(UPDATE 7/30/15) The Premier Boxing Championship returns this Saturday for another boxing event at Brooklyn’s Barclay's Center featuring some world class fighters on the headlining card. In the main event, Philadelphia’s Danny Garcia (30-0, 17 KOs), the undefeated former Unified Jr. Welterweight Champion returns to his second home, the Barclay’s Center, for his fifth overall headlining event at the venue. His opponent is the outspoken Brooklyn born Paul Malignaggi (33-6, 7 KOs.) The former Welterweight titleholder is coming to challenge Garcia after a long layoff and devastating knockout loss at the hands of Shawn Porter last April. However, a big upset this Saturday could put Malignaggi back into the mix of the very talented Welterweight division.
While Garcia has been creating a fanbase in Brooklyn after many headlining events at the venue, tickets for his fight against Malignaggi have very affordable prices on the secondary market at an average of just $90.19, with the cheapest seat priced at $46. In fact, Saturday’s PBC event in Brooklyn has tickets that are some of the least expensive boxing tickets at the venue since Barclay’s first started hosting boxing events in 2012, according to TicketIQ.
The average ticket price for this fight is not high because while Danny Garcia is moving up in weight for his first fight ever at the Welterweight limit, he’s still considered a huge favorite over Malignaggi who has not fought in 16 months since being battered by Shawn Porter. However, it will be interesting to see if Garcia can knock out a former titleholder at Welterweight and a guy in Malignaggi, who has good boxing skills and can cause some problems with his movement
Garcia’s goal for Saturday night is not only to win but to look spectacular after losing some steam in last couple of performances which drew major criticism from boxing fans after his disputed close majority decision win over Lamont Peterson in his last outing this past April at the same venue. Many in attendance felt he received a gift decision.
Still, a tremendous performance for Garcia against Malignaggi will mean some big things in the near future for the 27-year-old Philadelphian, such as a lucrative rematch with Amir Khan or perhaps a Floyd Mayweather fight.
In the co-feature, another hometown fighter will be featured in Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs (29-1, 26 KOs) taking on his biggest step in competition since recovering from cancer, in former titleholder Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora (28-3, 9 KOs) in a middleweight bout.
Premier Boxing Champions Series Refreshing Interest With High Television Ratings
The first event of the newly invented Premier Boxing Champions series was introduced to a viewing audience this past Saturday on NBC, marking the first time in 30 years that boxing was featured in the primetime slot on NBC. Featuring world class welterweights Keith Thurman and Robert Guerrero in the main event and Adrien Broner vs John Molina as the co-featured bout, the broadcast drew a 2.53 overnight rating, which is an encouraging number for the sport of boxing. Also with the hype surrounding the Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather bout, this is a positive time for boxing.
NBC’s first primetime boxing telecast for PBC beat out ESPN’s simultaneous telecast of Duke-North Carolina, which is widely regarded as one of the biggest rivalries in all of sports. A total of 3.4 million viewers tuned in to the boxing event between 10:30-11pm ET, making it the most watched fight on network television since Oscar De La Hoya’s Fight Night aired in March of 1998.
NBC’s next PBC event is scheduled for April 11 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. That night, Danny Garcia (29-0, 17 KOs) will take on Lamont Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KOs) in a welterweight bout as the main event. The co-feature will be between WBO Middleweight Champion Andy Lee (34-2, 24 KOs) and former champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (31-0, 22 KOs).
All four fighters featured on the Brooklyn-based card are considered among the very best in their respective divisions. The winner of both bouts will move on to bigger glory and more lucrative boxing opportunities as the PBC continues to grow and expand.
Danny Garcia is the current unified Junior Welterweight Champion, but his title won’t be on the line against Lamont Peterson due to the contested catch-weight of 143 pounds. Garcia has stated to the media that he intends to move up to the 147-pound welterweight division in the near future, but his April bout against Peterson will not meet that requirement.
Peter Quillin was the WBO Middleweight Champion in 2014 but was advised by his team to vacate the title under circumstances out of his control. The title was then picked up by Andy Lee in a come-from-behind knockout victory over Matt Korobov. Ironically, Quillin will now face Lee for the title belt on NBC. Ratings will likely be harder to come by, however, as the pair of matches will go up against MLB and NBA games.
While NBC has distributed the budding event to a national audience, Spike TV will also play an integral role. The company will televise the next PBC event on Friday, March 13. That night, Shawn Porter knocks gloves with Roberto Garcia in the earlier match and will be followed by a fight between Andre Berto and Josesito Lopez. The two-fight night will be held at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California.
While Spike won’t elicit the impressive ratings NBC boasted, the PBC series has shown that there is still a want and desire for boxing in a time where the sport has weakened in popularity. Of course, the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight in May has rejuvenated interest, but it’s grassroots events featuring up-and-coming boxers like PBC that have truly given the sport the stability it’s so desperately searched for in recent years.