ESPN has made a big addition to their boxing and MMA coverage. That would be Mike Coppinger, who had been covering boxing for The Athletic since 2019, and worked for Ring Magazine (2017-19) and USA Today (lead boxing writer from 2015-17, freelancer there before that). Here’s Coppinger’s tweet on the move:
Sources: I’m so excited to join ESPN, it’s genuinely a dream come true. Will be covering boxing and MMA, beginning with coverage from Las Vegas next week for UFC 264. Today is Day 1 and I can’t wait to bring everyone combat sports coverage for the best platform in the world! https://t.co/j45Wv40md3
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) July 1, 2021
Here’s more on this from ESPN’s release:
Mike Coppinger, one of the most accomplished journalists covering the sport of boxing, has joined ESPN as a reporter. In this new role, he will contribute news, analysis, storytelling and live event coverage for both boxing and mixed martial arts. In addition to writing, he will appear on TV and radio.
“We are excited to welcome Mike Coppinger to the ESPN combat sports team,” said Cristina Daglas, ESPN senior deputy editor, ESPN.com. “He has been a leading voice in the boxing space, breaking news and providing smart analysis as well as compelling behind-the-scenes storytelling. He will bring those skills and more to our many platforms.”
Coppinger added, “I’m excited to join the already formidable boxing and MMA team at ESPN among the likes of Max Kellerman, Mark Kriegel and Joe Tessitore. To cover the fight game for ESPN is truly a dream come true. Through breaking news, analysis and storytelling, the goal is to shine a light on combat sports for fans around the world.”
Bringing in Coppinger is certainly a significant addition for ESPN’s boxing coverage. And it’s also notable that they’re looking to use him on MMA coverage as well, as that comes just after one of their big MMA names (Ariel Helwani) leaving last month. We’ll see how Coppinger does with this dual boxing/MMA cross-platform role.