Fox Sports will mic trainer Joe Goossen during bout on Pacquiao-Thurman undercard

Kevin IoleCombat columnist

LAS VEGAS — Joe Goossen, long one of the elite trainers in boxing, has made a name for himself this year as an analyst on the Fox Sports boxing broadcasts.

Goossen is going to work on the preliminary broadcast on Fox that begins at 7 p.m. ET Saturday and which concludes with an IBF super middleweight title fight between champion Caleb Plant and challenger Mike Lee.

When that broadcast concludes at 9 p.m. ET, the Fox Sports pay-per-view card will begin, featuring Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman in the main event. Goossen will leave the broadcast position as the pay-per-view begins, because he trains welterweight Sergey Lipinets, who fights Javar Inson on the PPV undercard.

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Fox will have Goossen wired and so not only will viewers be able to hear what he’s saying as Lipinets warms up before the fight, but also the advice he gives in the corner.

But this will be a two-way conversation, much like Fox did during the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Cleveland earlier this month. Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman was talking with the Fox crew as he batted against Justin Verlander.

Trainer Joe Goossen will be mic'd and will have a conversation with the Fox Sports broadcasters during the Sergey Lipinets-Javar Inson bout that is on the Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman undercard Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas. (Reuters)
Trainer Joe Goossen will be mic'd and will have a conversation with the Fox Sports broadcasters during the Sergey Lipinets-Javar Inson bout that is on the Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman undercard Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas. (Reuters)

On Saturday, Goossen will talk with play-by-play man Kenny Albert and analysts Lennox Lewis and Shawn Porter both before and during the fight. Fox has given Goossen the option of not responding and removing the earpiece if it’s distracting him.

While trainers have been mic’d during broadcasts for a long time, and some such as Roy Jones Jr. on HBO have gone back to the booth to commentate on later fights, this is believed to be the first time it will be a conversation with the crew as the fight goes on.

Goossen will wear an earpiece that the broadcasters wear during a fight, so he’ll be able to hear the director and will know in advance when the broadcasters want to talk to him.

“Lennox and Shawn, as fighters, will know the right time to jump in and communicate with me, because they’ll understand how the fight is unfolding and when they wouldn’t want to have distractions come up,” Goossen told Yahoo Sports. “I don’t think it’s going to be a problem and I think it’s going to be fun for the fans to see. [Broadcaster] Jordan Hardy came into my corner during the Lamont Peterson fight at a very critical stage and I gave her a 20- or 30-second explanation of what was going on and what needed to be done, and it was no problem, so I don’t think this will be different.

It will provide unique insight, as Lewis, the ex-heavyweight champion, and Porter, the reigning WBC welterweight champ, will be able to question him from a fighter’s perspective as the bout unfolds.

Lipinets was originally supposed to fight John Molina Jr., and this would have been a far more valuable look, since that was a highly competitive bout. But Molina injured his back and was replaced on short notice by Inson.

Goossen, though, said that may make it more interesting for viewers because of the vast differences between Molina and Inson.

“I think it’s going to work out good,” Goossen said. “Everyone is well aware that we’ll be in a dicey situation in the corner normally and this could even be more interesting than if it were Molina in a way because we’re fighting a guy who is two inches taller than Molina. He’s a southpaw and he moves backwards. It’s exactly the opposite of what we were training for.

“We were training for a guy who comes forward, who’s a heavy hitter, who’s a little shorter, so our plan was for anything but a tall, moving southpaw. So fans should get some good insights.”

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