Live Stream: Anthony Joshua vs. Alexander Povetkin on DAZN – Press Conference
By Jeff Aranow: IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will be defending his titles against Alexander Povetkin on September 22 on Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn’s DAZN streaming service.
The cost of the DAZN service is $9.99 per month. There’s a free subscription for the first month for boxing fans. The price is comparable to what fans would pay per month for HBO or Showtime. The difference is those channels also show movies.
Joshua is no longer with Showtime in the U.S, as his contract with them expired. It’s unclear whether Joshua would be better off having his fights televised on Showtime. At least in the immediate future, it would.
Hearn announced the fight details at Tuesday’s news conference. In addition to having Joshua fight Povetkin on DAZN, Hearn announced that he’s inked the following fighters to his Matchroom stable to compete on his DAZN streaming service:
– Maurice Hooker
– Demetrius Andrade
– Danny Roman
– Jessie Vargas
Joshua vs. Povetkin is a fight that would entice boxing fans to subscribe to DAZN, but not likely in the U.S. It’s not a must see fight. It’s more of a mismatch between a young big guy against a small old guy in Povetkin. You can’t blame Joshua for defending his WBA title against Povetkin. It’s the WBA’s fault for making Povetkin Joshua’s mandatory challenger without him having to earn the fight by facing a tough contender like Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller or Dillian ‘The Body Snatcher’ Whyte.
Joshua-Povetkin is a mismatch, and it’s not going to get many American boxing fans to subscribe to Hearn’s DAZN streaming service. Neither will Hearn signing Hooker, Vargas, Roman and Andrade. Out of that bunch, Andrade is arguably the most talented of the bunch, but he doesn’t have a lot of fans. Hearn has Jessie Vargas headlining on DAZN on October 6. That’s the same card as Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Johnson.
Having Vargas headlining on DAZN is somewhat of questionable move on Hearn’s part, as he’s not popular and he’s someone that is going to win a world title anytime soon. Vargas previously held titles at 140 and 147, but he won the belts against weak opposition in beating Khabib Allakhverdiev and Sadam Ali. Vargas lost his World Boxing Organization 147 lb. title to Manny Pacquiao in November 2016 in a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision. Since then, Vargas has fought twice in beating journeyman Aaron Herrera and then fighting to a 12 round draw against Adrien Broner.
Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) will be defending against the 38-year-old Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs) on September 22 at Wembley Stadium in London, England. It’s a strange place for such an insignificant fight, but Joshua has an incredible fan base that can’t get enough of him and don’t mind paying to see him fight non-threatening fighters. Joshua-Povetkin will be televised on Sky Box Office PPV in the UK. Hearn trying to sell the same Joshua vs. Povetkin fight to U.S audiences might be a fail for him, as there’s no market for that match or for any Joshua fights unless it were against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
He’s the only guy that the American boxing fans want to see Joshua fight right now. But even that fight wouldn’t be PPV worthy or a subscription worthy fight. If the time comes for the Joshua-Wilder fight to take place, Hearn obviously won’t have it streamed on regular DAZN. It’s surely going to be streamed on PPV in the States.
“The biggest star in world boxing will be launching the DAZN platform,” Hearn said about Joshua to ESPN.com.
Like a lot of new things, Hearn’s DAZN streaming service will likely go through tough times at first, but over time it could pick up more subscribers once the boxing fans hear about it. Of course, DAZN might end up failing if Hearn doesn’t sign better fighters than the ones he currently has. Jesse Vargas is a decent welterweight, but he’s not a guy that will be winning a world title at 147 anytime soon. Joshua will need to fight better opposition than Povetkin to get U.S fans interested in subscribing to DAZN.
“It’s a new era for broadcasting. Everything we do is always refreshing and new, so it was only right we be part of this,” Joshua said.
Hearn recently signed an eight-year, $1 billion deal with DAZN two months ago. Hearn has a 2-year contract with DAZN, which puts a lot of pressure on him to use the money he gets to sign the best fighters he can. Unfortunately, Hearn has failed to sign the top names that he’s attempted to lure to his Matchroom Boxing stable. Adrien Broner and Jermell Charlo didn’t sign with him, and none of the other top fighters have either. The only guys that Hearn is said to have signed are Hooker, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Vargas, Andrade and Roman. 16 of Hearn’s Matchroom cards will be streamed in the U.S per year. Another 16 will be streamed in the UK. Unless Hearn signs better fighters, he’s not going to get many boxing fans to subscribe to his DAZN service. The top names don’t want to take a risk in signing with Hearn’s DAZN service, as many of them are happy with their deals with manager Al Haymon. Why rock the boat in signing with Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing streaming deal with DAZN if it could soon be over within two years. If Hearn could sign these guys his prospects of success with DAZN would be quite good: Errol Spence Jr. Deontay Wilder, Jermall Charlo, Adrien Broner and Jermell Charlo.
Hearn is in the process of signing heavyweight contender Jarrell Miller to his stable in a co-promotional deal. Miller isn’t a big name in the U.S right now, but he’s someone that soon could be facing Anthony Joshua. Having Miller signed with his Matchroom stable would make it an in house fight for Hearn, which is a win-win fight. Miller has yet to beat a quality fighter during his career, but he’s made a lot of noise with his trash talking. Hearn believes that putting Joshua in with Miller will attract a lot of attention in the U.S from American fans. That remains to be seen. Without a resume of wins over quality opponents, Miller is still a nonentity in the U.S with the casual boxing fans. Hearn might be better off trying to turn Miller into a star in the UK than in the U.S, because the American fans haven’t been too impressed with the quality of opposition that he’s been fighting.
Earlier on Tuesday, Miller showed up late at the news conference for Hearn’s announcement of his new signings with DAZN. In what appeared to be a scripted incident, Miller and Joshua got in each other’s face for a face off. Miller seemed to get Joshua upset when he started jawing at him. Rather than take it in stride, Joshua looked like he wanted to swing on the 300 lb. Miller. Joshua scolded Miller for being tardy for the news conference. I don’t think it really mattered much to the boxing fans that attended, as
Miller wasn’t they were interested in hearing about. They wanted to know more about Hearn’s recent signees and the fights cards on DAZN that he has planned.
“You little b—-, who the f— are you talking to?” Joshua said to Miller.“You’re late. No respect. I’ll punch you right in your mouth. Shut the f— up. Running your mouth every minute. Shut the f— up and get off the stage you little b—-.”