Premier Boxing Champions and Fox, which announced a four-year rights deal in September, on Tuesday unveiled their first 10 cards — and the rest of their dates for the year — at a news conference at the Fox Studios in Los Angeles.
In all, they announced 14 bouts through April that will air on either Fox in prime time or on cable network Fox Sports 1. But the biggest fight made official was the much discussed showdown between welterweight world titlist Errol Spence Jr. and lightweight titlist Mikey Garcia, who will move up two weight divisions to go for a world title in a fifth division in a meeting between two of boxing’s elite pound-for-pound best in the world.
The fight will headline the first Fox PPV card and will take place at AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys, on March 16. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is a big boxing fan and has wanted to host another major fight at his stadium, which has hosted three previous boxing events, two headlined by Manny Pacquiao and one by Canelo Alvarez.
“I wanted to get the biggest fight available and make the biggest splash and what better way than to do it on a Fox pay-per-view,” Garcia said. “That’s why I’m taking it, because it’s such a big challenge and that’s what I’m about. I want the biggest fight, the biggest challenges. There’s no one else out there right now that I can compete with at that level and Spence is the guy, so that’s why I’m after him.”
Garcia (39-0, 39 KOs) began calling Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) out before he unified lightweight belts in a lopsided win over Robert Easter Jr. in July. Spence, also seeking a marquee fight, was happy to accept Garcia’s challenge for a fight that figures to draw a large crowd given that Spence is from the Dallas suburb of DeSoto, Texas, and Garcia is a Mexican-American with a growing fan base.
“It’s a dream come true and it’s gonna be a big fight,” said Spence, who will be defending his title for the third time. “I have a lot of great fans in Texas and he has a lot of fans, especially with him being Mexican.”
The schedule will also feature the return of welterweight world titleholder Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) from a long injury layoff. He has not fought since March 2017 because of an elbow injury that required surgery followed by a hand injury. But he will be back to defend his title for the fourth time when he takes on heavy underdog Josesito Lopez (36-7, 19 KOs) on Jan. 26 (Fox) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
That card will also include a heavyweight fight between Brooklyn contender Adam Kownacki (18-0, 14 KOs), who was born in Poland and is a popular ticket seller, and former world title challenger Gerald Washington (19-2-1, 12 KOs), who got a title shot against Deontay Wilder in February 2017 and suffered a fifth-round knockout loss.
In another significant fight, welterweight titlist Shawn Porter (29-2-1, 17 KOs) will make his first defense against mandatory challenger Yordenis Ugas (23-3, 11 KOs) on March 9 at a site to be announced in Las Vegas.