Showtime will air the World Light Heavyweight championship bout between WBC champ Jean Pascal and Bernard Hopkins, the network announced on Thursday.
The 12-round bout will take place at the Pepsi Coliseum in Pascal's hometown of Quebec City, Canada on December 18.
The fight was originally scheduled to be a pay-per-view match. There were no public statements explaining why the fight was moved from Showtime PPV to regular Showtime, but it has been speculated that Pascal-Hopkins was a hard sell. With Christmas a week away, asking fight fans to ante up $50 might have been too much to ask.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer this important championship fight directly to our loyal subscribers and fight fans,” said Ken Hershman, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Showtime sports. “This is a milestone fight for each man’s respective career and thus this matchup fits perfectly into our programming strategy—to televise the most competitive and meaningful bouts in the sport."
Pascal (26-1, 16 KOs) recorded an 11th-round stoppage of Chad Dawson last August. Hopkins (51-5-1, 32 KOs) scored a unanimous-decision win over Roy Jones Jr. last April.