EPIX announced today that it will begin its exclusive live U.S. telecast of WBA/WBO/IBF/IBO heavyweight champion WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO’s title defense against top-rated contender TONY THOMPSON 30 minutes earlier than originally announced. The Klitschko vs. Thompson II world heavyweight championship telecast will begin at 4:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. PT This Saturday! July 7, from Stade de Suisse in Bern, Switzerland.
EPIX will stream the fight live as part of a special free trial offer for boxing fans on EpixHD.com and on EPIX apps on Xbox, Roku players, and more.
WHAT: Klitschko-Thompson Heavyweight Championship, only on EPIX
Preceded by exclusive interviews and content
WHEN: Saturday, July 7, 2012
4:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. PT
As has become the custom, EPIX will once again present the closed-captioned simulcast of this world championship rumble on its jumbotron in Times Square in New York City (Broadway between 44th and 45th Sts.) at the new start time of 4:30 p.m. ET.
Klitschko (57-3, 50 KOs), of Kiev, Ukraine, is a two-time world heavyweight champion. Wladimir began his first title reign in 2000 when he captured the WBO heavyweight title via a unanimous decision over defending champion Chris Byrd. Byrd suffered two knockdowns in that battle. Klitschko’s two-year title reign included five successful defenses – all by knockout – before losing the belt to Corrie Sanders in 2003. Klitschko returned to the world championship throne in 2006, this time as IBF champion, when he dethroned Chris Byrd in a title rematch. This victory was even more emphatic than the first one with Klitschko stopping Byrd in the seventh round. Since that fight, Klitschko has taken on and defeated all comers while unifying the title with victories over WBO champion Sultan Ibragimov, and WBA champion David Haye. He enters this fight riding an eight-year, 15-bout winning streak. His most recent victory was a fourth-round knockout of former two-time world champion Jean Marc Mormeck, on March 3, which was televised live to the U.S. by EPIX.
Thompson (36-2, 24 KOs), from Washington, D.C., is a power-punching southpaw who is ready to give Klitschko his Bern notice when they meet again for the title. Thompson earned his first world title shot with Klitschko by stringing together an eight-year, 27-bout winning streak, which featured victories over top-rated contenders Luan Krasniqi, Timur Ibragimov, Dominick Guinn, and Vaughn Bean. Though unsuccessful in his challenge of Klitschko, Thompson gained valuable experience and a hunger for another world title fight. Since losing to Klitschko in 2008, Thompson has returned to the top of the IBF ratings by winning his five subsequent fights – all by knockout – including stoppages of Chazz Witherspoon and Owen Beck.
EPIX has been starting their live fight cards quite a bit before the fights actually get started – up to an hour or even more on some occasions. Therefore, don’t expect the actual fight to start at 4:30 pm, just the broadcast itself.