ESPN'S FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS to Return 1/4 with New Host Todd Grisham
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 Deportes' boxing news and analysis show A Los Golpes (7:30 p.m. Mondays), which debuted in October, continues with guest analyst Julio César Chavez 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.
WatchESPN and ESPN3
Every Friday Night Fights card will be available on WatchESPN, ESPN's online destination that delivers live access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ESPN Buzzer Beater/Goal Line on computers, smartphones and tablets. Replays of Friday Night Fights cards will be available on ESPN3, ESPN's multiscreen network accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members.
ESPN's Friday Night Fights social media presence in 2013 will continue with the "Live Friday Night Fights Facebook Voting App," an application on the ESPN FNF Facebook page that allows viewers to score the fight round-by-round. Osuna (@osunaespn) and Nigel Collins (@ESPNFNF), ESPN boxing analyst/former Editor-in-Chief of The Ring magazine, will live tweet during every show.
ESPN's Friday Night Fights will total 29 dates in 2013. Upcoming schedule below:
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