Month: November 2019

BROOKLYN, NY - DECEMBER 21: Sports broadcast commentators Ray Mancini, Kate Abdo, Heidi Androl and Shawn Porter attend the Fox Sports and Premier Boxing Champions official weigh-in for the December 22 Fox PBC Fight Night at the Barclay Center on December 21, 2018 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Anthony Behar/Fox Sports/PictureGroup)

Former Champions Shawn Porter and Abner Mares Join Ray Mancini and Kate Abdo for FOX Sports PBC PPV: Deontay Wilder vs. Luis Ortiz Programming

FOX SPORTS PBC PPV Features Heavyweight Title Rematch Between WBC Champion Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz
Former Undisputed Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis, Legendary Trainer Joe Goossen and Brian Kenny Call Fights Saturday on PPV and FS2

LOS ANGELES – Today, FOX Sports announces former two-time welterweight champion Shawn Porter and four-time champion Abner Mares join International Boxing Hall of Famer Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini and host Kate Abdo for FOX SPORTS PBC PPV: DEONTAY WILDER VS. LUIS ORTIZ programming Wednesday, Nov. 20, Friday, Nov. 22 and Saturday, Nov. 23.

Saturday’s FOX SPORTS PBC PPV (9:00 PM ET) is headlined by heavyweight world champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder defending his WBC title in a rematch against once-beaten Cuban slugger Luis “King Kong” Ortiz. Plus, three-division champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz seeks a title in another division when he takes on Miguel “El Michoacan” Flores for the WBA Super Featherweight Championship in the co-main event.

Action kicks off Saturday on the FOX Sports’ PBC on FOX Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages with the non-televised PPV Prelims, starting at 4:10 PM ET, called by Marcos Villegas and Felix DeJesus. Programming moves to FS2 with the FOX SPORTS PBC PPV PRELIMS at 7:00 PM ET. The FOX Sports’ PBC on FOX Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages begin their Wilder – Ortiz All-Access stream at approximately 9:00 PM ET, following both fighters behind the scenes as they prep for their championship showdown.

Below is programming information, the week’s on-air broadcaster roster and fight card lineup:

FOX SPORTS PBC PAY-PER-VIEW PRESS CONFERENCE
• Network: FS1, FOX Deportes
• Date/Time: Wednesday, Nov. 20 (6:00 PM ET)
• Desk Announcers: Host Kate Abdo, analysts Ray Mancini and Shawn Porter
• Press Conference Host: Heidi Androl
• Press Conference Emcee: Jimmy Lennon Jr.

FOX SPORTS PBC PAY-PER-VIEW WEIGH-IN
• Network: FS1, FOX Deportes
• Date/Time: Friday, Nov. 22 (5:30 PM ET)
• Desk Announcers: Host Kate Abdo, analysts Ray Mancini and Abner Mares
• FOX Deportes Announcers: Jessi Losada, Jaime Motta and Erik Morales
• Weigh-in Announcer: Jimmy Lennon Jr.
• Reporter: Heidi Androl

FOX SPORTS PBC PAY-PER-VIEW PRELIMS / PPV
• Network: FS2, FOX Deportes
• PRELIMS Date/Time: Saturday, Nov. 23 (7:00 PM ET)
• PPV Date/Time: Saturday, Nov. 23 (9:00 PM ET)
• Fight Announcers: Brian Kenny, analysts Lennox Lewis and Joe Goossen
• Desk Announcers: Host Kate Abdo, analysts Ray Mancini and Shawn Porter
• Reporters: Heidi Androl, Jordan Plant
• Ring Announcer: Jimmy Lennon Jr.
• Unofficial Scorer: Larry Hazzard Sr.
• FOX Deportes: Jessi Losada, Jaime Motta and Erik Morales
• Bouts

FS2 Prelims
• Leduan Barthelemy (15-0-1, 7 KOs) vs. Eduardo Ramirez (22-2-3, 9 KOs) – 10 Rounds, Featherweight
• Vito Mielnicki Jr. (2-0, 2 KOs) vs. Marklin Bailey (6-5, 4 KOs) – 4 Rounds, Welterweight
• Omar Juarez (5-0, 3 KOs) vs. Kevin Shacks (3-4-3, 3 KOs) – 6 Rounds, Super Lightweight

PPV
• Deontay Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) vs. Luis Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs) – 12 Rounds, WBC World Heavyweight Championship
• Leo Santa Cruz (36-1-1, 19 KOs) vs. Miguel Flores (24-2, 12 KOs) – 12 Rounds, WBA Super World Super Featherweight Championship
• Brandon Figueroa (20-0, 15 KOs) vs. Julio Ceja (32-4, 28 KOs) – 12 Rounds, WBA World Super Bantamweight Championship
• Luis Nery (30-0, 24 KOs) vs. Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-1, 12 KOs) – 12 Rounds, Bantamweight

FOX SPORTS PBC DIGITAL PROGRAMMING
• Digital: FOX Sports App, FOX Now App, FOXSports.com
• Social: @PBConFOX, #PBConFOX

–FOX SPORTS–

About FOX Sports
FOX Sports is the umbrella entity representing Fox Corporation’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets. Built with brands capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, the business has ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing relationships. FOX Sports includes the sports arm of the FOX Network as well as FS1, FS2, FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Deportes. FOX Sports’ digital properties include FOXSports.com and the FOX Sports App, which provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content, instant scores, stats and alerts to iOS and Android devices. Additionally, FOX Sports and social broadcasting platform, Caffeine, jointly own Caffeine Studios which creates exclusive eSports, sports and live entertainment content. Also included in FOX Sports’ portfolio are FOX’s interests in joint-venture businesses Big Ten Network and BTN 2Go, as well as a licensing agreement that established the FOX Sports Radio Network.

Rob Stone, Brady Quinn, Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart and Urban Meyer on BIG NOON KICKOFF

FOX Wins Saturday’s Noon Window

No. 15 Michigan’s 44-10 win over in-state rival Michigan state draws 2.5 metered market rating and was the day’s highest-rated college football game at Noon ET.

Charles Davis

Charles Davis – A Career Comes Full Circle with Sunday’s Cowboys Lions Game

Veteran FOX Sports Broadcaster Charles Davis Details Personal Connection to Sunday’s Matchup in Dallas

Kevin Burkhardt, Pam Oliver and I are headed to Detroit this weekend to call Sunday’s Cowboys/Lions game on FOX. Thirty-some years ago, had you told me I’d be calling a Cowboys game, I would have hoped it was after I had finished playing in the NFL. In fact, I signed with the Cowboys as a rookie free agent and participated in the team’s training camp in 1987 following my days as a defensive back at the University of Tennessee.

DavisOliverBurkhardt_1040X585

However, my aspirations of being an NFL player were dashed after I was cut by Dallas. I saw guys I had played against get drafted and embark on their chosen career paths, and I was devastated by the realization mine would take a different trajectory.

I am not ashamed to say that disappointment left me more devastated than I showed on the outside. After starting for a good team in the SEC for four years, the idea of going undrafted was a big blow to my ego. I thought, “If I’m not good enough to be drafted, then I must not be all that good after all.”

While that can be a dangerous mindset to fall into, I was fortunate enough to finally overcome it. I now tell anyone who will listen that instead of doubting yourself, channel that negative experience into proving the naysayers wrong and hopefully earning another shot. I wasn’t singularly focused on proving those who didn’t draft me wrong and making the team, and I paid the price by getting cut. That’s embarrassing to admit, but I hope it serves as a cautionary tale for others. When they lower me into the ground, that’s one of the biggest regrets I’ll have.

Ever since, I have made a point to put my heart and soul into everything I do, which includes hours of preparation for each game. However, as is often the case, I had to learn the art of preparation the hard way, when the University of Tennessee Radio Network gave me the opportunity to call the Volunteers spring game alongside Mr. John Ward, the legendary Voice of the Vols, in 1987.

Assuming all my years of high school and college football playing experience would carry me, I arrived with no notes or spotting boards. Mr. Ward said, “Where’s your stuff?” to which I replied, “Stuff? What do I need stuff for? I know this team.”

Fortunately, he had foreseen my lack of preparation and preemptively created a board for me. That kind act of leadership taught me an invaluable lesson without embarrassing me. Mr. Ward took a potentially humiliating moment and turned it into a teaching moment. I have been so blessed throughout my life by countless people willing to mentor and share their knowledge with me, beginning with my father, who was a high school football and basketball coach in our small town of New Paltz, N.Y.

He is the reason I learned to love sports at a young age and eventually grew to love the Tennessee Volunteers (my mom was from Tennessee). While I played high school football, basketball and baseball, I initially didn’t ever think it would be possible to play in college because of my school’s size. We hardly knew what a Division I player looked like in New Paltz.

In the beginning, my aspirations were local; my goals were “New Paltz-sized” goals. Although I watched college football, I was more awestruck by the legends of my school. I wanted to be those upperclassmen my dad had coached who let me carry their helmets or round up basketballs after a game. I knew there was a bigger world out there because I had read all about it, but I couldn’t talk to or reach out and touch those guys.

Regardless, I took a leap of faith and reached out to the University of Tennessee in a letter asking for an evaluation, which the school granted. The rest, as they say, is history — I graduated high school and went on to become a four-year starter at defensive back at Tennessee. I earned a political science degree and a master’s in history, two fields in which I remain incredibly interested.

DavisTenneessee_1040X585

All those years of avid reading as a child allowed me to blend my passion for books and history with my love of football and broadcasting. I was always the kid they told to “shut up” in school, and now I’m the guy who often has a historical reference to insert on-air.

As much as I love to talk, though, I was rendered nearly speechless when I encountered Johnny Unitas, one of my childhood heroes, after I had just finished calling my second-ever game – University of Central Florida at South Carolina. Johnny’s son was a walk-on at South Carolina, and I bumped into Johnny at the elevator. Despite being in awe of the man, I somehow managed to respond to his questions about whether or not I enjoyed my TV job.

He then told me a story that has stayed with me forever, that after working for CBS for three years, his contract wasn’t renewed. Johnny told the president of CBS Sports he didn’t understand because everyone consistently praised him after each game. The president sheepishly said they weren’t telling him the truth because of who he was. Johnny responded, “I played all those years in the NFL. Do you think I never got coached?” He then told me, “That’s my advice to you, young man. Make sure you have people around you who actually coach you.”

I have tried to heed his advice and seek out constructive criticism, particularly since I don’t have the NFL playing background my peers do. My biggest challenge is ensuring I’m at the top of my game at all times. I’m not a big name, an All-American or future Pro Hall of Famer, so, in my mind, I must be better prepared than others. That’s where I find the motivation each day to hone my craft.

DavisNFL_1040X585

After seven years as an NFL analyst and seven as the lead college football analyst for FOX, the job continues to get better. I’ve been fortunate to work with the same broadcast crew for years, and they are wonderful. Going to work every week still thrills me nearly as much as charging onto the football field once did, and I’m as excited about being in the booth for Sunday’s Cowboys/Lions matchup as I was suiting up for Cowboys’ training camp more than 30 years ago.

All that has changed is the suit itself.

Sept 1, 2019; Clermont, IN, USA; NHRA  US Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway. Credit: William Hauser-FOX Sports

Tight Battle Between Last Two NHRA Top Fuel Champions Highlights Season Finale on FS1

2018 Champ Steve Torrence Leads 2017 Winner Brittany Force by Just 16 Points

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – FOX Sports wraps up the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series this weekend from Pomona, Calif., with just 16 points separating 2018 Top Fuel champion and current points leader Steve Torrence and 2017 champ Brittany Force. Weekend coverage begins Friday, Nov. 15 with NHRA FRIDAY NITRO LIVE on FS1 at 5:30 PM ET, with Final Round action starting Sunday, Nov. 17 at 3:00 PM ET with NHRA SUNDAY LIVE on FS1.

“The Brittany Force, crew chief David Grubnic combination was destined to be good,” said FOX NHRA analyst and two-time NHRA Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon. “Grubnic has proven over the last two years that he can out-run any other Top Fuel team given the right conditions, even with not much depth in terms of parts. Now that he has everything a tuner needs to be successful, he has become a bigger threat.

“And, like she did a couple of years ago, Brittany has stepped up her game when she has needed it most,” Pedregon added. Qualifying will be interesting. I look for Grubnic to be very aggressive. I don’t know that Steve can out-qualify them. The forecast on Sunday in Pomona will be a big factor. If it in fact reaches 87 degrees, the momentum will swing in Torrence‘s favor, possibly even opening the door for third-place Doug Kalitta. All things considered it is Steve’s to lose.”

Pedregon teams with play-by-play announcer Brian Lohnes in the booth, with reporting from two-time NHRA Competition Eliminator champion Bruno Massel, Amanda Busick and Lewis Bloom.

Busick will do her #Walk100Feet feature with Top Fuel rookie Austin Prock, and NHRA legend Don “The Snake” Prudhomme will make a special video appearance Sunday on FS1.

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series championship contenders heading into the season finale:

• Top Fuel: Steve Torrence, 2488 points; Brittany Force (-16), Doug Kalitta (-55)
• Funny Car: Robert Hight, 2494; Jack Beckman (-46), Matt Hagan (-56)
• Pro Stock: Erica Enders, 2517; Jeg Coughlin, Jr. (-92), Bo Butner (-113)
• Pro Stock Motorcycle: Andrew Hines, 2540; Jerry Savoie (-115), Eddie Krawiec (-116)

About FOX Sports
FOX Sports is the umbrella entity representing FOX Corporation’s wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets. Built with brands capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, the business has ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing relationships. FOX Sports includes the sports television arm of the FOX Network; FS1, FS2, FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Deportes. FOX Sports’ digital properties include FOXSports.com and the FOX Sports App, which provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content, instant scores, stats and alerts to iOS and Android devices. Additionally, FOX Sports and social broadcasting platform Caffeine jointly own Caffeine Studios, which creates exclusive eSports, sports and live entertainment content. Also included in FOX Sports’ portfolio are FOX’s interests in joint-venture businesses Big Ten Network, as well as a licensing agreement that established the FOX Sports Radio Network.

–FOX SPORTS–

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 01: Phil "CM Punk" Brooks attends the Beyond Fest Premiere Of "Girl On The Third Floor"at the Egyptian Theatre on October 01, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by John Wolfsohn/Getty Images)

CM Punk Joins WWE BACKSTAGE on FS1

Los AngelesCM Punk, one of the most celebrated WWE Superstars of all time, joins the roster of FS1’s WWE BACKSTAGE beginning next week, Tues, Nov. 19 at 11:00 PM ET/8:00 PM PT.

Phil Brooks, better known as CM Punk, joins WWE BACKSTAGE as a special contributor and analyst. He will make select appearances in studio alongside host Renee Young and analyst Booker T.

“The Best in the World” joins fellow regular contributors Christian and Paige, as well as news correspondent Ryan Satin on the WWE BACKSTAGE rotation.

Television’s only studio show devoted to all things WWE, BACKSTAGE discusses the week’s biggest stories with a varied cast of guests and personalities, in addition to breaking news and exclusive behind-the-scenes access to WWE.

WWE BACKSTAGE airs Tuesdays at 11:00 PM ET/8:00 PM PT on FS1.