- Both contracts to run for four years
- Sky to be UK and Ireland home for Top Rank’s US events, including 18 international fight nights a year
- Matchroom leaving Sky for DAZN after nine-year partnership
UK-pay TV broadcaster Sky Sports has reaffirmed its commitment to boxing by agreeing four-year deals with promotional companies Top Rank and Boxxer.
Sky will now be the UK and Ireland home for Top Rank events from the US. The licensing agreement covers the Las Vegas-based organisation’s stable, including top fighters such as Terence Crawford, Vasiliy Lomachenko, Josh Taylor and Mikaela Mayer.
The partnership will see at least 18 international fight nights a year – approaching 100 hours of boxing – broadcast live on Sky Sports, as well as over 50 years of archive content featuring ring legends.
The partnership between Sky and Top Rank began on 12th June with a card that saw hotly-tipped Shakur Stevenson extend his professional record to 16-0 with a unanimous points win against Jeremiah Nakathila.
The event was the first of three Top Rank cards to be broadcast on Sky this month, continuing with Naoya Inoue on 19th June and Lomachenko on 26th June.
Announcing its agreement with UK-based Boxxer, Sky said the collaboration ‘aims to challenge traditions with a new approach to boxing promotion’. This includes the pair working with other promoters and developing initiatives to support grassroots boxing.
Sky Sports, Top Rank and Boxxer will host a full partnership launch in August.
Sky says the two deals will bring more boxing to its subscribers ‘than ever before’.
The news comes after Matchroom Boxing and DAZN confirmed a five-year contract earlier this month worth ‘well into nine figures’. It will see Matchroom’s UK shows sit on the global streaming service and marks the end of Matchroom’s UK broadcast partnership with Sky, which had been in place since 2012.
That deal, however, did not include heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, who is contracted to fight one more time on Sky. The 31-year-old is expected to face Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk later this summer at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
“We’re very excited to partner with Top Rank and Boxxer to bring more world class boxing to Sky Sports,” said Sky Sports managing director Jonathan Licht.
“Top Rank are one of the biggest boxing promoters in the world, and our customers will now be able to see more of the world’s best boxers on Sky.
“Boxxer have ambitious and exciting plans for the sport in the UK, and we share a long-term view for boxing. Sky Sports has been a strong and close partner to boxing for more than 30 years and we look forward to continuing our partnership, giving a platform to the best fights at home and abroad and helping to grow the sport at elite and grassroots levels. We look forward to sharing more details with boxing fans in the next couple of months.”