Because the Australian government is being generous in subsidizing the Manny Pacquiao v Jeff Horn fight July 1 (July 2 in Australia), Pacman's promoter Bob Arum was able to place the fight on “free TV.” The bout, the first non PPV bout for Manny in 11 years, will run on ESPN, it was announced on Monday morning.
Arum hinted at this deal last month at Madison Square Garden, after the Terence Crawford-Felix Diaz fight, teasing that this bout would be offered on the “largest” platform. We wondered whether that meant he'd go “over the top” and put it on the Top Rank website. But not; the Bobfather partnered up with the Worldwide Leader in sports coverage to show the tango against Aussie Horn.
The underdog is not well known, or, really, known at all, outside his homeland. On a Monday “First Take” hit, Stephen A Smith bungled and called him “Joe Horn” and Arum corrected him, as SAS and Max Kellerman asked the 85 year old dealmaker about this deal and other areas of the fight world.
Arum also touched on Andre Ward, saying that if he'd promoted Ward, the Oakland would be a bigger deal. He needs to be exposed to the masses all the time, as Top Rank tries to do with other bright lights. Arum also said his ace Terence Crawford is near a deal to fight Julius Indongo, who holds two 140 belts. If the Nebraskan wins that fight he likely next goes to 147 and challenges a Pacquiao, or Errol Spence or Keith Thurman.
Arum didn't give a hint and wasn't asked about if this was a “one and done” deal with ESPN or part of a broader package. Right now, promotional rival Oscar De La Hoya has also saddled up with ESPN, and his Golden Boy Promotions runs bouts on TWWL currently. Would there and is there room for both on that platform?
Here is the release which went out in the early AM Monday:
Manny Pacquiao to Defend WBO Welterweight Title in “Battle of Brisbane” Live and Exclusively on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, Saturday, July 1 at 10 p.m. ET
· ESPN to Televise Pacquiao’s First Non-PPV Fight Since September 2005
· Pacquiao, Going for His 60th Career Win, Faces Australia's Undefeated No. 1 World-Rated Contender Jeff Horn
· Suncorp Stadium Expects Record, Sold Out 55,000 Crowd
Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, boxing's only eight-division world champion and the only sitting Senator to capture a world championship belt, will add another first to his burgeoning list of Hall of Fame-caliber accomplishments with his live debut on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (also streaming live on the ESPN app) on Saturday, July 1 at 10:00 p.m. ET. The fight will be called ringside by ESPN commentators Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas. They will be joined by guest analyst Timothy Bradley, Jr., a former two-division world champion recently trained by Teddy Atlas who has met Pacquiao three times in the ring, winning their first match in a decision. ESPN Deportes will pair Jorge Eduardo Sanchez and Juan Manuel Marquez to call the main event in Spanish, with prefight commentary from Pablo Viruega, Leopoldo Gonzalez, Claudia Trejos and Juan Manuel Marquez.
Pacquiao, the Boxing Writers Association of America's reigning Fighter of the Decade, will defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown against undefeated No. 1 contender and Brisbane's favorite son Jeff “The Hornet” Horn at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. This will be the first time Pacquiao has not fought on pay-per-view since Sept. 10, 2005, when he stopped Hector Velazquez in the sixth round — 12 years and four weight divisions ago.
ESPN’s coverage of “The Battle of Brisbane” will begin on Friday, June 30th, and includes live coverage of the Pacquiao and Horn weigh-in at 7 p.m. ET within SportsCenter on ESPN and within Golpe a Golpe on ESPN Deportes. During the week of June 26, classic Pacquiao fights will also be available on demand and streaming via the ESPN app, on both ESPN and ESPN Deportes, including Pacquiao vs. Ricky Hatton (5/2/2009), Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez (11/12/11) and Pacquiao vs. Tim Bradley (4/12/14).
The July 1 telecast will also feature Irish Olympic hero Michael Conlan (2-0, 2 KOs), from Belfast, in a six-round featherweight bout against Jarrett “Juarez” Owen (5-4-3, 2 KOs), of Brisbane, and International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior bantamweight world champion Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas (24-1-1, 16 KOs), of Cavite City, Philippines, defending his title against top-rated contender Teiru Kinoshita (25-1-1, 8 KOs), of Kobe, Japan. The live telecast will open with an eight-round middleweight rumble between Shane Mosley, Jr. (10-1, 7 KOs), of Pomona, Calif. and son of former three-division world champion “Sugar” Shane Mosley, and David Toussaint (10-0, 8 KOs), of Canberra, Australia.
Saturday, July 1st on ESPN and ESPN Deportes
9 p.m. – 10 p.m. ET: Top Rank Boxing: Undercards & Main Event Preview
Shane Mosley, Jr. vs. David Toussaint
10 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. ET: Top Rank Boxing: Main Event
Michael Conlan vs. Jarrett Owen
Jerwin Ancajas vs. Teiru Kinoshita
Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff “The Hornet” Horn
Sunday, July 2nd on ESPN Deportes
12:30 a.m. – 2 a.m. ET – SportsCenter
“Working with Top Rank on a match normally seen on pay-per-view is a significant moment for ESPN and for boxing fans,” said ESPN President John Skipper. “This fight, along with ESPN’s in-depth programming surrounding the fight, joins Wimbledon, Home Run Derby and the ESPYs in a stellar early July programming lineup.”
“The world has followed amazing Manny since he burst onto scene in his U.S. debut in 2001, where he knocked out Lehlo Ledwaba to win his second of a record eight division world titles. We are excited that ESPN will air this fight throughout the U.S. in both English and Spanish. It's going to be an unbelievable event,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum.
“Manny Pacquiao has been one of the biggest global sports stars of his era, setting attendance and pay-per-view records for over the past decade. Now, as he defends his world title in front of yet another anticipated record crowd, he will be doing it to his biggest U.S. television audience on the world's biggest and most prestigious sports network, ESPN,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank. “To have ESPN, which has treated its viewers to NFL, College Football Playoff and NBA playoff games, add Manny's title fight to its roster is the biggest compliment one can give to Manny's star power and a great gift to sports fans.”
Promoted by Top Rank® and Duco Events, in association with MP Promotions, “The Battle of Brisbane: Pacquiao vs. Horn” is expected to attract a sellout crowd of 55,000 fans, eclipsing the previous Australian record of 38,000 set on March 1, 1992 when Azumah Nelson stopped Jeff Fenech in the eighth round to retain his World Boxing Council (WBC) super featherweight title. The battle between the two Hall of Famers took place at Princes Park in Melbourne.
Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs), a former two-term congressman, was elected to a Philippine Senate seat in May 2016, capturing over 16 million votes nationally. An international icon, Pacquiao is the only fighter to win eight world titles in as many different weight divisions. A three-time Fighter of the Year and the reigning BWAA “Fighter of the Decade,” Pacquiao's resumé features victories over present and future Hall of Famers, including Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley. From 2008 to 2010, five of his seven victories were world title victories in five different weight classes, ranging from 130 to 154 pounds. No active boxer has sold more live tickets in the U.S. than Pacquiao, who is also credited with over 18 million domestic pay-per-view buys. After his disappointing unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. on May 2, 2015, a world championship fight that generated a record 4.5 million pay-per-view buys and over $400 million in television revenue alone, a healthy Pacquiao (he had suffered a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder during the fourth round of the Mayweather fight) returned to the winner's circle on April 9, 2016, winning the rubber match against five-time world champion Bradley. In a battle of Top-10 pound for pound fighters, Pacquiao sent Bradley to the canvas twice en route to a dominant 12-round unanimous decision victory. On Nov. 5, Pacquiao regained the WBO welterweight title for a third time when he shellacked the once-defeated defending champion Jessie Vargas via another dominant 12-round unanimous decision. Pacquiao has been trained by Hall of Famer Freddie Roach since 2001.
Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs), from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, enters the fight of his life having won his last three battles — all in 2016 — against Ali Funeka, Rico Mueller and Randall Bailey, inside the distance. They had a combined record of 105-14-4 when he fought them. The 2012 Australian Olympian's background belies the warrior he has become inside the ring. Well-schooled inside and outside the ring, Horn received his Bachelor of Education degree from Griffith University and taught high school Physical Education even as he embarked on his professional boxing career. He began boxing at age 18 after being picked on by bullies and has been an advocate of anti-bullying campaigns. Immensely popular throughout Australia, Horn, 29, has become a national gate attraction in his own right. Selected the Australian Boxer of the Year in 2015, Horn is trained and managed by Glenn Rushton, the only trainer he has ever had, and assisted by former WBC super welterweight world champion John “The Beast” Mugabi.
LOS ANGELES (June 19, 2017) — Hall of Fame promoter BOB ARUM will be “barnstorming” ESPN today, talking about Fighter of the Decade MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO's first non-pay-per-view fight since 2005. Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs), of General Santos City, Philippines, boxing's only eight-division world champion and the only sitting Senator to capture a world championship belt, will make his live debut on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (also streaming live on the ESPN app) defending his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title against undefeated No. 1 contender, mandatory challenger and Australia's favorite son JEFF “The Hornet” HORN (16-0-1, 11 KOs), from Brisbane, Saturday, July 1 at 10:00 p.m. ET. This will be the first time Pacquiao has not fought on pay-per-view since. Sept. 10, 2005, when he stopped Hector Velazquez in the sixth round — 12 years and four weight divisions ago.
Below, please find the list of Arum's live appearances on ESPN today
§ 9:05 a.m. ET “Mike and Mike”
§ 10:40 a.m. ET “First Take”
§ 2:30 p.m. ET “Sports Nation”
§ 4:00 p.m. ET “Jalen & Jacoby”
The ESPN/ESPN Deportes live telecast of “The Battle of Brisbane” will emanate from Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia, where a record crowd of 55,000+ fans is expected. In addition to the Pacquiao-Horn WBO welterweight world title fight, the ESPN/ESPN Deportes live telecast will also feature Irish Olympic hero MICHAEL CONLAN (2-0, 2 KOs), from Belfast, in a six-round featherweight bout against JARRETT “Juarez” OWEN (5-4-3, 2 KOs), of Brisbane, and International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior bantamweight world champion JERWIN “Pretty Boy” ANCAJAS (24-1-1, 16 KOs), of Cavite City, Philippines, defending his title against top-rated contender TEIRU KINOSHITA (25-1-1, 8 KOs), of Kobe, Japan. The live telecast will open with an eight-round middleweight rumble between SHANE MOSLEY, JR. (10-1, 7 KOs), of Pomona, Calif. and son of former three-division world champion “Sugar” Shane Mosley, and DAVID TOUSSAINT (10-0, 8 KOs), of Canberra, Australia.