Light Heavyweight Champion Bernard Hopkins Joins Ryan Burr as Special Guest in Studio
ESPN’s Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra, will originate from Reno, Nev. May 27 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2 when Ring Magazines No. 10-ranked heavyweight Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (31-2, 27 KOs, WBC #2, IBF #5, WBO #13, WBA #15) and former heavyweight world title challenger Tony “The Tiger” Thompson (35-2, 23 KO’s, IBF #7) are featured in co-main events. Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will be ringside at the Reno Events Center describing the action. Friday’s show will also feature Ring Magazine’s new light heavyweight champion and future hall of famer Bernard Hopkins in studio with host Ryan Burr. Hopkins, age 46, became the oldest fighter ever to win a significant title (besting George Foreman who beat Michael Moorer for the heavyweight title at age 45) with a unanimous decision over Jean Pascal this past Saturday. The card is presented by Goossen Tutor Promotions.
Reno has a long and illustrious boxing history dating back to July 4, 1910 with the Jeffries-Johnson World Championship bout and many great champions such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Hector Camacho, Alexis Arguello and James Toney have all displayed their talents in front of the knowledgeable Reno fight fans.
“We are happy to be back in Reno with the FNF series. It is a city that consistently draws energetic and enthusiastic fans,” said Doug Loughrey, Programming Director for ESPN.
This Friday California’s Arreola will meet Kendrick “The Apostle” Releford (22-14-2, 10 KOs). Arreola has won his last three fights, including a third-round knockout over Nagy Aguilera in his last fight earlier this month. After the Aguilera bout, ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael wrote, “Arreola took it to Aguilera from the outset. He showed good hand speed and forced Aguilera to the ropes in the first round and unloaded a variety of punches. Arreola did more of the same in the second round. Aguilera ate numerous punches and it was surprising that he made it through the second round. In the third round, Arreola trapped him along the ropes early and was painting him with lefts and rights, but Aguilera somehow managed to remain upright. Aguilera survived that onslaught, but not for long. After a brief lull, Arreola was back to battering him repeatedly with vicious head shots from both hands until the referee jumped in to call it off at 1 minute, 58 seconds of the third round.”
Washington D.C.’s Thompson will meet Newark, New Jersey’s Maurice “Sugar Mo” Harris (24-14-2, 10 KOs, IBF #6) in a 12-round IBF heavyweight title elimination bout. Thompson has won four fights in a row, since his unsuccessful world title challenge against Wladimir Klitschko, including a fourth-round TKO over Paul Marinaccio in his last fight.
Thompson said of Friday’s Fight, “I’ve been training for this fight for about eight weeks. Mainly, I just want to keep a lot of pressure on Harris. You know, he’s been knocked out a few times. He had some head problems or something – that’s why he took time off. I want to give him reasons to remember that.”