LAS VEGAS – Boxing’s storied history of close familial relationships will come to life this Father’s Day Weekend as Premier Boxing Champions returns to NBC on June 20 and CBS on June 21 live from MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The fighters featured on both of these stacked cards have close relationships with their own fathers, are fathers themselves or have found a father figure in the boxing gym.
Moreover, fans of the sweet science are often born into a longstanding love for the sport that is passed on from generation to generation as fathers share the tradition of watching boxing at home with their families. As Premier Boxing Champions continues to bring great action to network television, this Father’s Day Weekend of back-to-back fight cards is another opportunity for fathers to continue to pass this tradition along.
On Saturday, Adrien “The Problem” Broner (30-1, 22 KOs) and “Showtime” Shawn Porter (25-1-1, 16 KOs) will face off in a fiercely competitive 12-round matchup. Also on the card, the undefeated Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (16-0, 13 KOs) puts his record on the line against hard-hitting veteran Roberto “La Amenaza” Garcia (37-3, 23 KOs) in the biggest challenge of his young career. The PBC on NBC action begins at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT
Former world champions Rances Barthelemy (22-0, 13 KOs) and Antonio DeMarco (31-4-1, 23 KOs) headline the Premier Boxing Champions on CBS card on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 21 live beginning at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT. Also featured in a televised bout is an explosive welterweight matchup that pits the undefeated Sammy Vasquez (18-0, 13 KOs) against Nigerian knockout artist Wale Omotoso (25-1, 21 KOs).
From the legendary duo of Floyd Mayweather, co-promoter of this weekend’s PBC fight cards, and his father Floyd Mayweather Sr. to other famed father-son teams such as Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. and Julio Jr. and Don and Felix “Tito” Trinidad, the importance of fatherhood is as prevalent in the sweet science now as it has always been, as evidenced by the thoughts and comments stated below from this weekend’s featured fighters.
“My dad ‘Pops’ was the first person to take me to the boxing gym and that is where we met Coach Mike [Stafford]. My dad just knew that he wanted me to box and he took me to the right place.
“Everyone calls my dad ‘Pops’ because he’s like a dad to everyone around me – my friends, fighters in the gym…everyone. He’s always been there 100 percent of the time.
“Me and my dad are both a little crazy. We are similar people. We are both cut from a different cloth, we like to have fun and work hard. We mesh.
“My dad usually comes to camp the last two weeks, so he is at the gym everyday leading up to the fights. When he’s not with me in the gym, he is working on cars as a mechanic in Cincinnati.
“[On being a father] I love being with my kids. I like to do fun things with them and give them more than I had as a kid. I love when they come to the gym and come to my fights.
“When my youngest Adrieon was born, I was there every step of the way and now this Father’s Day is going to be even better when I win.”
“My dad has always been there from sports to school and has helped me through all of it. He is an anomaly because he was always there as a single father. You don’t really find that too much in the African American community – a single dad that wants to be there for his children the way my dad has been there for me and my brother.
“Every day is kind of like Father’s Day for us. I want to make this one very memorable and it is the first of many to come. But obviously Sunday will be much better if I win.
“I feel like I make his day everyday. It’s him and I. Its what we do. You have your good days and bad days. For me being a son and an athlete team, it makes me want to perform on a different level.”
ERROL SPENCE JR.
“My dad got me started in boxing. He was a truck driver, so he used to drive overnight, and then he’ll get home 12:00 p.m. or later then take me to the gym. Then after that he’d come from the gym, it was like 5:00 or 6:00 p.m., and he would rest for one or two hours and go straight to work.
“At the time, I didn’t really think about it, but as I got older and a little bit wiser, realizing all the sacrifices that he sacrificed for me to be able to box and go to all these national tournaments and all these tournaments out of state and stuff. He had to pay for the hotel, pay for food and stuff like that out of pocket. We didn’t have any sponsors and stuff like that.
“I am proud to be named after my dad and I thank him for believing in me and pushing me to be the best I can be.
“He plays a big part of my boxing career. He’s my supporter. That’s my mentor. That’s like my best friend. For Father’s Day, I’m going to get him a win, and it’s going to be an impressive win that he’ll be proud of and he’ll love. He played a big part in my career. Without him, I know I wouldn’t be boxing. My dad will be in my corner Saturday night.”
“Father’s Day is very special to me because my wife and daughter, who are my world, treat me like a king for the day. Being a father is very important, and in today’s society, not enough fathers are there for their children. It’s great that there is a day to honor the good fathers that take care of their families.
“My father, Emilio Barthelemy, was always there for me and my brothers. He got us into the sport of boxing. When I left Cuba it was very difficult for me because me and my dad were very close. I love him very much and I want to wish him a happy Father’s Day as well.
“I remember when we were little, me and my brothers would take my father out to breakfast on Father’s Day. It was a very special time and we all enjoyed the moment. My wife and daughter love to spoil me on Father’s Day. Last year they took me to my favorite Cuban restaurant and I enjoyed a wonderful meal with both of them.”
“Being a father of three girls and having such a strong relationship with my Dad makes
Father’s Day one of the biggest holidays for me.”
“My father has been with me every step of the way supporting my career from
selling tickets in Pittsburgh, to being with me at every fight and serving as one of my
managers. It’s great to have him alongside me, it would be special to win this fight
on Father’s Day for him.”
“It’s tough having to be away from my daughter’s on Sunday but we’ll celebrate on
Monday when I get back home and have our Father’s Day then.”
“I am so proud to have two boys [ages 5 and 2] with my wife. We have lived in Los Angeles for four years and we have a very happy life together there.
“My wife’s parents came to LA from Australia so they can watch the kids this weekend when I fight and my wife can come and cheer me on.
“My father died right before I turned pro and moved to Australia from Nigeria. I got an opportunity to move away from Africa and I took it. He would be proud.
“My trainer Eric Brown is like a father to me now. He knows my wife and kids. We walk all the time. He tells me to keep my head on straight and focus.
“I’m going to win on Sunday. That is going to be my Father’s Day present for my kids too. I’m going to win this fight for them. It is the best Father’s Day present I can give – giving them a reason to be proud of their dad.”
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Live coverage of Premier Boxing Champions on NBC begins at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT with the 10-round welterweight battle between undefeated rising star Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. and tough brawler Roberto “La Amenaza” Garcia. That bout is followed by the 12-round headlining attraction featuring Adrien “The Problem” Broner taking on “Showtime” Shawn Porter.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions in association with TGB Promotions, are priced at $400, $300, $100 and $50, not including applicable service charges and taxes are on sale now. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets are also available at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.