Fight fans are in for a little bit of a different perspective if they are watching this week’s “Friday Night Fights” (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes, 8 p.m. ET).
The card, which takes place at the Paramount Theater in Huntington, New York, will feature referees Steve Willis and Pete Santiago wearing point-of-view cameras to give viewers a first-person point of view of the fights, according to ESPN. The cameras, which will be mounted on both referees using two lapel pins, will be used live and during video replays. This marks the first time a referee camera has ever been used on “FNF.”
“We are always looking to innovate and provide viewers access to things they cannot have access to themselves,” said Matt Sandulli, the senior coordinating producer of the series. “This camera will put viewers in the ring and give them a view of the fight that only a limited number of people in the world have ever seen. We’d like to thank the New York Athletic Commission and referees Steve Willis and Pete Santiago for working with us to make this happen.”
David Berlin, the executive director of the New York State Athletic Commission, had to sign off on the cameras.
“We appreciate ESPN’s introduction of the ‘ref cam’ to bring a new dimension to ‘Friday Night Fights,’” Berlin said. “The New York State Athletic Commission is always working with promoters and networks to advance the sport and welcomes new technology that does not interfere with our regulatory function.”
In the main event, Emanuel Taylor (17-2, 12 KOs) faces Karim Mayfield (18-1-1, 11 KOs) in a 10-round junior welterweight bout and Cletus Seldin (13-0, 10 KOs) meets Bayan Jargal (17-5-3, 10 KOs) in the eight-round junior welterweight co-feature.