•With Premier Boxing Champions debuting on Bounce TV on Sunday night (9 ET), the broadcast crew was announced on Monday. Former CNN and ESPN anchor Fred Hickman will serve as the host of the telecast. Fran Charles, known to boxing fans as a former announcer for the defunct HBO series “KO Nation,” will handle blow-by-blow duties. Junior middleweight contender Austin Trout, a former world titleholder, will be the analyst. In the main event, bantamweight titlist Juan Carlos Payano (16-0, 8 KOs) makes his first defense when he faces Rau'shee Warren (13-0, 4 KOs). Also on the telecast are the 10-round semifinals of a junior middleweight tournament: Yudel Jhonson (17-1, 9 KOs) versus Jorge Cota (24-1, 22 KOs) and John Jackson (19-2, 15 KOs) against Dennis Laurente (49-5, 30 KOs). The winners will meet on a date to be announced.
•Middleweight Matthew Macklin (32-6, 21 KOs), 33, of England, who lost three shots at world titles (to Gennady Golovkin, Sergio Martinez and by controversial decision to Felix Sturm), will fight an opponent to be determined on Aug. 28 in Marbella, Spain, he announced. Macklin said he hopes this is one of three fights before the end of the year that will put him in position for another title opportunity. He considered retiring following a brutal 10th-round knockout loss to Jorge Sebastian Heiland in November, but Macklin elected to fight on and returned with a second-round knockout of journeyman Sandor Micsko on May 9.
“I really want to build some momentum between now and the end of the year and get three solid wins under my belt,” Macklin said. “That will give me a great base to push for a world title shot early next year. The fight in Marbella will kick that off and then I’m looking to fight in (his hometown of) Birmingham in October and then maybe back in Ireland before the end of the year.”
•Chinese flyweight star Zou Shiming (6-1, 1 KO), the former two-time Olympic gold medalist, continues to recover from a shoulder tear he suffered in a decision loss challenging for a world title in March against Thailand’s Amnat Ruenroeng in Macau, China, where Zou’s popularity in China paved the way for big-time boxing in Macau. According to Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti, Zou’s ring return is being targeted for November.