In seven days, on Saturday, March, 7, boxing returns to primetime broadcast television with the debut of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC at 8:30 p.m. ET. The debut of PBC on NBC features a pair of blockbuster bouts – Keith Thurman vs. Robert Guerrero, and Adrien Broner vs. John Molina Jr. – from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Blow-by-blow announcer Marv Albert and analyst “Sugar” Ray Leonard call the action. Al Michaels will host. Laila Ali and B.J. Flores serve as corner analysts, joined by reporter Kenny Rice.
BOXING ON NBC
NBC Sports has a rich boxing history, presenting the sport to millions of viewers across the country beginning with the first-ever live televised fight in 1939. Following are NBC Sports boxing highlights:
June 1, 1939 – NBC aired the first-ever live telecast of boxing when Lou Nova defeated Max Baer. Famed NBC announcer Bill Stern called the match from Yankee Stadium. The event occurred just two weeks after NBC presented the first-ever broadcast of a sporting event, a baseball game between Columbia and Princeton.
1946 – NBC introduced the Gillette Cavalcade of Sports, which focused on the Friday night boxing series at Madison Square Garden. Cavalcade of Sports aired through 1960.
June 19, 1946 – The first heavyweight championship fight ever televised was part of the Gillette Cavalcade of Sports series with Joe Louis defeating Billy Conn to defend his title. The event was one of the great fights of the decade, as The New York Times dedicated a full page to the results of the bout.
Sept. 18, 1946 – Joe Louis defeated Tami Mauriello for the world heavyweight title with a knockout just 2:09 into the first round.
Feb. 14, 1951 – “Sugar” Ray Robinson defeated Jake LaMotta for the world middleweight title. Dubbed boxing’s “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre,” the 13-round bout was the last in a bitter rivalry between the fighters that included six fights over a span of nearly eight years. Continue reading