By Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – We still don’t know when Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter will square off in their welterweight title unification fight.
They’ll come face-to-face Friday, though, as part of FOX’s coverage of the Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman pay-per-view fight. Spence (25-0, 21 KOs), the IBF welterweight champion, and Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs), the WBC 147-pound champ, will be guest analysts for FS1’s Pacquiao-Thurman weigh-in show Friday at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT.
Porter also will call some of the action from ringside Saturday night because one of FOX’s analysts, trainer Joe Goossen, will work a corner during the broadcast. Goossen handles former IBF junior welterweight champ Sergey Lipinets (15-1, 11 KOs), who is scheduled to face an opponent Goossen used to train, John Molina Jr. (30-8, 24 KOs), in a 12-rounder that’ll be part of the FOX Sports Pay-Per-View broadcast.
Once the Lipinets-Molina match ends, Goossen will return to ringside to call the Omar Figueroa Jr.-Yordenis Ugas and Pacquiao-Thurman fights. Blow-by-blow announcer Kenny Albert and former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis also will call the FOX Sports Pay-Per-View and FOX fights Saturday night.
Porter also will work FS1’s coverage of the Pacquiao-Thurman press conference Wednesday, starting at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
On Saturday night, WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will provide post-fight analysis, along with Chris Myers, Kate Abdo and Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, starting at 1 a.m. ET on FS1.
The televised action will begin on FOX at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT Saturday, with two Pacquiao-Thurman undercard fights from MGM Grand Garden Arena.
In the opening bout, hard-hitting Nigerian heavyweight prospect Efe Ajagba (10-0, 9 KOs) and Turkey’s Ali Demirezen (11-0, 10 KOs) are set to meet in a 10-rounder. After Ajagba-Demirezen, IBF super middleweight champ Caleb Plant (18-0, 10 KOs), of Ashland City, Tennessee, will make the first defense of his title against Mike Lee (21-0, 11 KOs), of Wheaton, Illinois, in a 12-rounder.
The pay-per-view portion of FOX’s show is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
That four-fight offering will start with a 12-round bantamweight bout between Mexico’s Luis Nery (29-0, 23 KOs) and the Dominican Republic’s Juan Carlos Payano (21-2, 9 KOs), followed by the Lipinets-Molina match.
Figueroa (28-0-1, 19 KOs), of Weslaco, Texas, and Cuba’s Ugas (23-4, 11 KOs) will square off in the co-featured fight, just before the Philippines’ Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) challenges Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC), of Clearwater, Florida, for his WBA “super” welterweight title.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.