ESPN Climbs Into PPV-Boxing Ring


Main Events is helping ESPN to expand its boxing fare.

The promoter and the network will add a monthly boxing series within ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights in 2005, as well as offering two pay-per-view events, the two companies announced Wednesday.

The series kicks off with a “special edition” Nov. 4 pitting World Boxing Association lightweight champion Juan Diaz against WBA No. 1-ranked contender Julien Lorcy.

“We feel that we can capitalize on the popularity of ESPN2 Friday Night Fights, whose ratings were up significantly this year, by getting into boxing pay-per-view at this time,” ESPN senior vice president of programming John Wildhack said in a prepared statement.

“Creating pay-per-view events and producing world-class bouts for our ESPN2 Friday Night Fights series allows us to better serve our viewers and help to grow a new generation of boxers,” he added.