Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao signs TV deal with ESPN

Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao signs TV deal with ESPN

The Filipino fighter, also known as Pac Man, will get into the ring with unknown Australian Jeff Horn in Brisbane at the start of July.

The last time a Pacquiao fight had been shown off pay-per-view was his 2005 fight with Hector Velazquez, which was part of an HBO World Championship Boxing card to boost interest in Pacquiao's rematch with Erik Morales. "This fight, along with ESPN's in-depth programming surrounding the fight, joins Wimbledon, Home Run Derby and the ESPYS in a stellar early July programming lineup", said ESPN president John Skipper.

Branding the fight "The Battle of Brisbane", ESPN has a suite of programming planned around the event, beginning June 30 with live coverage of the weigh-in on the 7 p.m. ET SportsCenter. Longtime ESPN boxing commentators Joe Tessitore and color commentator Teddy Atlas will call the fights, along with former world titleholder - and Pacquiao rival - Timothy Bradley Jr.in the third analyst's chair.

Pacquiao's most recent fight, a unanimous decision over Jessie Vargas to win the title he now holds, was broadcast on an independent pay-per-view, marking the first time in almost a decade that one of his fights wasn't shown on either HBO or Showtime pay-per-view. We are excited that ESPN will air this fight throughout the U.S.in both English and Spanish. "It's going to be an unbelievable event".

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The fight against Horn marks the 38-year-old Pacquiao's (59-6-2, 38 KOs) first defense of the welterweight title he reclaimed in a unanimous-decision win over Jessie Vargas in November.

Well, that's one way to avoid an underwhelming pay-per-view total.

Horn used to be a school teacher in Australia before trying his hand at boxing full-time, and he has an unbeaten professional record of 16 wins and one draw.

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