Joshua’s fights during his career including his first meeting with Usyk have been broadcast on Sky Sports in the UK, but he now looks set to award exclusive rights to streaming service DAZN for the rematch
Anthony Joshua looks set to ditch Sky Sports and sign a new lucrative TV deal with streaming service DAZN.
The British star is expected to face Oleksandr Usyk in a mega-money rematch in Saudi Arabia this summer. Throughout his heavyweight career, Sky Sports have broadcast his fights in the UK with many of his recent events staged on their pay-per-view platform.
But his contract with the broadcasting giant expired following his first meeting with Usyk last September and according to The Sun, Joshua’s UK broadcasting rights have been subject to a bidding war ever since. Joshua’s long-term promoter Eddie Hearn moved his Matchroom Boxing stable to DAZN after being handed a lucrative deal to tempt him away from Sky Sports last year.
Rights to show the heavyweight star’s fights in the UK were not included as part of the deal despite the streaming service broadcasting his bouts around the world. All of the former two-time champion’s biggest fights have been broadcast on Sky Sports in the UK including his victories over Wladimir Klitschko and Andy Ruiz Jr.
But it now looks as if Joshua’s money-spinning sequel against Usyk will land on DAZN’s new pay-per-view platform which was trialled in America for Canelo Alvarez’s recent defeat to Dmitry Bivol. A date has yet to be officially confirmed with a fresh delay now likely to see the fight moved to August 20.
Joshua’s promoter Hearn has now confirmed the broadcasting rights are close to being resolved with an announcement expected imminently. “July 23 was obviously the proposed date,” Hearn told the DAZN Boxing Show in his latest update on the match. “We got to a point where we’re now less than seven weeks ago. We’ve got global media tours, you know, we’ve got TV rights to secure and international sponsorship deals. You’re going to see that fight in August. 13 and 20 are the two proposed dates.
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“We are literally signing the paperwork as we go in the last 24 hours so you will get an official announcement pretty soon. The fight is on. The fight is happening in the Middle East, looks pretty much set. I’ll save the exact titles for the announcement. We’re pretty much there now.”
It will be all change for Joshua ahead of his second showdown with Usyk, having appointed new head trainer Robert Garcia to replace heavily-criticized coach Robert McCracken. The Briton has been working on a gameplan with Angel Fernandez at Loughborough University since the defeat and is eyeing redemption for the second time in his career.
Hearn believes Joshua is now in a position to badly hurt Usyk in the rematch with his fresh tactical approach. “Joshua can hurt this guy bad if he’s got those intentions, but in a smart way,” Hearn told iFL TV. “Some people are saying ‘you’ve just got to go in there and stick it on him’. You’re talking about the pound-for-pound No.1, Usyk. It’s going to be a great fight.”