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OLN Gets in the Ring

6/26/2006 9:11 AM Eastern

Continuing to expand its roster, OLN will add professional boxing to its Thursday-night lineup beginning July 27.

Through a deal with Bob Arum’s Top Rank, OLN -- which will adopt the Versus moniker in September -- will showcase one-dozen live cards per year, roughly one per month.

Veteran boxing writer Wally Matthews and Bob Papa, who has called the “sweet science” for ESPN and NBC, will host Fight Night on OLN, according to network officials.

On nights when OLN is not showing live matches, the Comcast-owned service will tap Top Rank’s extensive library of classic fights to present Fight Night: Top Rank's Legends of the Ring, hosted by Michael (“Let’s get ready to rumble!”) Buffer, who will also serve as the ring announcer for the live cards.

“As OLN transitions to Versus, we continue to seek out sports that fortify the competitive core of the brand,” OLN president Gavin Harvey said in a prepared statement. “Boxing is the ultimate statement of man vs. man and is an exciting addition to our expanding portfolio of competitive genres.”

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