NIKOLA SJEKLOCA VS. SAKIO BIKA KICKS OFF A NEW SEASON OF
HBO’S FLAGSHIP BOXING FRANCHISE, SATURDAY, FEB. 16
HBO heads to the Jersey shore for a doubleheader of ring action headlined by a lightweight championship showdown when WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING: ADRIEN BRONER VS. GAVIN REES AND NIKOLA SJEKLOCA VS. SAKIO BIKA is seen SATURDAY, FEB. 16 at 10:30 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT) from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, exclusively on HBO. Jim Lampley will be joined on the telecast by Max Kellerman and Roy Jones Jr. Harold Lederman is the unofficial scorer. In addition, former veteran boxing judge Steve Weisfeld, who judged professional bouts around the world the past 22 years, will serve as the rules expert on the telecast, handling any rules interpretation or clarification that may arise. The telecast will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.
Other HBO playdates: Feb. 17 (9:45 a.m.) and 18 (11:15 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: Feb. 17 (4:45 p.m.) and 19 (12:05 a.m.)
Cincinnati’s Adrien “The Problem” Broner (25-0, 21 KOs), who has been on the fast track to stardom the last two years, headlines a lightweight title bout with formidable Welsh challenger Gavin Rees (37-1-1, 18 KOs). One of the most compelling boxers around, the ferocious 23-year-old Broner is fresh off a superb 2012 that was capped by a commanding eighth-round knockout of lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco last November. Rees, 32, is a former junior welterweight titleholder who has been on a roll since returning to the 135-pound division, capturing the vacant European title. Now he seeks to take Broner’s belt back to Newbridge.
In the opening bout of the evening, Sakio Bika (30-5-2, 21 KOs) of Los Angeles, California, will take on Nikola Sjekloca (25-0, 7 KOs) of Budva, Montenegro in a scheduled 12-round super middleweight title eliminator contest. Bika, 33, looks to reestablish himself in the 168-pound division with a dominating performance. In his last title shot in November 2010, the Cameroonian lost by unanimous decision against super middleweight champion, Andre Ward. The 34-year old Sjekloca will make his debut on American soil as he seeks to remain undefeated.
The originally scheduled opening bout between Johnathon Banks and Seth Mitchell has been postponed due to an injury suffered in training camp by Banks.
All HBO boxing events are presented in HDTV. HBO viewers must have access to the HBO HDTV channel to watch HBO programming in high definition.
The executive producer of HBO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is Rick Bernstein; producer, Dave Harmon; director, Marc Payton.
® WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is a registered service mark of Home Box Office, Inc.