There are many quality fights that take place overseas that do not get the U.S. television coverage they deserve.
Epix tried to fill that void but eventually dumped its boxing program without explanation. HBO and Showtime have shown little interest in many of the bouts. And while ESPN has picked up its share and streamed many on ESPN3.com, the coverage has been sporadic. But AWE -- the former WealthTV -- is still here and doing a good job of picking up many of the significant fights.
It snagged another one this week, acquiring the rights to the rematch between junior featherweight titlist Kiko Martinez of Spain and Carl Frampton of Northern Ireland.
They meet in a rematch on Saturday in Frampton’s hometown of Belfast, where a 16,000-seat temporary outdoor stadium is in the final stages of construction to host the fight, like they used to do in the old days at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
AWE will begin its live coverage of the undercard beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET. Existing members can also watch a stream on its website.
"We are very happy to bring this five-star title fight to the fans in the United States," AWE president Charles Herring said. “The first fight was sensational and now Martinez is coming back to Ireland as a world champion, so now the stakes have been raised. Frampton is undefeated and wants that belt. Martinez has that belt and wants revenge. With all these subplots, this fight had the makings of a classic rematch."
In February 2013, also in Belfast, Frampton (18-0, 13 KOs) won the European title by scoring a one-punch knockout of Martinez (31-4, 23 KOs) in the ninth round. But Martinez, who has been on a four-fight winning streak since, won a world title two fights later by scoring an upset knockout of Jhonatan “Momo” Romero in the sixth round in August 2013 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.