With an emphasis on fighters from the Caribbean, WAPA America this week will air two hours of matches nightly from the World Boxing Championships from Milan.
In partnership with Universal Sports, WAPA America will present the amateur boxing action in Spanish from Sept. 8 through Sept. 13 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. The channel, which carries the best programming of WAPA-TV, Puerto Rico's leading broadcast network, will use sports anchor Rafael Bracero and Jose Sanchez, sports reporter for El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico's largest newspaper, to call the matches, presented on a one-day delay basis.
Among the guests scheduled to appear on the Sept. 8 telecast are Puerto Rico's Secretary of Sports & Recreation Henry Newman and world champion Juanma Lopez
For its part, Universal Sports in October will showcase encore presentations and packages from the competition, which began on Sept. 1 in Milan's Mediolanum Forum, and is sanctioned by the AIBA.
WAPA-TV is a portfolio company of Leo Hindery's private equity firm InterMedia Partners, which is a joint venture partner with NBC Universal in Universal Sports.
In Puerto Rico, WAPA is the affiliate for Universal Sports, with its digital multicast channel WAPA2 carrying the Olympic sports service.
"This is exciting news for the Puerto Ricans and other Caribbean Hispanics living across the United States, as this is the first time they are able to watch their favorite world-class boxers compete in the world championship event in Spanish on WAPA America," said Joe Ramos, president of WAPA Television, in a statement.
WAPA America, which recently launched in Comcast systems in Washington and Oregon, counts some 3 million subscribers in the U.S. via distribution deals with such other major providers Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Bright House Networks, Cablevision, DirecTV, Verizon FiOS, and AT&T U-verse.
Among the key boxers, WAPA America's coverage will focus on are Puerto Ricans: McWilliams Arroyo (51 kg), the flyweight gold medalist at the 2007 Pan American Games; his brother McJoe Arroyo (54 kg), the bronze medalist at 2007 World Amateur Boxing Championships as a bantamweight; and Jose Pedraza (60 kg), who won bronze at the 2007 Pan American Games and competed at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
In the Dominican camp, WAPA America will follow: Juan Carlos Payano Pichardo (51 kg), twice a silver medalist as a flyweight at the Pan-Am Games; Roberto Navarro Gonzalez (57 kg), a 2008 Olympian as a featherweight; and Gilbert Lenin Castillo Rivera (81 kg), who also fought in Beijing as a welterweight.
Cuban competitors who will step inside the ring include: Yankiel Leon Alarcon (54 kg), the silver medalist at the 2008 Summer Game as a bantamweight; Idel Torriente Leal (60 kg), who won the Pan American featherweight title 2007 and qualified for the Olympics; Emilio Correa Bayeux (75 kg), the son of Olympic boxer Emilio Correa Sr., and middleweight gold medalist at the 2007 Pan Am Games; and Osmai Acosta Duarte (91 kg), the 2007 PanAm Games heavyweight titlist.