Press Release

Top Rank Aligns With SPACE, The Top Pay-TV Option in Latin America

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Super smart move by the Las Vegas-based Top Rank, doing a deal which bolsters them in the hottest demo in the space.

Bob Arum’s promotional outfit will place their content on Space, a Latin American pay television channel owned by WarnerMedia Entertainment.

Space airs movies, TV series and the like, and was launched in March 1991. They are headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and are overseen by WarnerMedia, which is owned by AT&T.

WarnerMedia was known as Time Warner, and in the summer of 2018, the ATT purchase was okayed by regulators, and Time Warner ceased to exist. WarnerMedia also holds HBO within its confines.

As per usual, not always, but per usual, this move has a couple layers to it, and helps situate Top Rank that much better, because it gives them options. WarnerMedia is releasing to the US  HBO Max, a muscled up streaming service, in May. I wouldn’t get hopes up that HBO will return to boxing, although one never knows.

The streaming service will be exclusive rights holder of “Friends” replays, for the record.

So; let’s say ESPN decided they wanted to move away from boxing, and informed Bob Arum that they are going in another direction, though I see or hear no indication that is a thing. Live sports content could well be part of the HBO Max menu. Turner Sports churns out sports fare, and is part of the Warner Media collective. All that may or may not be pertinent to Top Rank, or boxing…But you may be wise to keep half an eye on that activity.

Regardless, Top Rank now seems positioned very, very strongly for the foreseeable future. Here is the release which Top Rank sent out to hype the Space deal on Wednesday morning:

(March 4, 2020) — Combate SPACE has had a presence in Latin America since 1991, and now they are about to start their 2020 season with new events and new faces, always live from ringside, which is in the DNA of the show.

The biggest news this 30th season of the show is the landmark agreement just signed between SPACE and Top Rank, the preeminent global player in the world of boxing. The company was established by Bob Arum, a true boxing legend who has promoted the likes of Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Marvin Hagler. 

This is great news for thousands of fans, as they will have the opportunity to see Top Rank stars such as Vasiliy Lomachenko, Tyson Fury, Terence Crawford, Naoya Inoue, Teofimo Lopez, Artur Beterbiev, Eleider Alvarez, Oscar Valdez, Miguel Berchelt, Alex Saucedo, Jose Ramirez and Shakur Stevenson.

Combate SPACE’s new season will kick off on Saturday, March 14, with a world championship fight featuring rising superstar Stevenson defending his WBO featherweight world title against Colombian slugger Miguel Marriaga. 

Said Mariano César, VP Content & Brands Portfolio General Entertainment, Turner Latin America: “We are very pleased to start this year with a partnership with a key player such as Top Rank. We know this will translate into a great offering for boxing fans in Latin America. We have already confirmed several world-class fights that will take place over the next few months in order to make good on our promise to bring audiences the best boxing fights, with a local outlook and right from ringside.” 

Bob Arum, a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and Chairman of Top Rank, said: “We are honored to be partnering with SPACE to bring Top Rank’s roster of champions and hungry young fighters to boxing fans across Latin America. Boxing is a truly global sport, and this deal will help build our fighters into global superstars.”

In addition to the above, Combate SPACE, the record-breaking pay-TV show in Latin America, will continue to offer what audiences expect: high-quality images, ringside presence, the passion and experience of Victor Silva and Paco Gonzalez, and the best coverage and pre-fight news on Facebook (facebook.com/combatespace), Instagram and Twitter (@canalspace), including videos, photos and comments. The show’s social media presence is completed with a YouTube channel, which will feature exclusive material, as well as Combate SPACE’s original production specials. 

March 14: Stevenson vs. Marriaga

Combate SPACE will start the year with a fight that is all about “youth vs. experience,” featuring Shakur Stevenson (USA) and Miguel Marriaga (Colombia), live from Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. Stevenson (13-0, 7 KOs) won the WBO featherweight championship last October in a dominant performance against Joet Gonzalez and will be making his first title defense. Stevenson captured a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics and Gold at the Pre-Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

Marriaga (29-3, 25 KOs) is a three-time world title challenger, having fallen short in valiant efforts against Vasiliy Lomachenko, Oscar Valdez and Nicholas Walters. He has won four consecutive bouts — all by KO — since the Lomachenko defeat.

March 28: Beterbiev vs. Meng

Two world titles will be at stake, as WBC/IBF light heavyweight world champion Artur Beterbiev will battle No. 1 contender Meng Fanlong, live from Quebec City, Canada. The Russian-born Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) is currently boxing’s only champion with a 100 percent KO ratio. His latest victim was Oleksandr Gvozdyk (Ukraine), whom he toppled last October via 10th-round knockout. 

The challenger has also remained undefeated as a pro for 16 fights. Nicknamed “Cold Blood”, with several fights in the U.S. under his belt, Meng seeks to become the first male world champion from China to win a world title in a weight class above featherweight.

April 25: Inoue vs. Casimero

The third fight of the year will take place at the Mecca of modern boxing, Las Vegas, and will feature WBA/IBF bantamweight world champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue hoping to unify titles against WBO world champion Johnriel Casimero. Inoue has an impeccable 14-0 record in championship fights and 8-0 when fighting world champions and former world champions (including Omar Narvaez, Juan Carlos Payano and Emmanuel Rodriguez). Last November, he defeated Nonito Donaire via unanimous decision in what was regarded as the best fight of the year. 

Casimero previously won championships in other two divisions (light flyweight and flyweight) and holds a 7-2 record in world title fights and a 5-3 record in fights against world champions. He has not lost a fight since 2017 and has won five consecutive fights, all of them by KO. Casimero most recently knocked out Zolani Tete in the third round to capture the WBO belt.

May 9: Ramirez vs. Postol

The fourth event confirmed by Top Rank will feature WBC/WBO super lightweight world champion Jose Ramirez and former world champion Viktor “The Iceman” Postol. Ramirez (25-0, 17 KOs) won the WBC championship when he beat Amir Imam in March 2018. Last July, he knocked out Maurice Hooker in six breathtaking rounds to unify the WBC and WBO world titles.

Ukraine-born Postol upset Lucas “La Máquina” Matthysse  (Argentina) via knockout in October 2015 before losing his title the following year in a unification bout against Terence Crawford. Postol has won two in a row since a competitive decision defeat to current unified world champion Josh Taylor.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/canalspace; https://twitter.com/trboxing

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/canalspacela/; https://www.instagram.com/toprank/

Facebook Combate: http://www.facebook.com/combatespace

Facebook Space: http://www.facebook.com/canalspace.tv

Facebook Top Rank: https://www.facebook.com/trboxing/

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/canalspacetv; https://www.youtube.com/trboxing

Plataformas de PR Combate SPACE:

Press Room: https://prensa.turner.com

Facebook: Facebook.com/TurnerPrensa/

Twitter: @TurnerPrensa

About Michael Woods

Michael Woods

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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