LAS VEGAS - Mar. 7, 2015 - Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC made its primetime debut tonight from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Blow-by-blow announcer Marv Albert and analyst "Sugar" Ray Leonard called the action, with Al Michaels as host, corner analysts Laila Ali and B.J. Flores, and reporter Kenny Rice.
The debut of PBC on NBC featured a pair of 12-round bouts - Keith Thurman's unanimous decision over Robert Guerrero, and Adrien Broner's unanimous decision over John Molina Jr.
Following are notes and quotes from tonight's debut telecast:
PBC ON NBC DEBUT
Al Michaels: "Tonight, boxing returns to primetime...in the debut of Premier Boxing Champions on NBC. This is a brand new boxing series that will showcase many of the top fighters in the sport on network television, making boxing far more accessible to fans, with less of an emphasis on jockeying for belts and more of a focus on competitive fights."
"Sugar" Ray Leonard: "It doesn't get any better than this - boxing is back on primetime TV. My career, amateur and professional, began on network television. These boxers know the power of the networks. Yesterday, they said they want to be champions and also famous. It all begins right here, right now."
Michaels introducing blow-by-blow announcer Marv Albert: "And yes Marv is here, and it counts."
Marv Albert on calling NBC's last major primetime bout (Larry Holmes vs. Carl "The Truth" Williams, May 20, 1985): "Yes, I do recall very well that night in Reno, Nevada some 30 years ago....30 years ago, I was 12 at the time."
Albert: "Hall of Fame referee Steve Smoger is with us [at ringside], should there be some issues, controversies, or bizarre occurrences... But that never happens in boxing."
ON THURMAN vs GUERRERO
Leonard on Thurman (pre-fight): "Thurman, he's so analytical, he breaks down his opponents, he has knockout power in both hands, he puts his punches together well, and if he gets you in trouble, he's coming after you."
Leonard on Guerrero (pre-fight): "Guerrero, he went the distance with Floyd Mayweather, his defense is his offense. He's aggressive, relentless, durable, and has never been knocked out."
Leonard on Thurman in Round 1: "Most fighters have a problem with southpaws...but Thurman looks pretty good here."
Leonard on Guerrero in Round 1: "Guerrero needs to use his jab to work his way inside."
Albert on Thurman in Round 2: "It has been all Keith Thurman on the attack... he's a power puncher, looks for the early knockout...he's off to a terrific start."
Steve Smoger on Thurman's injury after an unintentional head-butt in Round 3: "If Thurman cannot continue after the 4th Round, they'll go to the cards. That's the situation and that's pursuant to Nevada rule."
Leonard on Thurman's Round 4 right hand to Guerrero's head: "Most guys would have gone down from that shot."
Leonard on Thurman in Round 7: "He's in such control."
Leonard on Round 7: "Thurman can't fall asleep on Guerrero, who still has power in both hands."
Leonard on Guerrero in Round 8: "Guerrero needs to be more aggressive and cut the ring off."
Leonard on Thurman in Round 8: "Thurman has taken full control of this fight."
Leonard on Guerrero in Round 8: "When Guerrero lands a punch he should stay there and throw more punches, more combinations."
Albert on Guerrero at the end of Round 9: "Saved by the bell."
Albert on Round 10: "How about Guerrero coming back!"
Leonard on Guerrero in Round 10: "This is what makes stars, this is what makes champs, coming back."
Leonard on Guerrero in Round 11: "The heart of Guerrero is just impressive."
Albert on Round 12: "12th and final round and they continue to go at it."
Albert: "Keith Thurman won the fight, Robert Guerrero won the fans."
ON ADRIEN BRONER vs JOHN MOLINA JR.
Leonard on Adrien Broner: "I had a little showmanship in me in my years, but Broner definitely is a showman. I knew when not to cross the line...Broner is a gifted fighter, but sometimes gets a little vulgar in his antics. I just don't want that to overshadow his talent."
Albert on Broner: "At times he has been off-the-wall outrageous."
B.J. Flores on Broner (pre-fight): "His speed, his reflexes, his athleticism. Adrien Broner is a problem, and a mismatch for anybody he faces because of those natural gifts. Now, whenever he gets in the ring, he likes to stand and use those reflexes and that speed for offense, combination punching and defense."
Leonard on Molina Jr. in Round 1: "He needs to make this an ugly fight."
Leonard in Round 1: "Broner has the best eyes...he sees and anticipates everything coming and is able to counter those punches."
Laila Ali on Round 1: "Molina's corner is not happy with his inactivity."
Ali on Molina Jr.'s inactivity after Round 6: "So far Molina has not been listening to his corner."
Leonard in Round 8: "Molina waited too long to become an aggressor."
Albert on Broner talking as fighters clinch in Round 8: "There are sweet nothings being whispered into the ear of John Molina."
Albert on the fighters' continual chatter in Round 10: "I get the idea that there is a talk show going on up there and the guests are Adrien Broner and John Molina."
Smoger on the officiating in Broner-Molina Jr. in Round 10: "I just think we've had a bit of over-officiating. Once the referee goes in and starts to lecture, it breaks the flow of the fight and it takes the fighters out of their game plan. He's trying to control the fight, but I think he's over-officiating."
Albert on exchange by fighters at end of the Round 10: "What a finish!"
Ali on Molina in the Round 11: "Joe Goossen has been pleading with John Molina to listen to him."
Leonard on Molina in the Round 12: "When Molina watches the tape of this fight he's going to be very disappointed in himself, because he has more. He's a warrior."
Albert on Broner: "It will be a convincing victory for 'The Problem,' who was a problem for John Molina."
PBC on NBC returns on Saturday, April 11 at 8:30 p.m. ET from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, as undefeated superstar Danny "Swift" Garcia (29-0, 17 KOs) faces Lamont Peterson (33-2-1, 17 KOs), and middleweight world champion "Irish" Andy Lee (34-2, 24 KOs) takes on the undefeated Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin (31-0, 22 KOs).
NBC and NBCSN will present 20 live PBC on NBC boxing events in 2015. Within the 20 live shows, NBC Sports Group will present more than 50 hours of PBC coverage, including NBCSN pre- and post-fight programming for NBC telecasts. The Premier Boxing Champions series is created for television by Haymon Boxing. The PBC on NBC will feature many of today's brightest stars, in their most compelling matches.
All PBC on NBC shows will be streamed live on NBC Sports Live Extra via "TV Everywhere," giving consumers additional value for their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms. NBC Sports Live Extra is available for desktops at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available at the App Store for iPad and iPod touch, on select devices within Google Play, and on windows phones and tablets.