Fight Network announced today that it will air the February 15 Frank Warren-promoted card in North America, showcasing world heavyweight contenders Derek "Del Boy" Chisora and Tyson Fury in separate bouts, live from Copper Box Arena in London, UK.
"We are excited to present our first pay-per-view broadcast in the U.S. market," said Leonard Asper, president and CEO of Anthem Media Group Inc., the parent company of Fight Network. A U.S. expansion has always been a major priority.
"We're already available in select markets across the country, but this could be the first time opportunity for many American viewers to get a taste of the world-class fights that Fight Network delivers week in and week out."
Chisora (19-4, 13 KOs), also the reigning European heavyweight champion, will defend his WBO International WBA International titles in the 12-round main event against former world title challenger Kevin "Kingpin" Johnson (29-4-1, 14 KOs).
Chisora, fighting out of London, is ranked among the top 13 heavyweights in the world by all four major governing bodies: WBO No. 2, WBC and IBF No. 5, and WBA No. 13. Last July, the former world title challenger and Zimbabwe native knocked out previously unbeaten American heavyweight Malik Scott (35-0-1) in the sixth round for the vacant WBO International crown, followed only two months later by a fifth-round technical knockout of Edmund Gerber (23-1) for the vacant European title.
In his last action this past November, Chisora stopped Ondrej Pala (32-3) in the third round, successfully defending his WBO International title, as well as for the vacant WBA International Championship.
Johnson, fighting out of Atlanta, Georgia, is a former IBF Australian heavyweight champion who defeated Alex Leapai (25-3-3) by ninth round TKO in 2012. Leapai currently is the WBO No. 1 mandatory challenger for champion Wladimir Klitschko. Johnson has also defeated former WBA heavyweight champion Bruce Seldon and previously undefeated Devin Vargas (17-0), both by stoppage.
Chisora and Johnson, interestingly enough, both lost to now retired WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko and Fury.
Since knocking out Steve Cunningham last April in his American debut, Fury's career has been somewhat derailed by a pair of canceled British mega-fights with former WBA heavyweight champion David Haye. The 6' 9" Irish-Mancunian is ranked No. 7 by the WBO and No. 8 by the WBC, plus No. 5 by The Ring Magazine.
In addition to Cunningham, Chisora and Johnson, Fury has also beaten Vinny Maddalone, Martin Rogan and previously undefeated Nevin Pajkic.
Fury takes on multi-tattooed Argentinian invader Gonzalo Omar "El Paton" Baslie (61-8, 28 KOs) in the 10-round co-feature. Basile is the IBF Latino heavyweight title-holder and has held several other belts during his 11-year pro career.
The Chisora and Fury fights are considered a prelude to a potential rematch this summer for Chisora's European crown with world title implications.
Also on the Feb. 15 card are two other 10-round title fights. Undefeated WBO European super middleweight champion Frank "Wise Guy" Buglioni (11-0, 8 KOs), rated No. 12 by the WBO, defends against Italian challenger Gaetano Nespro (21-9-1, 3 KOs). Unbeaten British favorite Bradley Skeete (14-0, 4 KOs) and former WBA super lightweight champion "Vicious" Vivian Harris (31-9-2, 19 KOs) square off for the vacant WBA Intercontinental welterweight title.
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Canadian fans may watch all the action on Fight Network, starting at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT), while Americans can view on both cable and satellite pay-per-view for a suggested retail price of $24.95 via DitectTV, iN Demand, Dish, Avail-TVN. Integrated Sports Network is distributing this major British boxing event in the United States on behalf of Fight Network.