Former world champion Austin Trout is set to headline a card on boxing's new cable home, The Impact Network, versus an opponent to be announced on February 1st. The Impact Network's reach is at 86 million homes and growing in the United Sates and 3 million more homes in the Caribbean. The network is owned by (president) Bishop Jackson and is ran by (vice president) Terry Arnold. Royal Jackson serves as the head of content and development.
The Impact Network is primarily a faith based channel that airs shows featuring big names in the faith community like Bishop Jackson and TD Jakes. This new venture will be their first foray in the boxing business.
From 2014-2018, boxing had a popular reality series named Knockout that featured names like Floyd Mayweather Sr, Shane Mosley, Robert and Ruben Guerrero, Sergey Kovalev, and several other stars in the sport. In the series last season, Hector Camacho Jr. and Ronald Johnson fought in separate bouts from a sold out venue in the capital of boxing, Las Vegas. The series was set to film their 4th season this past January when extenuating circumstances caused those plans to change in a major way.
Knockout enjoyed a lot of success in a total of 42 months but it only aired 18 episodes with 3 live events and the show didn’t have enough airtime to really build their fighters the way that was truly intended.
When HBO decided to leave the sport of boxing it left a void that Knockout executive producer Steven Marcano hoped to fill with an expanded show. Marcano asked Craig Geller at Azteca America for 40 hours a year of television time for live events and an expanded reality television series to build both the brand and fighters. Azteca America at the time was in the process of selling and Mr. Geller could not do anymore than what the current agreement outlined so it was at that point that Marcano stated, "I would love to but couldn’t go into season 4," and waited until the agreement expired.
During this period of waiting, Marcano sat back and watched as boxing exploded on different free to air, cable and streaming platforms and couldn't wait until he could get back in the game.
Marcano and Arnold opened up talks about a partnership with the network to bring both live events and also 4 hours a week of total programming. Over the next 24 months The Impact Network will air 52 live events and a minimum of 60 episodes of Champions and Stars, their new reality show.
Impact is starting out with a bang with Trout headlining the February 1st card close to his hometown of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Heavyweight veteran Alonzo Butler (31-3-2) will fight in the co-feature slot with super lightweight prospect Abel Mendoza (21-0) also appearing on the card.
Here is a run down of the team putting the events together:
The late Hall of Fame member Johnny Tapia's wife Teresa Tapia is the head promoter, Deshawn Waynes, CEO of One Shot Sports and Entertainment, is the lead adviser and Robert Tapia is the matchmaker. Sterling Mcpherson is also a co-promoter with Rick Torres serving as the head of the legal while Steven Marcano is oversees the project as the executive producer.
2020 is shaping up to be a big year for Impact with 52 hours of live events and the drive to become a major player in the billion dollar boxing business. It all starts on January 31stwith the premiere of Champions and Stars at 10:30 pm eastern and will be followed up by the first live card on February 1st, 2020 at 10:30 pm eastern at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino on The Impact Network.
Ryan Burton served as the Casting Director and Head of PR for Knockout and serves in an operational capacity in this new venture.