By Keith Idec
One of the most significant questions related to the Terence Crawford-Jeff Horn fight has been answered.
According to an ESPN.com report Thursday morning, Jimmy Pitaro, the cable network’s new president, announced during a meeting Wednesday that Crawford-Horn will be made available through the ESPN+ app. The app, which will launch sometime this spring, will cost $4.99 per month and will include a lot of boxing content, as well as live coverage of other sports.
Pitaro also announced that 12 cards provided by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. will been streamed through the ESPN+ app, including the show headlined by Crawford-Horn. Top Rank signed an exclusive content deal with ESPN last summer.
Arum and Top Rank president Todd duBoef had considered airing Crawford-Horn as the main event of an ESPN Pay-Per-View show. That plan was scrapped once Filipino star Manny Pacquiao declined an offer to fight Mike Alvarado on the Crawford-Horn undercard.
Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs), of Omaha, Nebraska, is a former two-division champion who’s widely viewed as one of the best boxers in the sport. He is the mandatory challenger for the WBO welterweight title Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) won by upsetting Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) on July 2 in Brisbane, Australia, Horn’s hometown.
Crawford-Horn initially was scheduled to take place April 14 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Arum announced Wednesday, the same day Pitaro announced Crawford-Horn would be streamed via the ESPN+ app, that Crawford sustained a hand injury during training that’ll require the fight to be postponed until May 19 or an undetermined date early in June.
“Now is a pretty good time to make an announcement,” Pitaro said, according to ESPN.com’s story. “We have closed an amendment to our partnership with Top Rank Boxing, where we will now have exclusive access to stream 12 very, very high-quality cards as a part of the ESPN+ app. That will include the upcoming Crawford-Horn fight. This is going to be very, very impactful to the ESPN+ experience. We couldn’t be more excited. It’s really, really good news for us.”
Through the ESPN+ app, described as ESPN’s first multisport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service, fans can watch live pro and college sporting events for $4.99 per month. In addition to boxing, it’ll offer MLB, MLS and NHL games, as well as cricket, golf, rugby and tennis matches, and various college sporting events.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.