In less than a month, UFC on FOX 31 will air live from Milwaukee on FOX.
It will be the final UFC event to air on the FOX broadcast network, bringing an end to a seven-year run of MMA on FOX’s properties, spanning FOX, FOX Sports 1, FX, FXX, FOX Sports 2, and in earlier years, FUEL TV.
With FOX’s recent loss of the UFC television rights to ESPN, the network is filling the void with an increased emphasis on boxing, specifically Premier Boxing Champions.
A Nov. 14 press conference was held in the FOX Television Center in Los Angeles, CA on the main set used for such studio-based programs as FOX NFL Sunday, MLB Whiparound, MLB on FOX Pregame, and FOX College Hoops Extra, during which time the network revealed its plans for the schedule of PBC events through April.
All told, between December and April, eight championship fights will be aired on FOX Sports’ properties. In addition, all PBC on FOX/ FS1 cards will be simulcast in Spanish on FOX Deportes.
FOX’s new agreement with PBC begins before its last UFC event proper airs on FS1.
On Dec. 22, a week before FS1’s live coverage of the late prelims of UFC 232 from T-Mobile Arena (the last live UFC event to air on a FOX property; its coverage of UFC ends altogether with the UFC 232 Post-Fight Show after that night’s main event), PBC on FOX returns with the first card of a four-year TV deal.
Headlining the Dec. 22 show is the WBC Interim Middleweight Championship fight matching 27-0 Jermall Charlo with 23-3 Willie Monroe Jr.
As per the terms of the deal, FOX Sports will air 22 PBC cards on its properties each year during the contract’s life (10 on the FOX broadcast network, 12 on FS1.)
The deal will also include the occasional pay-per-view. On Mar. 16 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, FOX will present Errol Spence Jr. (24-0) vs. Mikey Garcia (39-0) for the IBF Welterweight title on pay-per-view.
Garcia, the WBC Lightweight champion, will make his first appearance as a welterweight competitor in this fight.
For the full slate of upcoming events, log onto http://www.premierboxingchampions.com/boxing-schedule. The current upcoming slate runs through Saturday, April 20.
As a fan of combat sports, I gave PBC a shot when it first launched in 2015 and immediately enjoyed it. I can safely say that I am now as much a fan of boxing as I am a fan of MMA.
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