SHOWTIME Championship Boxing 2018
We are happy to say that SHOWTIME Sports have announced the lineup for Championship Boxing for the first half of 2018 and T. McC’s will be displaying the fights all year. Forget pay-per-view when you can just join us at the Island’s sports headquarters to witness The Best vs. The Best!
February 17: Garcia vs. Rios
Two-division world champion Danny Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) returns to the ring to begin his quest toward another welterweight world championship. Garcia’s long reigns at 140 and 147 pounds ended last March in a close decision loss to unified champion Keith Thurman. Now, Garcia will challenge tough former world champion Brandon Rios (34-3-1, 25 KOs), an all-action fighter who has fought the best in the sport. In the co-main event, boxing’s youngest world champion, 21-year-old David Benavidez (19-0, 17 KOs), will make his first title defense in a rematch against top contender Ronald Gavril (18-2, 14 KOs). The super middleweights fought a thrilling fight last September that ended in a controversial decision for Benavidez.
March 3: Wilder vs. Ortiz
The revival of the heavyweight world championship division continues. America’s undefeated, No. 1 heavyweight, WBC World Champion Deontay Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs),will face fellow unbeaten challenger Luis Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs) in an anticipated matchup of consensus top-5 ranked heavyweights. Wilder has held the coveted green belt since January 2015 and made six successful title defenses. Now, Wilder faces a highly skilled Cuban pugilist with big punching power in Ortiz. The co-main event will feature former super welterweight champion and top middleweight contender Jermall Charlo (26-0, 20 KOs) taking on once-beaten contender Hugo Centeno Jr. (26-1, 14 KOs)for the Interim WBC Middleweight World Championship.
March 10: Garcia vs. Lipinets
One of the top pound-for-pound fighters in boxing, Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) will attempt to make history by capturing a world title in a fourth weight class. Standing in his way is unbeaten power-puncher and IBF Jr. Welterweight Champion Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs), who is making his first title defense. Two 140-pound titles will be on the line as two-division champion Rances Barthelemy (26-0, 13 KOs)looks to become the first Cuban boxer to ever win world titles in three different weight classes when he faces Kirly Relikh (21-2, 9 KOs) in a rematch of their controversial May bout, this time for the vacant WBA Super Lightweight title.
April 7: Lara vs. Hurd
WBA World Champion Erislandy Lara (25-2-2, 14 KOs) and IBF World Champion Jarrett Hurd (21-0, 15 KOs) will meet to unify titles in a defining moment for the 154-pound division. In 2017, SHOWTIME televised eight matchups featuring all of the top-five ranked super welterweight champions and challengers in an unofficial tournament. This unification match will pit the technical wizardry of Cuba’s Lara against the strength and determination of Hurd.
April 21: Broner vs. Figueroa
Four-division world champion Adrien Broner (33-3, 24 KOs) has established himself not only as one of the biggest draws in the sport, but as a fighter who is always willing to face the toughest competition. That will continue when he takes on undefeated former world champion Omar Figueroa (27-0-1, 19 KOs), an all-action brawler who never takes a step backward, as the former champions meet in a WBC Super Lightweight Final Eliminator. The co-main event will feature one of boxing’s brightest young stars in Gervonta Davis (19-0, 18 KOs) as the 23-year-old undefeated former champion looks to regain his title.
May 19: Thurman Defends Worlds Titles
Keith Thurman is the only unified 147-pound world champion and the consensus No. 1-ranked fighter in boxing’s preeminent weight division. The undefeated Thurman(28-0, 22 KOs) has held the WBA title since 2015. He claimed the WBC belt with a decisive win over previously undefeated Danny Garcia last March in the most watched bout of the year, a presentation of SHOWTIME Boxing on CBS. Following an elbow injury that required surgery, Thurman will return to action against an opponent to be determined.
June 9: Santa Cruz vs. Mares II
After their 2015 title showdown brought the Staples Center crowd to its feet, WBA Featherweight Champion Leo Santa Cruz (34-1-1, 19 KOs) and three-division world champion Abner Mares (31-2-1, 15 KOs) will meet again in their shared hometown of Los Angeles. Santa Cruz, who also has held titles in three divisions for the past six years, remains one of the most prolific fighters in the sport today. Mares, a former world champion at bantamweight, super bantamweight and featherweight, aims to exact revenge after the close majority decision loss to Santa Cruz in 2015. This high-stakes matchup between consensus top-five ranked featherweights will give further clarity to a stacked division that includes Gary Russell Jr., Carl Frampton and Lee Selby. The consensus No. 1 fighter at 154 pounds, Jermell Charlo (30-0, 15 KOs) will defend his WBC Super Welterweight World Championship in the co-feature against an opponent to be determined.
June 16: Spence Defends Welterweight Title
Fresh off a dominating performance against a top-10 former welterweight champion, pound-for-pound great Errol Spence Jr. (23-0, 20 KOs) returns to his hometown of Dallas for the second defense of the IBF Welterweight World Championship.