Andrzej Fonfara vs. Joe “The Irish Bomber” Smith Jr. in Light Heavyweight Bout
Juan Carlos Payano Defends Bantamweight Title against Three-Time U.S. Olympian Rau’shee Warren & Erickson “The Hammer” Lubin Faces Daniel Sandoval in a Super Welterweight Contest
Marv Albert Calls the Action – Undefeated Welterweight Errol Spence Jr. Debuts as Guest Analyst
Coverage Streamed Live on the NBC Sports app
STAMFORD, Conn. – June 16, 2016 – NBC’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) travels to Chicago, Ill., in primetime this Saturday, June 18, live at 8:30 p.m. ET, highlighted by a 10-round light heavyweight bout between Andrzej Fonfara (28-3, 16 KOs) of Poland and New Yorker Joe “The Irish Bomber” Smith Jr. (21-1, 17 KOs) from UIC Pavilion.
NBC’s coverage also features a bantamweight world title rematch between title holder Juan Carlos Payano (17-0, 8 KOs) and three-time U.S. Olympian Rau’shee Warren (13-1, 4 KOs). Having already met in the amateurs, the two faced off again in August 2015 when Payano won a narrow split-decision to retain his title. Also featured on the telecast is rising star Erickson “The Hammer” Lubin (14-0, 10 KOs) facing Daniel Sandoval (38-3, 34 KOs) in a super welterweight contest. Boxing coverage will continue on NBCSN following the NBC telecast at 11 p.m. ET.
Marv Albert calls the action alongside analyst B.J. Flores. Liam McHugh hosts the telecast, with Kenny Rice reporting from ring-side. In addition, 2012 Olympian and undefeated welterweight Errol Spence Jr. will make his broadcast debut as a guest analyst on Saturday’s card. Spence most recently defeated Chris Algieri by knockout on PBC on NBC’s primetime telecast in April.
A LOOK AT THE MATCHUPS
Andrzej Fonfara returns to the ring after defeating Nathan Cleverly in October at UIC Pavilion in a fight that garnered Fight of the Year consideration. That fight featured a record number of punches landed (936) and thrown (2524) for a light heavyweight fight according to CompuBox. Previously, the 28-year-old defeated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and lost a decision to world champion Adonis Stevenson in a fight during which both men hit the canvas. A Polish-native but training out of Chicago, Fonfara will fight in the Windy City for the 20th time when he enters the ring on Saturday.
Representing Long Island, N.Y., Joe Smith Jr. looks for his 16th straight victory on Saturday. The 26-year-old won the 2008 New York Golden Gloves with a victory over Sean Monaghan. Smith Jr. picked up the most impressive victory of his career when he defeated veteran Will Rosinsky in Brooklyn.
Two-time Dominican Olympian Juan Carlos Payano defends his title for the second time since winning a technical decision over Anselmo Moreno in September 2014. An accomplished amateur, he won gold at the 2006 Central American and Caribbean games.
A three-time U.S. Olympian from Cincinnati, 29-year-old Rau’shee Warren is determined to make the most of his second shot at a world title. Warren is the 2007 amateur world champion, and the only three-time Olympian in U.S. boxing history. He was the first member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team to earn a world title shot, and looks to become the first member of that team to capture a world title.
A highly-regarded prospect, the 20-year-old Erickson Lubin fights out of Orlando, Fla. He owns wins over experienced veterans including Orlando Lora, Ayi Bruce, Michael Finney and Norberto Gonzalez. Most recently, he knocked out Alexis Camacho on PBC on NBC in November, and headlined his first card in January, dominating Jose De Jesus Macias in his first 10-round bout.
A winner of 19 of his last 20 fights, Daniel Sandoval enters this fight coming off of stoppage victories over Grady Brewer and Francisco Villanueva. The 25-year-old has won his previous two starts in the U.S. with decision victories over Richard Gutierrez in 2013 and Larry Smith in 2012, and looks to take down the undefeated Lubin on Saturday.
The Premier Boxing Champions series is created for television by Haymon Boxing. The PBC on NBC will feature many of today’s brightest stars, in their most compelling matches.
NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs – will stream Premier Boxing Champions coverage. The NBC Sports app, Powered by Playmaker Media, is available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–