The boxing viewing landscape has dramatically changed over the last year or so, and one of the big things that the sport has added consistently for diehard fans is the ability to legally watch prelim fights from major cards. We’ve seen Top Rank dedicated to it through ESPN+, DAZN has prelim action, and even the FOX brands have gotten into the act by airing prelim (or sometimes “postlim”) bouts on FS1 or FS2.
Showtime is jumping in now, too, as they’ll have a live stream of the prelim undercard action from the Wilder-Breazeale card on May 18, before the main show tripleheader. Not every fight on the card will air, but it’s certainly welcome expanded coverage for those who are interested.
The prelim bouts will stream on YouTube and Facebook at 6:30 pm ET, with the main card starting at 9 pm ET.
The main card features the Deontay Wilder vs Dominic Breazeale main event, of course, and it was recently announced that Gary Russell Jr will defend his WBC featherweight title against Kiko Martinez, plus unbeaten Juan Heraldez vs Argenis Mendez in a lightweight fight.
Here’s a quick rundown of what we’ll see on Showtime Championship Boxing Countdown:
- Cruiserweight Deon Nicholson (11-0, 11 KO) will face Brian Howard (14-2, 11 KO) in a 10-round fight. Nicholson, 28, is a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and part of Wilder’s BombZquad team. Howard, 38, fought at light heavyweight last year and was KO’d by Umar Salamov, but Salamov can fight, too. Nicholson has faced very light opposition and hasn’t gone past of the fourth round yet.
- Another BombZquad fighter, heavyweight Robert Alfonso (18-0, 8 KO), will face Iago Kiladze (26-4, 18 KO) in another 10-rounder. Alfonso is Cuban amateur standout, now 32 years old. He won gold at the 2007 Pan American Games, beating Oscar Rivas in the finals. He also beat Michael Hunter in the amateurs to qualify for the 2008 Olympics, where he lost to Vyacheslav Glazkov in his first bout. Kiladze, 33, is originally from Georgia (the country) and now based in LA. He’s been knocked out in his last three fights against Adam Kownacki, Hunter, and Joe Joyce, and was also KO’d by Youri Kalenga back in 2013, when Kiladze was at cruiserweight.
- Richardson Hitchins (8-0, 4 KO) will be in an eight-round fight against an opponent to be determined. The 21-year-old will settle in at either 140 or 147 once the fights get serious, for now he’s been between the two weights for each of his pro fights. Hitchins represented Haiti at the 2016 Olympics, losing to Gary Antuanne Russell in the opening round. He’s already fought twice this year, winning bouts on Jan. 17 and March 2.
The non-televised undercard for the show at Barclays Center in Brooklyn is also taking shape. Gary Russell’s brothers Antonio Russell and Gary Antuanne Russell will be in bantamweight and junior welterweight action, respectively, both fights set for eight rounds. Personally I would like to thank Antonio Russell for going from Gary Antonio Russell to Antonio Russell and saving folks the confusion. Gary Antuanne Russell has not yet been so considerate.
Also, Dylan Price will be in a six-round super flyweight fight, and Kenny Robles in a six-round 140-pound fight.