FOX will televise live boxing on Christmas night, an extreme rarity in the sport.
BoxingScene.com has learned that the broadcast network, as part of its deal with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, has agreed to air a multi-fight card December 25 from Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Christmas falls on a Saturday this year and PBC must produce a certain number of shows per calendar year to fulfill its contractual obligation with FOX, which has exercised the fourth-year option to which it was entitled as part of a three-year deal it entered with PBC in September 2018.
The Christmas show will feature welterweight prospect Vito Mielnicki Jr. in the main event. Mielnicki’s opponent had not been secured as of Tuesday afternoon.
FOX’s December 25 show also will include fights that’ll showcase other prospects to be determined.
The 19-year-old Mielnicki (9-1, 6 KOs), of Roseland, New Jersey, most recently stopped Noah Kidd in the second round of a scheduled eight-rounder July 31 at Prudential Center, the home arena of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. Kidd (6-4-2, 5 KOs), of Jefferson City, Missouri, replaced Mielnicki’s original opponent, James Martin, on approximately 36 hours’ notice because Martin was significantly overweight for what was supposed to be an immediate rematch with Mielnicki.
Philadelphia’s Martin (7-3, 0 KOs) upset Mielnicki by majority decision in an eight-round junior middleweight match April 17. FOX also aired that bout as part of a tripleheader from Shrine Auditorium & Exposition Center in Los Angeles.
Once Martin came in 4½ pounds overweight July 30, he agreed to replace Dan Karpency as Joey Spencer’s opponent the next night. Karpency (9-3-1, 4 KOs), of Adah, Pennsylvania, refused to fight Spencer (13-0, 9 KOs), of Linden, Michigan, because Spencer was 2½ pounds overweight for what was supposed to be an eight-round, 154-pound bout.
Spencer comfortably out-boxed Martin on his way to winning an eight-round unanimous decision in the opener of FOX’s tripleheader July 31.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.