By Michael Rosenthal
The faces you’ll see and voices you’ll hear on the new FOX Sports boxing broadcasts will be familiar.
FOX and Premier Boxing Champions on Tuesday formally announced its upcoming schedule of cards – including one pay-per-view show, Errol Spence vs. Mikey Garcia – under a new agreement between the television network and management company.
The deal includes 10 shows on FOX and at least 12 additional FS1 telecasts.
Kenny Albert and Chris Myers will serve as blow-by-blow announcers; Hall of Famers Lennox Lewis and Ray Mancini will provide analysis; Kate Abdo will be a studio and fight night host; and Larry Hazzard will serve as a rules expert and unofficial scorer.
Jaime Mota (blow-by-blow) and Hall of Famer Erik Morales (analysis) will serve as Spanish-language broadcasters on Fox Deportes.
Albert, who has called boxing on NBC, is a second generation blow-by-blow commentator. His father, Marv Albert, worked fights on NBC while uncles Steve and Al Albert did commentary on Showtime and USA Network, respectively. Steve Albert was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame this year.
Kenny Albert, like his father and uncles, works multiple sports but has a soft spot for boxing.
“I remember during my high school years going to the fights in Atlantic City, watching the events they were involved in,” Albert said at a press conference to formally announce the FOX-PBC deal. “I’ve always been a big fan.
“I haven’t had the opportunity to work too much boxing through the years because of the other sports I’m involved in but I’ve done some boxing. And it’s great to be a part of this.”
He believes the agreement with PBC reflects well on FOX and will serve the fans.
“John Madden used to say, ‘Why is it called FOX Sports? It should be FOX Sport,’” Albert said, referring to the fact that the NFL dominated FOX’s sports programming. “A couple of years later they added hockey, baseball, college basketball, college football and now boxing.
“Now this is the destination for just about every sport out there. To come back with 10 prime-time fights and pay-per-view fights is really exciting for everyone here.”
Lewis was once a regular analyst for HBO. Mancini also has done color commentary in the past, most recently TruTV. The former lightweight champ was thrilled to get back behind the microphone.
“I’m flattered, truly,” he said about landing the gig. “I’m a boxing guy. I think I have knowledge and insight. I’m going to tell it like it is.
“This is the first time in 20, 30 years that boxing will be on network television on a regular basis. I’ve always said that without network television boxing will never have the same popularity it once did. Now that it has it, it will climb again.”
Mota has been a fixture in boxing for many years. Morales, a Hall of Famer, was one of the most popular fighters in the world.
Michael Rosenthal is the most recent winner of the Boxing Writers Association of America’s Nat Fleischer Award for excellence in boxing journalism. He has covered boxing in Los Angeles and beyond for almost three decades.