ESPN’s recent embrace of combat sports goes beyond adding rights to UFC fights. Their Top Rank Boxing cards have proven draws, thanks to boxers like Bud Crawford and Manny Pacquiao, and when Max Kellerman reached a new deal with ESPN, boxing was a big part of it.Now Kellerman will launch a new weekly show on ESPN2 focused on boxing, which will debut February 8th, ahead of another weekend Top Rank Boxing card.Via ESPN’s release:
ESPN’sMax Kellerman – featured commentator on the network’s popular morning debate show First Take – will host a new, 30-minute boxing series on ESPN2 and the ESPN App. It will air Fridays at 5 p.m. ET and feature veteran boxing expert Kellerman’s analysis, interviews with top fighters and guest appearances by leaders in the sport. The show will debut Friday, Feb. 8, ahead of that weekend’s Top Rank on ESPN card featuring Jose Ramirez vs. Jose Zepeda.
Kellerman is clearly one of the most visible boxing voices on the network, so this all makes a lot of sense. Norby Williamson agrees:
“It is very exciting to have Max leading this new show and returning as a fixture on our overall boxing coverage,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production. “His many years of boxing expertise and versatility will continue to be a great asset for fans and make him an important piece of our live event and studio show coverage.”
Kellerman’s decades of boxing coverage experience should serve him well in the role, and ESPN’s commitment to their Top Rank Boxing packages is impressive. The launch of a new show is a sign they’re not going to forget about it just because their UFC deal begins in earnest this weekend.[ESPN]