WBA welterweight champ Paulie Malignaggi and veteran boxing and sports broadcaster Brian Kenny will be part of Showtime's commentary team on Saturday night for the Canelo vs Lopez show, as the network continues to roll out the red carpet for the event.
Malignaggi will be fighting on the network himself on October 20, when Golden Boy presents another big card, with boxing's debut at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Kenny, of course, is well-known to boxing fans. He was the in-studio host for ESPN Friday Night Fights for years before moving to the MLB Network, he's had some classic one-on-one interviews/debates with Floyd Mayweather, and he was also the Top Rank PPV play-by-play man for Pacquiao vs Bradley in June.
Kenny will be serving as the night's host, but not as the play-by-play man. That job has again gone to Mauro Ranallo, who made his Showtime boxing debut last week on the Matthysse vs Ajose card, and I thought he was quite good. Al Bernstein will be there as always, since he's the rock-solid fixture of Showtime boxing these days.
It's odd, in a way, that Showtime has gone so heavy on this show, but also understandable. Canelo Alvarez is about a 15-to-1 favorite in this fight, but he's also got the sort of genuine star power and potential that Showtime's boxing brand needs, particularly if they're truly going all-in with Golden Boy, and also if Golden Boy is truly going all-in with Showtime. Canelo, if he can score a hit with this fight, could be the centerpiece of the Showtime and Golden Boy boxing movement going forward.