By Steve Kim
It was announced by Showtime that on May 19th, Keith Thurman is making his return to the ring in Brooklyn, New York at the Barclay Center - making the first defense of his unified WBC, WBA welterweight crown since joining the titles last March, at the same venue, with a decision over Danny Garcia.
Also that same evening, WBC light heavyweight titlist Adonis Stevenson will be taking on Badou Jack at a venue to be announced in Canada. This will be Stevenson's first fight since last June's knockout of Andrzej Fonfara.
As both fights are being carried by Showtime, this will be a split-site doubleheader for the network.
Stephen Espinoza, the President of Showtime Sports and Event Programming, explained to BoxingScene.com - "with Adonis Stevenson he's got a good strong base and can sell a lot of tickets in Canada and the other thing we see throughout this is March, April and May, now several networks are really active in boxing. The dates are really hard to come by.
"You've got some pay-per-views in there, you've got the NCAA (basketball) tournament, so there are smaller and smaller number of dates that are going to be free an clear. So when we identified one on May 19th it made sense to go split-site."
Showtime which aired Errol Spence-Lamont Peterson from the Barclay Center this past weekend, will air nine major boxing cards from February 17th to June 16th, with another date or two that may be added in the near future.
Showtime will return with their next major card on February 17th from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Danny Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) returns to the ring for the first time since the loss to Thurman, and faces former world champion Brandon Rios (34-3-1, 25 KOs). Also on the card, a rematch between WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez (19-0, 17 KOs) and top contender Ronald Gavril (18-2, 14 KOs).
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com