Sky Sports has unveiled plans to provide fans with 'more access to boxing than ever before', with stars like Josh Taylor, Chris Eubank Jr and Hughie Fury some of the main attractions.
British-based boxing promoter BOXXER and Top Rank on Wednesday announced that they have entered into an exclusive multi-year agreement with Sky Sports that will bring 'the best fights from around the world' to television screens across the United Kingdom.
The four-year deal, which was agreed earlier this year, will see Sky Sports stream at least 18 US fight nights per year and means Top Rank's premium world-class roster - which includes Terence Crawford, Teofimo Lopez and Vasyl Lomachenko - will be combined with BOXXER's existing talent pool of elite-level fighters to rival that of DAZN and Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing.
"We're excited to continue the rich Sky Sports Boxing legacy and take it into a new era," BOXXER founder Ben Shalom told Sky Sports. "We founded BOXXER to make the professional sport more accessible and create better opportunities in the sport for fighters.
"This long-term deal with Sky allows us to take that mission to the next level. The strategy will put fans first; showcasing the best fights from around the world and building the sport in the UK."
Top Rank president Todd duBoef added: "Sky Sports has been the home to the biggest sporting events throughout UK for decades, and we look forward to bringing the world's biggest boxing events and star talent from around the world to UK boxing fans."
Sky Sports managing director Jonathan Licht concluded: "We're thrilled to announce the first phase of our exciting new boxing schedule and we look forward to working closely with Top Rank and BOXXER to deliver the best fights to Sky Sports Boxing viewers, and to showcasing some of the best up-and-coming fighters in the UK. Sky Sports customers will have more access to boxing than ever before."
The first event of the new BOXXER deal will take place on October 2, when Sky Sports will stream the card from the SSE Arena in London, England. The all-action main event will feature popular middleweight contender Chris Eubank Jr (30-2, 22 KOs), 31, against 27-year-old Sven Elbir (18-1, 14 KOs).
The card will also feature European welterweight champion David Avanesyan (27-3-1, 15 KOs), 33, of Russia, defending his regional title against Liam Taylor (23-1-1, 11 KOs), 30, of Middleton, Lancashire, and former British cruiserweight champion Richard Riakporhe (11-0, 8 KOs), 30, of England, in a scheduled eight-round fight against Polish challenger Krzysztof Twardowski (9-2, 6 KOs).
Two weeks later, Hughie Fury (25-3, 14 KOs), 26, of Stockport, Manchester, will throw down with former two-time European champion Christian Hammer (26-7), 33, of Galati, Romania, to underline his credentials as an elite-level heavyweight at the Utilita Arena in Newcastle on October 16, with Savannah Marshall (10-0, 8 KOs), defending her WBO middleweight title against mandatory challenger Lolita Muzeya. Lewis Ritson (21-2, 12 KOs), 27, of Forest Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne, will also feature on the undercard against an opponent to be announced.
Both events will air live and exclusively on Sky Sports, with tickets available to purchase via boxxer.com/tickets.
Sky Sports boxing schedule - other fights to be added:
September 11 - Fight Night International
Oscar Valdez vs Robson Conceicao – WBC super-featherweight title
September 25 – Sky Sports Box Office
Anthony Joshua vs Oleksandr Usyk – IBF, WBA & WBO world heavyweight titles
Lawrence Okolie vs Dilan Prasovic – WBO cruiserweight title
October 2 – Fight Night
Chris Eubank Jr vs Sven Elbir – 12 rounds middleweight
David Avanesyan vs Liam Taylor– European welterweight title
Richard Riakporhe vs Krzysztof Twardowski – 8 rounds cruiserweight
October 16 – Fight Night
Savannah Marshall vs Lolita Muzeya – WBO middleweight title
Hughie Fury vs Christian Hammer
October 24 – Fight Night International
Jamel Herring vs Shakur Stevenson – WBO super-featherweight title
November 6 – to be confirmed
BOXXER Tournament - to be confirmed
December 18 – Fight Night
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed super-lightweight title