NBC Sports Group will step into the squared circle in the new year.
NBC Sports Network, which will be renamed from Versus on Jan. 2, will televise four boxing cards in 2012, showcasing the sweet science. The Saturday night franchise will debut at Asylum Arena in Philadelphia on Jan. 21.
The Fight Night cards are being scheduled in cities that are served by a Comcast Sports Group regional sports network. The RSNs will help promote the events and will be to encore the matches.
NBC Sports Network is scheduled to air Fight Night on March 24, June 16 and Dec. 8. The former will air from 10 p.m. to midnight, with the latter cards scheduled from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. The venues have not yet been announced.
NBC Sports Group will work with Main Events and Hall-of-Fame matchmaker J. Russell Peltz on a multipromoter strategy designed to produce the best quality fights. It is a strategy in which any promoter can participate to get their boxers involved
"This is a unique approach to have multiple promoters competing to put fights on NBC Sports Network," said Jon Miller, president, programming, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network, in announcing the venture. "That, coupled with the legendary matchmaker J. Russell Peltz serving as our quality control expert, ensures that boxing fans will enjoy exciting and competitive matches."
Noted Peltz: "Fights in this series will be solid, competitive and exciting. Borrowing the philosophy of the late Madison Square Garden matchmaker Teddy Brenner, my bouts will be made on the following criteria: Do the fighters' styles mesh to make an exciting fight? Does this fight lead to something? And would I buy a ticket to it? These should be good fights for boxing fans."
Main Events president Kathy Duva put out a calling card to the boxing community. "We are reaching out to all promoters to get involved in the series, and our priority is simply to make exciting fights. We don't care who brings the fighters," she said. "We expect that multiple promoters will be involved in each of the Fight Night programs. All fighters who are willing to further their careers by engaging in compelling, interesting, meaningful matches are welcome."
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