CBS Teams with Showtime Sports to Bring Boxing Back to Network
Boxing returns to CBS for the first time in 15 years when the network teams with Showtime Sports to present an unprecedented day/night fistic marathon that will feature up to seven fights this Saturday, Dec. 15, at Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.
The live 90-minute CBS broadcast, “Showtime Boxing on CBS,” is the network’s first since Bernard Hopkins knocked out Glen Johnson in the 11th round on Jan. 20, 1997. The program will begin at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT and offer two fights.
The accent is on youth and the lighter weight classes. In the main event between unbeaten 24-year-old IBF (International Boxing Federation) Bantamweight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz (22-0-1) will defend his title against 22-year-old Alberto Guevara (16-0). Promising 122-pounder, southpaw Joseph “Jo-Jo” Diaz, Jr., 20, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, will make his pro debut in the opening bout.
“Considering that six months ago I was just a guy fighting on undercards to now being picked to headline and defend my title on network television is hard to believe,’’ Santa Cruz said. “But I am so happy. It is a tremendous honor and something I am not taking lightly. This is such an unbelievable opportunity. To fight on CBS is the greatest exposure you can get.”
Offered Guevara, who is studying to be a lawyer, “I really can’t describe how happy I am to be fighting for a world title on such a great network as CBS. This is definitely as good as it gets. I’m very proud to be part of this event.”
“I think the timing is perfect for me to turn pro,’’ said Diaz, the youngest member of the 2012 U.S. squad. “I am really thankful for all who have helped me get to this point, and can’t wait to fight on Saturday on CBS. Fighting on CBS is an incredible honor.”
Additional live boxing from the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena will air on Showtime later that evening.
In the Showtime Championship Boxing main event (10:30 p.m. ET/PT, Showtime), former Unified Super Lightweight World Champion and British superstar Amir Khan (26-3, 18 KOs) makes his ring return against undefeated Carlos Molina (17-0-1, 7 KOs). Preliminary fights will air on Showtime Extreme beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
The day-long fights coincide with Oscar De La Hoya’s Toy Drive, Giveaway and boxing fanfest that also are going on that day at LA Memorial Sports Arena.