Spike TV's growing portfolio of live combat sports now has an impressive new addition. On the heels of the announcement that NBC Sports would be airing Al Haymon's "Premier Boxing Champions" series on both the main channel and NBC Sports Network, Spike TV also joined the fold and will be airing monthly boxing cards on Friday nights, effective March 13th. Per their official press release, the first card will be held outdoors at the StubHub Center in Carson CA. The main event will feature former WBC welterweight (147 lbs) champion Andre Berto (29-3, 22 KOs) against Josesito Lopez (33-6, 19 KOs), with a co-main of former IBF welterweight champ Shawn Porter (24-1-1, 15 KOs) facing Roberto Garcia (36-3, 23 KOs).
As this deal pertains to Spike TV, network president Kevin Kay says that the plan is to make their Friday night programming centered around their three combat sports offerings (Via MMA Fighting)
"You'll have a boxing event on Friday nights once a month," Kay said. "You'll have a Bellator event on Friday nights once a month. You'll have a Glory event pretty much every month -- not quite every month, but almost every month. And then in the weeks off you'll have shoulder programming that supports all of that. So you'll know that Friday nights on Spike is combat sports."
In summation, you'll be seeing more boxing on cable TV (as opposed to subscription channels HBO and Showtime) than in years past, and certainly higher quality match-ups than you normally see on ESPN's Friday Night Fights. It will certainly irk the folks over at Showtime, as Berto and Porter add to the growing list of Haymon fighters whose next fights won't be on their network. Meanwhile, Spike TV is clearly aiming to make the most out of Fridays by adding boxing to go along with Glory and Bellator. Whatever niche they can carve out will certainly be a benefit to all fight fans. Don't expect any major championship bouts on the network -- you'll more likely see them on NBC than anywhere else -- but fights like Berto vs. Lopez definitely provide plenty of entertainment value.