Top fighters kick off PBC on FOX partnership in LA

Eight title bouts and the first-ever PBC on FOX pay-per-view highlight press conference announcing fight cards through April 2019.

LOS ANGELES — Premier Boxing Champions brought more than two dozen fighters together at FOX’s studios in Studio City yesterday to announce a beefy schedule to kick off their four-year deal with the network.

Fighters gathered as FOX on-air talent Chris Myers, Lennox Lewis, Kate Abdo, and Kenny Albert introduced their fights one-by-one to a throng of media. Every fighter was dressed to impress, facing off and posing for photos before taking their seat at the dais.

In addition to the previously announced December 22 card that will kick off the series on FOX featuring Jermell and Jermall Charlo, the network announced nine additional fight cards that will take place across FOX, FS1, and FOX’s inaugural pay-per-view card.

That first PPV card pits welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. and four-division titleist Mikey Garcia against one another March 16 at AT&T Stadium (home of the Dallas Cowboys) in Arlington, Texas. Garcia is daring to be great by moving up from 135 pounds to face whom many consider the best 147-pounder in the world.

“That’s why I’m able to keep on challenging myself by moving up and down in divisions. I have great skills that most everybody still hasn’t seen, and I think that Errol Spence will be the one to bring those out of me,” Garcia said. “I think it’s going to be a great fight, and this is going to be one of those occasions where the little guy beats the bigger man.”

Spence was equally confident and said he respects Garcia for taking a risk to fight him when others in his own division have not.

“Well, I mean, that’s the fight that’s been offered to me,” Spence said And I think that’s a big fight in Dallas.

“And with Shawn Porter, I thought that fight was gonna happen. It somehow fell out. And with Keith Thurman, he’s gonna stay injured as long as I keep winning. So I mean, I don’t think me and him ever gonna fight. He mess around and retire, I’ll get that WBC belt.”

Super middleweight IBF champion Jose Uzcategui faces Caleb Plant January 13 on a PBC on FS1 card at the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live.

I’m back, and I plan on getting my belt back, and there are more things to come in the future. But we’re starting it off in January. WBA Welterweight Champion Keith Thurman

Undefeated welterweight champion Keith Thurman will end a 22-month layoff from injury when he faces former title challenger Josesito Lopez January 26 on FOX at the Barclays Center. Thurman is looking to get past Lopez and move to the front of the line in the crowded 147-pound division. On the undercard, Adam Kownacki meets Gerald Washington in an intriguing heavyweight bout.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been back in the ring,” Thurman said. “I’m just going to prove what I’ve always proven, that I’m the best. That Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman, you know ... I’ve been the ‘problem.’ I am the ‘truth.’ You’re boy is ‘swift.’ Any name that they have, I’ve already shown those skills, talents and attributes. I plan on keep doing it,” said Thurman, who admitted he has been a bit depressed as elbow and hand injuries have kept him out of the ring for so long.

“All year, I’ve been dealing with that, because I couldn’t jab my sparring partners. There was no telling when I was gonna get into the ring,” Thurman said. “Obviously, we gave up the WBC title and we let these boys fight for it to bring some more action into the sport. But, now, I’m back, and I plan on getting my belt back, and there are more things to come in the future. But we’re starting it off in January.

Leo Santa Cruz returns to defend his featherweight title against Miguel Flores on February 16 in Los Angeles on FOX. In an enticing 140-pound bout, Omar Figueroa returns from a layoff to face John Molina Jr. in what promises to be a slugfest.

Anthony Dirrell and Avni Yildirim meet for the vacant WBC super middleweight title on February 23 on FS1 at The Armory in Minneapolis.

Shawn Porter makes the first defense of his WBC welterweight title against mandatory challenger Yordenis Ugas March 9 on FOX in Las Vegas. Porter is hopeful that he will take care of Ugas and will find himself in a big fight in the second half of 2019.

Lamont Peterson faces Sergey Lipinets in a crossroads bout March 24 on FS1, taking place at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

In another crossroads bout between former champions, Caleb Truax gets a hometown showdown against Peter Quillin April 13 on FS1 at The Armory in Minneapolis.

Closing out the month of April and the first third of the year for FOX is the return of former two-division titleholder Danny Garcia against Adrian Granados on April 20 on FOX. Granados was the only fighter unable to attend due to being sick, but he sent a video of him trash-talking Garcia from his bed. Garcia’s response was he might as well stay in bed, otherwise Garcia will send him right back there.

For a complete look at all the upcoming PBC on FOX fights, check out our fight schedule.

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