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Tuesday, September 05, 2017
by Eddie Goldman
As a follow-up to my latest show, "No Holds Barred: A Sweet But Dysfunctional September for Boxing", which was posted early Monday, September 4, as anticipated there has been a flurry of announcements Tuesday, September 5. Most of these seem to be quite late in coming.
One of the worst kept secrets in boxing was that on Saturday, October 28, heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua will defend his belts against his IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev. That fight has now been officially announced. Joshua had wanted to have a rematch with Wladimir Klitschko, whom he defeated on April 29 in a classic fight by 11th-round TKO, but the 41-year-old Klitschko decided to retire instead.
The Joshua-Pulev fight will take place at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, and will be shown live in the U.K. on Sky Sports Box Office. Joshua is also contracted to fight on Showtime in the U.S. There was no accompanying announcement about this, so we shall see if they show this fight, and either live or on tape-delay.
While the September 16 Golovkin-Canelo fight was long ago announced as being shown on HBO pay-per-view in the U.S., details of how to watch it in the U.K. on BoxNation have just come out.
"'Canelo' Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin on September 16th is exclusively live in the U.K. and Ireland on BoxNation Box Office from just £16.95/€21.95.
"BoxNation's current paying subscribers, and any new customers that wish to subscribe instead of buying it via Box Office, will get the fight as part of their monthly subscription at no extra cost."
The World Boxing Super Series has finally announced a U.K. TV deal, just four days before their first card takes place. These fights will be on ITV, both free-to-air and pay-per-view. But there still is no word on if they will get a TV deal in the U.S.
From the World Boxing Super Series press release:
"MP & Silva are delighted to announce a media rights agreement with ITV to showcase the inaugural 2017/18 season of the World Boxing Super Series starting September 9. ITV will exclusively cover 16 elite boxers competing across 14 different Fight Nights all over the world to see who will claim the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
"The Super Middleweight and Cruiserweight tournaments will be shown on a combination of ITV's free-to-air and pay-per-view platforms with the second Quarter-Final Fight Night featuring Callum Smith vs. Erik Skoglund from Liverpool's Echo Arena to be shown live on ITV4 on September 16.
"The World Boxing Super Series will be of more particular interest to the British audience this season with Chris Eubank Jr. fighting Turkish Avni Yildirim and the all British duel between George Groves and Jamie Cox at The SSE Arena, Wembley in October both being shown on ITV Box Office."
And in an announcement which already has earned the wrath of many fans online, the September 23 fight between WBO heavyweight champ Joseph Parker and Hughie Fury in Manchester, U.K., will be shown in the U.K. and Ireland as a YouTube pay-per-view. Again, there has been no announcement about showing this fight in the U.S.
From the Hennessy Sports press release:
"The blockbuster WBO World Heavyweight Championship title fight between Joseph Parker and Hughie Fury on Saturday 23rd September at the Manchester Arena will be shown exclusively live in the UK and Ireland on YouTube (www.youtube.com/parkerfury) on a pay-per-view basis with further countries to be announced shortly.
"A portion of the undercard will also be streamed for free before the big fight, this is also available live on www.youtube.com/parkerfury. Watch this event anywhere online or on your smart TV, game console, PC, Mac, mobile, tablet and more for a special advance purchase offer price of only £9.99 in the UK and €11.99 in the Republic of Ireland until midnight on Sunday 17th September.*
"youtube.com/parkerfury is the home of Hennessy Sports YouTube Channel which is called The Boxing Channel presented by Hennessy Sports.
"*£14.99 in the UK and €16.99 in the R.O.I from Monday 18th September."
Overall this still seems like a pretty dysfunctional way to get fans to watch boxing. All this reliance on pay-per-view is far inferior to how most other major sports popularize their events through free TV and streaming.