Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing signs 5-year deal with DAZN
By Jim Strobridge: Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing has inked a massive nine-figure, five-year broadcast deal with DAZN to have fights dreamed in the UK and will depart from Sky. This goes into effect on July 1, according to Mike Coppinger.
With that said, Matchroom’s crown jewel fighter, IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, will continue to have his fights shown on Sky Box Office. Also, lesser star heavyweight Dillian Whyte will stay with Sky as well.
So why could Hearn move his Matchroom Boxing company from Sky to DAZN? It’s pretty simple. The money was obviously too good for him to resist, and he’s got an excellent relationship with DAZN.
Nevertheless, it’s still a huge blow for Sky to lose out on the great fighters that Matchroom Boxing has in their growing stable, including Canelo Alvarez, Gennadiy Golovkin, Billy Joe Saunders, and Demetrius Andrade, to name just a few.
“The ground-breaking deal is worth well into nine figures guaranteed and goes into effect on July 1,” said Mike Coppinger of The Athletic. “Before Hearn joins up with DAZN officially this summer, however, Matchroom will see out its Sky Sports contract with two more shows.”
Matchroom has been with Sky for nine years now since 2012, but the emergence of the streaming giant DAZN has proved to be too tempting for Hearn’s promotional company to resist. With DAZN in the UK, it could make things difficult for Sky to compete with them unless signing a major promotional company with great fighters in their stable.
It’s unclear which company will be able to move in to fill the tremendous void left by Matchroom because there isn’t anyone in the UK with the type of fighters Hearn’s company has.
It was inevitable that Hearn would eventually move his Matchroom fighters from Sky to DAZN, as he’s become close with the streaming giant, and he’s helped them grow in the short period of time his company has been with them.
These are some of Matchroom’s fighters that will now be exclusive for DAZN in the UK:
- Canelo Alvarez
- Conor Benn
- Katie Taylor
- Billy Joe Saunders
- Lawrence Okolie
- Callum Smith
Matchroom’s final event with Sky Sports will take place at some point in June. Hearn’s company will start officially with DAZN UK on May 15th, with 175-lb contender Joshua Buatsi against an opponent still to be determined.
It’s not all bad for Sky Sports, given that they’ll still be broadcasting the pay-per-view fights involving Matchroom’s two biggest stars in Joshua and Whyte.
For non-British boxing fans, they might be surprised that the 33-year-old Whyte is considered a star in the UK. Still, he’s surprisingly popular despite never captured a world title during his 10-year professional career.
Sky will do well with Joshua and Whyte staying with them. Of course, if Joshua loses his next two fights against Tyson Fury, that could take a big bite out of his pay-per-view numbers on Sky Box Office.
Joshua vs. Fury will be shown on Sky Box Office and BT Sport Box Office in the UK. The fight will also be shown in the U.S on ESPN pay-per-view.
For U.S boxing fans, none of this matters because they already see Matchroom fights streamed on DAZN. This is just a UK thing with Hearn moving his Matchroom Boxing company from Sky Sports to DAZN UK.
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