For the first time since 1985, NBC will air a primetime boxing title fight tonight when Keith Thurman (24-0, 21 KOs) defends his WBA welterweight title against Roberto Guerrero (32-2-1, 18 KOs).
Tonight’s event, airing on NBC at 8:30pm EST, also features a co-main event match up between Adrien Broner (29-1, 22 KOs) and John Molina, Jr. (27-5, 22 KOs) in a junior welterweight bout.
This is the first of 20 cards in a new series called Premier Boxing Champions created by powerful boxing adviser, Al Haymon and airing between the NBC and NBCSN channels. This is just one of the many coups Haymon has made within the sport since announcing his jaunt into the boxing promoter business.
Both parties are hoping for big action with each event as Haymon has purchased the airtime on broadcasts networks NBC and CBS (on Saturday afternoons) to broaden the presence of boxing beyond premium cable subscribers.
The availability of today’s biggest names and champions on network television could bring many new eyeballs to the sport, which could lead to many brand advertisers opening up their checkbooks to attract these viewers.
The main event features hard hitting, up and coming champion, Keith Thurman facing off against wily veteran Robert Guerrero. After winning the interim WBA welterweight title from Diego Chaves back in July 2013, Thurman has defended it successfully 3 times.
Most recently, Thurman won a unanimous decision against Leonard Bundu as the co-main event of the Amir Khan vs. Devon Alexander event last December (you can hear our interviews with both Thurman and Khan on their December match-ups here).
Guerrero, whose last loss was to Floyd Mayweather in 2013, is coming off a unanimous decision victory against Yoshihiro Kamegai last June.
The co-main event features a sure fire war between the popular Adrien Broner and the lesser-known John Molina, Jr. in what appears as a mismatch to the average fan. Broner is coming off two back-to-back unanimous wins last year against Carlos Molina and Emmanuel Taylor, with victories coming a mere four months apart.
Molina, best known for his stunning come from behind TKO victory in the 10th and final round against Mickey Bey in 2013, is coming off two losses to Lucas Matthysse (KO) and Humberto Soto (UD). However, the pace pushing action that Molina brings to the bout will surely allow a game Broner to display his natural gift, or a not so game Broner to experience Molina’s barrage.
Network TV and boxing fans are sure to welcome back boxing and now the sport has to deliver what Al Haymon and NBC has promised, premier boxing.