By Francisco Salazar
The 12 round welterweight clash between Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn has a network that will air the fight. Finally.
ESPN will air the Pacquiao-Horn fight, which will take place at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia on July 2, it was announced early Monday morning.
ESPN will broadcast the fight live at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT on July 1.
The announcement comes less than two weeks before both fighters will square off before an expected crowd of over 50,000 fight fans, most of whom will likely be cheering Horn, who resides in Brisbane.
The fight will also be the first in a partnership between ESPN and Top Rank.
Pacquiao (59-6-2, with 38 knockouts) won the WBO welterweight title in his last bout on Nov. 5, dropping Jessie Vargas en route to a unanimous decision victory.
The 38-year-old Pacquiao will also be vying for win number 60.
July 1 will mark the first time since 2005 that a Pacquiao fight will air on a telecast that is not pay-per-view. The Pacquiao-Horn fight will also mark the first time a Pacquiao fight will air on basic cable.
Horn (16-0-1, with 11 KOs) is the number one contender for the WBO title, but will take an enormous step up in competition in facing Pacquiao. In his last bout on Dec. 10, Horn survived a third round knockdown to stop former junior lightweight Ali Funeka.
Horn also has victories over Randall Bailey (a fight where he was also knocked down) and Rico Mueller.
Two more fights will air prior to the Pacquiao-Horn fight.
Junior bantamweight Jerwin Ancajas (26-1-1, with 17 KOs) of the Philippines will defend his IBF world title against Japan's Teiru Kinoshita (25-1-1, with 8 KOs). 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Michael Conlan (2-0, with 2 KOs) will face Brisbane's Jarrett Owen (5-4-3, with 2 KOs) in a six round junior featherweight bout.
Also on the card, Shane Mosley Jr. (10-1, with 7 KOs) squares off against David Toussaint (10-0, with 8 KOs) in an eight round middleweight bout.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, RingTV.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing