It’s a pretty boring TV environment these days if you’re a sports fan, with sports-based networks scrambling to dig up as much interesting old content as they can to put on the air right now.
Boxing gets a spotlight tonight on ESPN2 starting at 7 pm ET, with five Top Rank fights airing in a row, headlined by the biggest money fight of all time from back in 2015, the long-awaited, long-overdue meeting between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
Here’s the full lineup of what will air this evening:
- Terence Crawford vs Amir Khan (Apr. 20, 2019): ESPN’s first venture into boxing pay-per-view with Top Rank was an utter flop about 11 months ago; though the fight did generate significant interest with fans of the sport, Americans in particular weren’t interested in actually paying to see a past sell-by date version of Amir Khan. The ending is a real mess, and Khan would spend the next couple weeks making it worse every time he talked about it.
- Richard Commey vs Teofimo Lopez (Dec. 14, 2019): A crowning moment for the young Lopez, as he takes on IBF lightweight titleholder Commey at Madison Square Garden, hoping to set up a unification with Vasiliy Lomachenko.
- Terence Crawford vs Egidijus Kavaliauskas (Dec. 14, 2019): Not competitive, perhaps, but Kavaliauskas was game and did a little better than some expected he might. Then again nobody expected much.
- Tyson Fury vs Otto Wallin (Sept. 14, 2019): Somewhat quietly one of the most controversial fights of 2019, as Fury was allowed to battle through the sort of cut that absolutely would have stopped almost any other fight. With a lot of money invested in Fury, though, and Wallin a no-name LINEAL!!!!!!!! title challenger, that simply wasn’t on the table. It’s also a pretty good fight.
- Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao (May 2, 2015): The great casual-fan disappointer, perhaps of all time. While a diehard boxing fan can easily argue this was an interesting and tense chess match even if nothing ever really popped off, everyone who plopped down $100 on a whim to watch the fight everyone was talking about came away thinking it delivered all the pizzazz and power of a popcorn fart. It also made more money than any fight ever, by a lot, despite the fact many of those diehard fans thought it was sooo past the point of relevance. So you can see how everyone is kinda stupid in their own fun ways.