On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman presents the audio from the inaugural news conference for the new Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) series on NBC.
This news conference took place Wednesday, January 14, at NBC's studio 8H, the home of "Saturday Night Live", at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York.
The return of major boxing shows to network television in the U.S. will start with a card on Saturday, March 7. Thus far announced are matches featuring Keith Thurman (24-0, 21 KOs) vs. Robert Guerrero (32-2-1, 18 KOs), and Adrien Broner (29-1, 22 KOs) vs. John Molina Jr. (27-2, 22 KOs). On April 11, Danny Garcia (29-0, 17 KOs) will face Lamont Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KOs).
For this year, there will be 20 live "PBC on NBC" events. This will include five Saturday primetime shows on NBC, six Saturday afternoon shows on NBC, and nine Saturday primetime shows on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), with specific dates and times to be announced.
There will also be Spanish-language audio and video coverage of these cards, as well as video streaming on NBC Sports Live Extra via their TV Everywhere service.
In this Premier Boxing Champions venture, NBC is working with Haymon Boxing and its head, boxing manager Al Haymon.
The news conference featured Jon Miller, the President of Programming for NBC Sports and NBCSN; a video from sportscaster Al Michaels, who will be the host of these prime time shows on NBC; boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard, who will be the lead analyst on these shows; award-winning composer Hans Zimmer, who will be in charge of composing the music for these shows; Lamont Jones, Vice President of Operations for Haymon Boxing Management; introductions of the fighters; and a short video on the history of boxing on NBC radio and TV.
Of particular note were these announcements by Lamont Jones: "With the support of the United States Anti‑Doping Agency, each boxer who competes in a PBC bout will be subjected to rigorous Olympic‑style random drug testing. With the involvement of the Cleveland Clinic, each boxer who competes in a PBC bout will benefit from evaluations by staff physicians from the clinic. And the PBC series will support the clinic's important Professional Fighter’s Brain Health Study."
We will also have several individual interviews from this news conference posted shortly.
We also open with a commentary on how this can all be a game-changer for the oft-beleaguered sport of boxing.
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