by Pedro Fernandez

Two years ago, FOX Sports was considered another one of Rupert Murdoch's many media toys. But in association with AMERICA PRESENTS, FOX has stepped up bigtime and by the end of the year could be the champion of non-premium cable when it comes to professional boxing.

It may sound like a bit bold of a statement, but hear me out. ESPN's cards have never been "great" shows on a whole. Too many times over the years, it would be a favorite against a hapless opponent in the main event.

Right now the soon to be canceled USA Tuesday Night Fights are #1. But like a lame duck governor, USA is just waiting out it's term which will expire in August.

So that leaves ESPN and FOX, with TNT (Ted Turner) not yet committed to being a full time replacement for USA on Tuesday night.

AMERICA PRESENTS, the Denver based promotional group whose fights are featured on FOX Sports in English and FOX Americas in Espanol, their CEO Mat Tinley appeared on Ring Talk a fortnight ago and was quite clear in what his intentions are.

"At AMERICA PRESENTS, we intend to be the New York Yankees of professional boxing when it comes to free agents." In putting forth both quantity and most importantly, quality, FOX and A.P. could be #1 by the first of the year.

Tonight FOX and A.P. combine for an action packed card topped by big boys when heavyweight Phil Jackson hooks it up with the Big Apple's Gerard Jones in the 10 round main event.

Miami's Jackson will be fighting at home as the Miccosukee Casino in Miami will be the venue for the FOX broadcast that begins at 8 PM ET (5 PM PT). At 39-6, Jackson can punch, as his 36 KO's in those 39 wins clearly indicates.

But the New Yorker Jones, 19-2-2, (12 KO's) is a pretty fair fighter in himself. One thing for sure, if Jackson thinks he can win this fight by showing up and staring Jones down, he's in trouble.

In the co-main event, Panamanian Santiago Samiegeo, 27-3, with 23 stops, will engage undefeated Theo Elmore of Nashville. A former amateur star, Theo comes into this 12 round bout at 20-0, with 16 knockouts.

Also on the bill is undefeated Puerto Rican Alex Trujillo, who has nine whackouts in his 10 wins. Also on the card, Cuban Hickley Lau, 9-1-1, (5 KO's) will do battle with once beaten Texan Michael Lerma (11-1, 9 KO's).

Fighting in a "TV swing bout" meaning that if there is an early knockout in one of the featured attractions, FOX will show Cuban sensation Ivan Ledon, 12-1-1, with 11 knockouts, in a six round welterweight scrap.

There are a pair of other bouts featuring two unbeaten Puerto Rican brothers who were amateur standouts. Featherweight Jose Miguel Cotto is 7-0, with 6 KO's, while his younger brother Juan, a bantamweight who won in his pro debut fill out the card.

The two hour FOX broadcast begins at 8 PM ET (5 PM PT)

Pedro Fernandez

The writer has his own site at and can be reached at

Don't forget! Ring Talk will air for two hours this Saturday night at 11:06 PM ET LIVE from the Las Vegas Hilton where there will be a SHOWTIME/Don King card topped by the WBA 154 lb. rematch between titleholder Laurent Bouduani and Guillermo Jones. These two fought in February, with the end result being a controversial draw.

Ring Talk is heard Saturday and Sunday nights at 11:06 PM ET on the TALK AMERICA Radio Networks and LIVE in 160 + countries on the Internet at

On Sunday night, Ring Talk airs for an hour on the "Deuce" or TALK AMERICA "2" Network beginning at 11:06 PM ET. TALK 2 also has LIVE Internet audio at

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