THE return of prizefighting to primetime network television has finally arrived as the recently announced Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series is set to debut on Saturday, March 7 with an action-packed double main event on NBC, live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The inaugural PBC on NBC fight night will feature two spectacular bouts worthy of this historic occasion. In the second main event of the evening, undefeated welterweight knockout artist Keith “One Time” Thurman (24-0, 21 KOs) will take on former four-division world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (32-2-1, 18 KOs) in a showdown where both men look to prove they are amongst the best fighters in the world on the biggest stage in recent boxing history.
The first main event of the evening will feature one of boxing’s biggest and most compelling stars, former three-division world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner (29-1, 22 KOs) facing off against the always exciting John “The Gladiator” Molina Jr. (27-5, 22 KOs) in a super lightweight bout that will put the winner at the top of the division.
Don’t miss a minute of the PBC on NBC action as the first televised fight on NBC begins at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT SHARP!
“The team and I are extremely excited and we are all looking forward to this opportunity to fight on NBC. A lot of what my team keeps saying is that this is going to change the sport. It reminds me that my late trainer Ben Getty used to tell me, that all I needed to do was get on a big stage,” said Thurman. “I’m truly looking forward to headlining the first show. I’m happy to be back at MGM Grand and looking forward to a great knockout. This is the start of creating a household name.”
“It’s very refreshing to know that NBC is bringing boxing back to primetime television,” said Guerrero. “It’s an honor to be part of the first show, especially against an undefeated champion like Keith Thurman. Everyone knows I always come to fight. Let’s hope Thurman has the same mindset. He claims that he’s going to knock me out, but I see a totally different outcome. When this fight is over, everyone tuning in will know why boxing is one of the most exciting sports to watch, that I can guarantee.”
“This is the first big installment of ‘AB on NBC.’ There’s nothing I can’t do,” said Broner. “It’s a great fight not only for the fighters, but for the fans. Everyone knows that I always come to fight and I know John Molina Jr. is coming to fight. I look forward to stopping Molina on NBC. I love the support and anyone that supports me; I’m going to fight for them. This is just the start of the ‘AB Show’ in 2015.”
“I am extremely excited to be a part of the inaugural show on NBC and to be on this platform. I can’t wait to go out there and do what I do best in front of millions of people,” said Molina Jr. “I want to fight the best and Broner is one of the best. This is a fight that we asked for over a year ago and we finally got it. I am so excited. I’m not nervous at all. If I were nervous, I wouldn’t be in this industry. This is the type of thing that real fighters dream about. I’m counting down the days.”
The return of boxing to primetime on NBC is nearly 30 years in the making, with the last such fight night taking place May 20, 1985. That fight saw Larry Holmes win a 15-round decision and defend his IBF Heavyweight World Championship against Carl Williams in Reno, Nev.
Primetime national television was a long-time home for some of the most recognizable names in the history of the sport, with fighters such as Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman and Mike Tyson making a name for themselves in front of a national audience.
The PBC on NBC series will feature a cast of familiar names and voices who will lend their immense talents to the broadcasts. Seven-time Emmy Award winner Al Michaels will host the series while Academy Award winning composer Hans Zimmer will compose the music that brings the series to life. In addition, legendary boxer Sugar Ray Leonard will serve as lead analyst.
“I’m so excited about PBC on NBC. I was shocked when I got the call, but right away I knew I wanted to be a part of this,” said Leonard. “This is what boxing needs, and this is what the boxing fans need.”
Los Angeles-based Goossen Promotions will promote this inaugural PBC on NBC event.
“It’s an honor to be a part of this extraordinary and highly anticipated event on March 7, the debut of the ‘Premier Boxing Champions’ series on NBC,” said Tom Brown of Goossen Promotions. “These are two outstanding fights featuring four world class boxers and fans are in for a terrific night of action.”
Thurman has long proven his power by knocking out 18 of his first 19 opponents, but when he won the interim WBA Welterweight World Title with a 10th round knockout over Diego Chaves in July of 2013, he put himself in a position to fight the very best in the sport. The 26-year-old Clearwater, Florida native has since made three successful title defenses with knockouts over Jesus Soto Karass and Julio Diaz, before dominating Leonard Bundu on his way to a unanimous decision in December 2014. Now, Thurman looks to remain undefeated when he faces his toughest test to date in Guerrero.
A battle-tested veteran, Guerrero, of Gilroy, Calif., has been among the elite fighters in boxing for years. A southpaw boxer-puncher, Guerrero has won world titles in four weight classes from 130 to 147 pounds, beating the likes of Andre Berto, Joel Casamayor, Michael Katsidis and Selcuk Aydin along the way. His prowess across these weight classes earned him a fight with pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather in 2013, which he lost by unanimous decision. “The Ghost” bounced back nicely in June of 2014 with a hard-fought unanimous decision victory over Yoshihiro Kamegai.
One of boxing’s most well-known stars, Broner, the 25-year old phenom who has collected world titles at 130, 135 and 147 pounds, is setting his sights on the dangerous puncher John Molina Jr. on March 7. Broner has prevailed over the likes of Paulie Malignaggi, Daniel Ponce de Leon and Antonio Demarco on the way to becoming a three-division champion. Despite suffering his first loss to Marcos Maidana in December 2013, the Cincinnati-native rebounded with back-to-back victories over Carlos Molina and Emmanuel Taylor.
Molina Jr. from Covina, Calif., has had great success in the professional ranks including an impressive knockout victory over current world champion Mickey Bey that proved you can never count the powerful puncher out of a fight. The 32-year-old lost a scintillating Fight of the Year candidate to Lucas Matthysse in 2014 and is looking to start off 2015 with a big win against Broner.
A full night of exciting undercard bouts will be announced shortly.
PBC on NBC, will take place Saturday, March 7 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and is promoted by Goossen Promotions. The event will air live on NBC (8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT).