The NBC Sports Network has announced that hall-of-fame boxing trainer Freddie Roach and cruiserweight contender B.J. Flores team up with NBC's veteran broadcaster Kenny Rice to provide commentary for the network's new "NBC Sports Network Fight Night Series."
The first "Fight Night" broadcast will be on the new NBC Sports Network on Saturday, Jan. 21, beginning at 9 p.m., when heavyweight contenders Eddie Chambers and Sergei Liakhovich face off live from Philadelphia's historic Asylum Arena.
Roach, the five time BWAA Trainer-of-the-Year, currently trains eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, among many others, at his Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles. A protégé of the late, great Eddie Futch, Roach is regarded as one of professional boxing's best and most popular trainers. In addition to his work as a trainer, Roach owns the Wild Card Club/Gym in Los Angeles where, alongside his brother Pepper, he fosters the development of young boxers. On Jan. 20, HBO will premiere a six-episode series on Roach that takes an intensely personal look at the world-famous trainer. The series chronicles his life and career against the backdrop of his daily battle with Parkinson's disease.
A former U.S. amateur heavyweight champion, the articulate Flores will interrupt his own boxing training - he is headlining an event on Jan. 28 in Springfield, Miss. - to make his NBC announcing debut. Flores has carved out an alternate career in broadcasting, while continuing to pursue his dream of adding a professional world title to his many accomplishments. A frequent guest analyst on ESPN's "Friday Night Fights," Flores fought his first two professional fights on NBC Sports broadcasts in May of 2003. His professional record stands at 24 wins, 1 loss, and 1 draw.
Rice, who has served as NBC's Olympic boxing reporter, has called boxing matches on HD Net since 2005 and has hosted a weekly "Inside MMA" series on HD Net since 2007. Rice has covered horse racing for NBC since 1999, reporting on the network's coverage of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and Breeders' Cup, and, in 2008, he hosted NBC's Olympic equestrian competition. In addition, Rice covered the U.S. Olympic Trials in both triathlon and equestrian and has reported on the NFL for NBC's "Football Night in America." Rice has also done play-by-play for track and field, rugby, and basketball, as well as the Pro Bull Riders World Finals.
Additionally, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated will serve as reporter and researcher for the "Fight Night" series.