Friday Night Fights
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (October 2006)|
|ESPN Friday Night Fights|
|Presented by||Bernard Hopkins|
|Narrated by||Joe Tessitore, Teddy Atlas|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Original language(s)||English (occasional interpreters)|
|Picture format||HDTV 720p|
|Audio format||Surround sound|
|Original run||1998 – Present|
Friday Night Fights (titled on air as ESPN Friday Night Fights) is a television boxing show, of the American channel ESPN2, that shows a series of live boxing fights on Friday nights, usually at 9 p.m. ET. The program, which debuted in the fall of 1998 (shortly after the demise of USA Network's Tuesday Night Fights in August of that same year), is hosted from the ESPN Digital Center studio. This program is presented in high-definition. It also airs on TSN in Canada.
Ringside commentary is provided by Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas. Previous seasons have featured boxing analyst Max Kellerman alongside Brian Kenny and sportscaster Bob Papa in Tessitore's role ringside with Atlas.
Currently, the official name of this program is ESPN Friday Night Fights Presented By Just For Men Haircolor. Starting with the tenth season, the presenting sponsor of the program's studio portion is Tecate. The official name of the studio segments of the program is Tecate Friday Night Fights Studio.
Friday Night Fights has also offered counterpart programs, Tuesday Night Fights, and in 2006, Wednesday Night Fights.
The usual set-up of the night is three matches. The first being eight rounds, the second being four, and the main event being either ten or twelve rounds. This is not always the case, though, as some broadcasts feature another four-round or six-round match.
Between fights the show goes back to ESPN studios to talk about recent boxing news and/or have an interview with someone in the boxing world. Notable interviews include Bernard Hopkins, Antonio Tarver, Winky Wright and Sugar Ray Leonard, among others. The people being interviewed may or may not be in the studio with Brian. Special guests can also appear ringside. They usually only stay as guest commentators for one or two rounds and might possibly stay for a quick interview between matches. Guest commentators include "Baby" Joe Mesi and Bernard Hopkins.
Title matches are not uncommon on Friday Night Fights, either. Usually this will only happen for minor belts, or if a belt (regardless of prestige) has been vacated and needs a champion.
Teddy Atlas' fight plan
||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (November 2010)|
Before every main event, a short video recorded earlier is shown where Teddy goes over what strategies he thinks each boxer should use and uses his assistant Saul to demonstrate (they don't actually hit each other, but Teddy will use light, open-palm hits if he's demonstrating body shots). Teddy's extensive background as a boxing trainer gives these videos a great deal of accuracy, and if a boxer uses the strategies he mentioned they usually work well. In a Rogers Mtagwa fight, Teddy predicted that Mtagwa would knock out his opponent Alvin Brown in the fourth round, and even predicted what punch would be the finishing blow; he was right on all accounts. Normally, the videos will be recorded in the ring before anybody comes to the arena, but from time to time will be filmed outside of the arena, elsewhere in the city. One sequence ended with Saul tackling Teddy into a fountain they were standing next to.
Notable boxers who have fought on Friday Night Fights
- Emanuel Augustus (8 July 2005)
- Andre Berto
- Jesse Brinkley
- O'Neil Bell
- Cornelius K9 Bundrage
- James Butler (23 November 2001)
- Derek Bryant
- Nate Campbell
- Aaron Davis
- Julio Díaz
- John Duddy
- Antwun Echols (29 February 2008)
- Arturo Gatti
- Julio César González
- Yuriorkis Gamboa
- Allan Green
- Vivian Harris
- Yuri Foreman
- Audley Harrison
- Stevie Johnston
- Zab Judah (9 July 1999)
- James Kirkland
- Julian Letterlough
- Yusaf Mack (2/6/2009 vs. Chris Henry, and 2/5/2010 vs. Glen Johnson)
- Antonio Margarito
- Oleg Maskaev
- José Luis Castillo
- Peter Manfredo Jr.
- Edison Miranda
- Sergio Mora
- Kassim Ouma
- Bobby Pacquiao
- Sam Peter (28 April 2006)
- Hasim Rahman
- Omar Sheika
- Cory Spinks
- Arash Usmanee (4 January 2013)
- Micky Ward (16 July 1999)
- Erislandy Lara
- Guillermo Rigondeaux
- Jean Pascal
- Brian Vera
Boxers who have fought on Tuesday Night Fights:
Boxers who have fought on Wednesday Night Fights:
- Allan Green (26 April 2006)
- Yusaf Mack (6/4/2008 vs. Daniel Judah)
- Jameel McCline (26 April 2006)
- Sharmba Mitchell (3 May 2006)
- Joey Spina (10 May 2006)
When Friday Night Fights debuted on ESPN2 in 1998, it was originally titled, ESPN2 Friday Night Fights. Since the sports net's February 2007 rebranding, the program was retitled, ESPN Friday Night Fights.
Friday Night Fights celebrated its tenth-anniversary season throughout 2008.
ESPN2 2009 Friday Night Fight Schedule: