikey Garcia (35-0, 29 KOs) in the co-feature.
“This is a slate of high-level, evenly-matched, 50/50 fights — the best fighting the best — which has become the calling card of Showtime Championship Boxing,” Espinoza said in a prepared statement. “Every fight we are announcing today features a top 10-ranked champion taking on a top 10-ranked challenger; in many cases, it’s top-five vs. top-five.
“This is our second major boxing lineup announcement this year, further proof that no other network is delivering high-quality competitive fights – without relying on PPV — as consistently as Showtime. No other network is as committed to driving the sport forward. Showtime Championship Boxing is giving subscribers the best that boxing has to offer.”
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