It looks like Fox Sports is still committed to Premier Boxing Champions, but their post-Covid 19 restart on will have to wait for the start of the 2020 Major League Baseball season.
First, MLB released the abbreviated 60 game schedule for their three months Coronavirus delayed season on Tuesday night. So, teams from the New York Yankees to the Chicago Cubs to the L.A. Dodgers were finding out when/where they are playing against their foes from later this month through the end of September.
And, Fox, who has been the largest rights holder, including exclusive coverage of the World Series, for the last 25 years will broadcast national games on Saturday night July 25th. And, that means that PBC’s Welterweight non-title rescheduled showdown featuring Jamal “Shango” James is moving back on the calendar, too,
PBC on FOX’s return now Aug. 8 with the rescheduled Jamal James-Thomas Dulorme fight in the main event and Lennox Allen-David Morrell in chief support, source tells @TheAthleticBOX. Dulorme-James was originally April 11, then July 25. MLB on FOX pushed it to Aug. 8
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) July 7, 2020
James and Thomas Dulorme will finally battle in a 12-round main event for the WBA “Interim” 147 pound title that was to have been fought in April.
James, 26 – 1, 12 KOs, is from Minneapolis and that is where the original fight was to have taken place prior to the Covid 19 March shutdown of sports. But, it will now instead likely happen at the Fox Television Studios in Los Angeles.
That is where PBC has been planning on holding fights without fans, at least when they initially resume their schedule and broadcasts.
Manny Pacquiao currently holds what the WBA calls their “Super” Welterweight title after his defeat last July of former unbeaten champ, Keith Thurman.
Meanwhile, James has won his last six fights, including a 10 round main event decision in Minneapolis over Anthony DeMarco, also last July. Dulorme is 25-3-1, with 16 KOs and will be formidable competition for James.
It is believed that “PBC on Fox” will begin rolling out at least two shows a month and maybe, more in the short-term to be broadcast either over the air on Fox or on the Fox Sports 1 cable channel. They have numerous postponed fights from late March and April that they can go re-schedule and go back to as the Summer unfolds.
However, as we wrote last week, Fox Sports “opted out” seven years early on their 12 year agreement with the U.S. Golf Association to televise all of their championships. That includes the crown jewel of the deal, the Men’s U.S. Open, which is delayed until September this year due to Covid 19.
That move saved the network some $700 million in rights fees. And, there has been some speculation that the move might signal that PBC’s multi-year deal with Fox/FS1 is in jeopardy, too, while PBC isn’t putting fight cards on to this point.
But for now, it’s seems PBC is on track to resume fights with the networks televising of them.
Fox or PBC have yet to officially confirm any return schedule.