ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra will return January 4 at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN2 HD and ESPN Deportes with a new studio host and on-site reporter.
Todd Grisham, an anchor for ESPNEWS’ Highlight Express, MMA Live and SportsCenter, has been named Friday Night Fight’s studio host. Bernardo Osuna, who served in that role in 2012, will become the series’ first-ever on-site reporter, contributing to ESPN’s Friday Night Fights in English, and ESPN Deportes’ Viernes De Combates in Spanish.
Blow-by-blow commentator Joe Tessitore and ringside analyst Teddy Atlas will return to describe the action. Both are recipients of the prestigious Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism presented by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA): Atlas (2001), Tessitore (2010).
Prior to joining ESPN, Grisham served as a WWE backstage interviewer, play-by-play commentator and ring announcer.
The season premiere will match undefeated Junior Featherweights Rances Barthelemy (17-0, 11 KOs) and Arash Usmanee (20-0, 10 KOs) in the 12-round main event. The card, from the Magic City Casino in Miami, is promoted by Warriors Boxing.
ESPN’s Friday Night Fights will total 29 dates in 2013. Upcoming schedule below:
|Date||Time (ET)||Main Event||Location||Network|
|Fri, Jan 4||10 p.m.||Rances Barthelemy vs. Arash Usmanee—12-rounds Junior Featherweight||Magic City Casino, Miami||ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN|
|Fri, Jan 11||9 p.m.||John Molina vs. Dannie Williams—12 rounds Lightweight||Pueblo Pavilion, Santa Fe, N.M.||ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN|
|Fri, Jan 25||9 p.m.||Serhiy Dzinziruk vs. Brian Vera—12 rounds Middleweight||Turning Stone Casino, Verona, N.Y.||ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN|
|Fri, Feb 1||9 p.m.||Carlos Molina vs. Cory Spinks, 12-rounds Junior Middleweight||UIC Center, Chicago||ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN|
|Fri, Feb 8||9 p.m.||David Lemeiux vs. Jose Miguel Torres—12 rounds, Middleweight||Bell Center, Montreal||ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN|
|Fri, Feb 15||9 p.m.||Delvin Rodriguez vs. George Tahdooahnippah—10-rounds, Middleweight||Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT||ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN|
ESPN Deportes’ boxing news and analysis show A Los Golpes (7:30 p.m. Mondays), which debuted in October, continues with guest analyst Julio César Chávez Sr. and co-hosts Osuna and David Faitelson. The Viernes De Combates (“Friday Night Fights” in Spanish) telecast team includes 2011 BWAA “Fight of the Year” boxer Delvin Rodriguez and Alex Pombo ringside with Leopoldo Gonzalez and Pablo Viruega in the studio. Friday’s 30-minute news and analysis show Golpe a Golpe will be co-hosted by World Champion Juan Manuel Marquez and Jorge Eduardo Sanchez.
Friday Night Fights, which typically has included a televised main event and co-feature, will now add a third fight in most 2013 shows.
Every Friday Night Fights telecast will implement an ultra slo-mo camera, providing some of the most dramatic and amazing replays of a fight’s biggest punches.