ESPN3.com is showing new interest in the boxing business, with three notable overseas fights set for live airing on the broadband network.
Saturday's fight between WBA middleweight titlist Felix Sturm and New York-based Dominican challenger Giovanni Lorenzo is the first of the bouts to air, starting at 3:30pm EDT. On September 11, Wladimir Klitschko defends the world heavyweight championship against Samuel Peter in a rematch, and a month later on October 16, Wladimir's brother Vitali defends the WBC heavyweight belt against Shannon Briggs. All three fights will be live from Germany.
That's the good news. The bad news is that a lot of people still can't access ESPN3. The network is available depending on whether or not your ISP has paid for the service. A full list of affiliates can be viewed here.
As a user of the service, I can say it's not the most reliable thing just yet, but the quality is very good when everything's working properly. All in all, it's only good that ESPN is using the service to pick up fights. As internet streaming becomes more and more of a factor in the way people watch television programs, it'll grow into a bigger and better entity, and hopefully that will mean more fights legally available for U.S. viewers. For those looking for more fights to air in the U.S., hopefully this will be a trail-blazing effort.