According to a press release CBS Sports and their sister network SHOWTIME Sports have agreed to a multi-year joint venture with Premier Boxing Champions to air up to eight live boxing events in 2015. The new Premier Boxing Champions series will air in conjunction with SHOWTIME Championship Boxing events “as a part of a partnership that will cross-promote the live programs across multiple platforms,” according to the press release.
SHOWTIME Sports’ executive vice president and general manager Stephen Espinoza discussed the importance of this deal in the release as well, saying, “The Premier Boxing Champions series on CBS will help usher in a new era in the storied history of boxing. With the support of our parent company, we are uniquely positioned for a three-tiered approach that includes live boxing broadcasts on America’s No. 1 network, the cable reach of CBS Sports Network and, of course, the premium television leader in boxing, SHOWTIME.”
In addition to SHOWTIME already being a premier player in televised boxing, CBS is renewing its once-prosperous relationship with the sport that thrived from the late 1940s through to 1997, which according to the release, was the last time boxing aired on the network until 2012. That 2012 bout featured then-middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins and Glen Johnson – a contest Hopkins went on to win the bout by way of knockout.
The statement also said that each event on both networks will be complemented by a “significant marketing budget (,,,) dedicated to promoting each of the live CBS broadcasts and each major SHOWTIME telecast,” in addition to “short- and long-form shoulder programming that will air across multiple platforms.”
The press release may have also added more fuel to the speculation that a fight between undefeated pound-for-pound champion Floyd Mayweather and Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao on May 2 is all but a certainty. Mayweather is already scheduled to take part in a fight with SHOWTIME on May 2 and at present time the only thing in doubt is who he will be fighting.
Premier Boxing Champions was created by Al Haymon’s Haymon Sports, which currently has over 170 fighters under contract. Other than Mayweather, Haymon’s Haymon Sports managed Julio Cesar Chavez Junior, who will fight Andrzej Fonfara on April 18 as a part of SHOWTIME Championship Boxing and both Adonis Stevenson and Sakio Bika, who will be kicking off the series premier on CBS Sports on April 4. Additional dates have been confirmed in June, July and September and there will be up to three more events added to the 2015 calendar.