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ESPN goes all in for Vegas coverage of Mayweather-Alvarez showdown

Floyd Mayweather and ESPN's Robert Flores (Chris Hebert/ESPN)
Floyd Mayweather and ESPN’s Robert Flores (Chris Hebert/ESPN)

The Las Vegas Sun trumpeted Tuesday’s arrival of Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez as the start of “one of the biggest fight weeks in history.” But Vegas isn’t alone in preparing for Saturday’s junior middleweight title unification bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

“We believed fans would have a lot of interest in this fight, and the magnitude of our coverage — we sent a Bristol-based coordinating producer to Vegas — reflects that,” said Senior Coordinating Producer Michael Shiffman, who will have a crew of around 90 people on-site.

The CP chosen for the assignment, Jonathan Wolf, will be experiencing his first-ever prize fight.

“Who wouldn’t want to go to Las Vegas to work on a fight of this magnitude?” Wolf said, quickly crediting Senior CP of Bureaus Jill Frederickson for picking up some of his “office” responsibilities.

“Most of my communication is with our Bureau Producer, Charlie Moynihan, who has produced our coverage for many big fights, and we knew this fight was different — it was a priority with additional resources being added,” Wolf said. “So we decided he would handle all the on-site logistics and I would handle the daily, cross-platform content planning with people in Bristol.”

Moynihan — who grew up watching 1970’s heavyweight fights on ABC’s Wide World of Sports — has worked more than a dozen major fights for ESPN, starting with Oscar De La Hoya’s 11th round TKO of Oba Carr in 1999.

“I still get goosebumps the size of boulders as the gladiators make their way to the ring,” Moynihan said. “ESPN’s coverage of the Mayweather-Alvarez fight is unprecedented both in terms of scope and output. We brought in the ‘stealth desk’ [with movable LED panel inserts] for our weekend coverage, and anchors and analysts will be dressed in tuxedos. It is unlike anything we have done.”

Today’s SportsCenter is scheduled to have live interview with both fighters in the 4 p.m. ET (Alvarez) and 6 p.m. (Mayweather) hours.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez with ESPN's Bernardo Osuna (Chris Herbert/ESPN)
Canelo Alvarez with ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna (Chris Herbert/ESPN)
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