By Barry Holbrook: Adam Smith of Sky Sports said he’s not sure at the moment whether former unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will be signing with DAZN or staying with Sky.
Smith says he’s heard the rumors of Joshua potentially moving over to DAZN, and if so, he wishes him the best. It’s up to Joshua (24-2, 22 KOs) what he wants to do with his career.
If Joshua does move to DAZN, his rematch with IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk is expected to be on pay-per-view from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Adam says he’s hearing August 20th will be the date for the Joshua vs. Usyk 2 rematch.
For U.S boxing fans, they’re not going to be too keen on paying to see Joshua fight Usyk in a rematch, as AJ isn’t a big star in the States and he’s lost two out of his last four fights.
One of those defeats came at the hands of American Andy Ruiz Jr, who before that fight, wasn’t considered an exceptional talent.
“There’s nothing to report. We don’t have any news. I think the rematch [Joshua vs. Usyk II] is touted for August the 20th. There’s no news from our side. I guess it’s one to ask Anthony,” said Adam Smith to Boxing Social about the rumors of Anthony Joshua moving to DAZN.
“We wait and see what happens. What I can say is that we’ve had a phenomenal relationship with AJ from the word go. We’ve enjoyed having him on Sky. If we have him for his next fight, we will adore that, but there’s no news, so we wait and see.
“As I’ve always said, I’m confident that he can remain on Sky, but it’s his decision, it’s a fighter’s decision, and he’s in the stage of his career where he’s getting other offers.
“If that’s true, and there’s money coming in from the other side, from DAZN, then absolutely, he’s got to look at it and decide what he wants to do.
“It’s a question for AJ, and it’s no news from our side, none at all. I wait like you do, I wait for news. I’m sure it will come soon, and I’m sure we’ll find out, first of all, when the fights going to be.
“They’ve made the rematch, and presumably, it’s Saudi Arabia, maybe August the 20th. I’ve heard dates from July 23rd to August the 6th to August the 13th to August the 20th.
“I think we’ve got to wait and see when they come out and announce the fight, and then I’m sure everything else will fall into place. Of course, I want AJ to stay with Sky forever and ever. Sometimes boxing doesn’t work like this.
“The fighters are the most important people in boxing. You and I wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing without the brave men & women that risk their careers, and their livelihoods each time they climb through the squared circle.
“Fighters are what this sport is all about, and sometimes, they’ve got to make decisions, which are selfish to look after their friends, their families, and themselves. Sometimes their decisions that don’t sit comfortably with different promoters, broadcasters, and maybe fans.
“They’ve got to do that, and AJ has got a decision to make. He’ll make that decision, but we’re always going to support AJ whatever that decision is made. We’re part of the fabric, part of the history. But I’d love him to be on Sky forever and a day, of course, but it’s a question that he and his team have to work out what’s best for him.
“All I can say is there’s no news on our end, and we wait and see. If he does go elsewhere, if that is the rumor that you’ve heard, we’ll wish him luck and good fortune wherever he is.
“Of course, he’s a fighter, we’re very close, he’s been amazing for Sky, and he’ll always continue to be a part of our family, whatever his immediate future has. If that immediate future is with us, great. If it’s not, it’s not. We’ll see what happens.
“What I do know is with Boxxer and Sky and Top Rank, we’ve got a fantastic position in boxing. We had a great time with Eddie [Hearn] and Matchroom. We’ve got a really good period to look forward to. There are plenty of fights coming up.
“The future is very bright at Sky. Opportunity knocks for all the Olympic talent going forward, and we’ll look to see what good fights are going to be made. If we get the AJ fight, we get it. If we don’t, we move forward. I hope AJ stays with Sky, but sometimes things don’t work out,” said Smith.