Today via press release, NBC Sports officially announced their partnership with New Jersey-based Main Events. The series will debut on January 21, 2012, live from Philadelphia at the building formerly known as the ECW Arena (or Viking Hall, or Asylum Arena, or whatever).
The series will air on NBC Sports Network, the re-branded version of Versus.
With Main Events promoting, and hoping to work with other promoters to make compelling fights, it's also worth noting that J. Russell Peltz will serve as a matchmaker and "quality control" adviser for the series.
"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. "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."
"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," said Kathy Duva, president, Main Events. "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."
"Fights in this series will be solid, competitive and exciting," said Peltz. "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."
Currently, the series has four, two-hour broadcasts on the schedule: January 21, March 24, June 16, and December 8 in 2012. The March 24 broadcast will start at 10 p.m. EST, with the other shows at 9 p.m. EST.
Boxing fans, of course, are hoping that this goes a lot better than the last regular boxing series on the channel, when Top Rank presented the Tye Fields Bum of the Month Club with a few other non-compelling fights along the way.
Right now, former heavyweight titleholder Sergei Liakhovich (25-4, 16 KO), welterweight Ray Robinson (12-2, 5 KO) and lightweight Korey Pritchett (1-1, 0 KO) are tentatively penciled in for the January 21 show in Philadelphia, but no fights have been announced.