Los Angeles – FOX Sports announces that four-time world heavyweight champion Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield and current featherweight world champion Abner Mares join the FOX Sports broadcast team as analysts for PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS: WILDER VS. WASHINGTON live on FOX and FOX Deportes Saturday, Feb. 25 (8:00 PM ET), from Legacy Arena at the BJCC in Birmingham, Ala. In addition, FOX Sports and industry leader NextVR team to deliver the two-hour show in virtual reality.
Holyfield makes a special appearance as a guest analyst with the broadcast team of blow-by-blow announcer Brian Kenny, fellow analyst and long-time boxing trainer Virgil Hunter, Mares and reporter Kristine Leahy, during the exciting heavyweight bouts. The main event features the title fight between WBC world champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (37-0, 36 KOs) and unbeaten heavyweight Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington (18-0-1, 12 KOs), as well as the 10-round clash between hard-hitting Dominic Breazeale (17-1, 15 KOs) and undefeated Izuagbe Ugonoh (17-0, 14 KOs).
Holyfield reigned as both the undisputed cruiserweight and heavyweight world champion in a career that spanned more than three decades from 1984 to 2011. He successfully defended the undisputed heavyweight championship three times.
Holyfield and Wilder share a connection. Both were born in Alabama – Holyfield in Atmore and Wilder in Tuscaloosa, where he still resides. Holyfield has followed Wilder’s career since the 31-year-old champion was a member of the U.S. boxing Olympic team and won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Games.
There is another Olympic connection between Holyfield and Ugonoh’s trainer, Kevin Barry. Holyfield and Barry met in the semifinals of a light heavyweight bout at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. The match was marred by controversy after Holyfield was disqualified in the second round for hitting Barry on the break. Because of the disqualification, Holyfield won the bronze medal for the U.S. team in the 1984 LA Games.
The fourth installment of PBC on FOX features the two heavyweight bouts, as well as a junior middleweight title fight. Once-beaten Tony Harrison (24-1, 20 KOs) and undefeated Jarrett Hurd (19-0, 13 KOs) battle in a 12-round affair for a vacant 154-pound world championship.
Working with NextVR, the two-hour PBC on FOX show is also broadcast live in virtual reality. For the second year in a row, multiple cameras set up around the ring capture the action in immersive, high-definition virtual reality, providing fans with the best seat in the house. The PBC on FOX boxing experience is available for free through the NextVR app. Fans with a Google Daydream or Samsung Gear VR headset, along with a compatible smartphone, can access the virtual reality experience by downloading the NextVR app from the Oculus or Google Play Stores.
Once the fights are done on FOX, the boxing continues for two more hours on FS1 & FOX Deportes, with Kenny calling the action with analysts Mares and Hunter. That show is headlined by unbeaten prospect Caleb Plant (14-0, 10 KOs) against Ghana’s Thomas Awimbono (25-6-1, 21 KOs) in the 10-round main event.
On FOX Deportes, former featherweight world champion and 2000 Mexican Olympic team member Daniel Ponce de Leon joins blow-by-blow announcer Ricardo Celis to call the action in Spanish.