Top Rank has just acquired the U.S. rights to air this weekend’s bantamweight title fight on its ESPN+ platform. The doubleheader will feature a main event with Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue (15-0, 13 KOs) moving up in weight to challenge Jamie McDonnell (29-2-1, 13 KOs) for his WBA title.
The promotional firm finalized the deal with Teiken Promotions just last night as part of their deal with ESPN to provide boxing content for its new subscription streaming service. And as the card is being held in Japan, the action will kick off on Friday morning, starting at 7am ET. The chief support will feature junior flyweights Ken Shiro and Ganigan Lopez facing off in a rematch.
“In the short time since its launch [on April 12], ESPN+ is becoming a wonderful platform to see world-class global fighters at all different hours of the day,” Top Rank president Todd duBoef told ESPN. “Friday’s event is another step we are taking toward bringing compelling world-class boxing to the ESPN platforms.”
Inoue, 24, is already considered by most to be one of the most exceptional talents in the sport. He’ll be vying for a third world championship with only 15 professional fights under his belt.
McDonnell is the reigning champion however, and he believes he has the boxing ability to stave off a hungry Inoue, which would only serve to bolster his own reputation.