FIGHTER'S PLANET

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Premier Boxing Champions and Fox announce blockbuster schedule for 2019

Premier Boxing Champions and the Fox network held a news conference in Los Angeles to announce some notable fights in 2019.

Both sides announced a four-year deal in September to have Fox begin broadcasting fight cards next year.

The deal keeps the network in the combat sports business after their deal with the UFC ended when the UFC signed an exclusive deal with ESPN which will begin showcasing fights on their ESPN+ streaming platform along with their other channels beginning in 2019.

Fox will also jump into the pay-per-view business with the much anticipated showdown between unbeaten welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. and lightweight titlist Mikey Garcia, who will move up two weight classes to seek a championship in a fifth division on March 16.

Spence (24-0, 21 knockouts) who resides in Desoto, Texas will be fighting for the second straight time in a Dallas Cowboys facility. His last fight was held in The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas where the Cowboys train.

This fight ramps up the magnitude of the fight by being on pay-per-view and will be held at AT&T Stadium where the Cowboys play on Sundays.

Garcia (39-0, 39 KOs) has been clamoring for a shot at Spence since his unification victory over Robert Easter Jr. in July at the Staples Center.

Garcia will be a massive underdog because of the size difference as Spence is also one of the bigger welterweights competing at the moment.

Garcia’s own brother and trainer, Robert Garcia, was vocal in his opposition of his brother taking on this challenge.

“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 that I can compete with at that level and Spence is the guy, so that’s why I’m after him.”

Other high-profile bouts announced include the return of Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) who has been out for a substantial time with an elbow and hand injury. He will take on former contender Josesito Lopez (36-7, 19 knockouts) on Jan. 26 in Brooklyn, New York.

Shawn Porter will make his first title defense of the formally vacant WBC title he claimed with a unanimous decision win over Danny Garcia earlier this year at the Barclay’s Center.

Other fighters announced in future bouts include Leo Santa Cruz, Omar Figueroa Jr, John Molina, Jr., Anthony Dirrell, Lamont Peterson, and Danny Garcia, among others.