Sky Sports extends boxing coverage with Top Rank and Boxxer partnerships
Two new partnerships will see Top Rank and Boxxer fights on Sky Sports until 2025.
As of 12 June, Sky Sports is now the UK & Ireland home of Top Rank events from the US, thanks to a new licensing agreement with the boxing promotion company. Sky Sports will also step up its commitment to the very best UK fighters in a partnership with Boxxer, founded by licensed promoter Ben Shalom. Full UK schedule and announcements will be made in August.
Top Rank has a deep history with the sport, promoting greats including Muhammad Ali, Manny Pacquiao, George Foreman and Marvin Hagler. Currently, it has the likes of Terence Crawford, Vasyl Lomachenko, Josh Taylor and Mikaela Mayer on its books.
The agreement will mean Sky Sports will broadcast many of the sport’s elite pound-for-pound fighters and deliver the best of men’s and women’s international boxing to Sky Sports audiences. Customers can look forward to at least 18 international Fight Nights a year, approaching 100 hours of boxing on Sky Sports, as well as 50-plus years of archive content highlighting legends such as Ali, Foreman, Pacquiao, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Sky Sports coverage of Top Rank events began with Shakur Stevenson taking on Jeremiah Nakathila on 12 June at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas for the vacant WBO interim junior lightweight title. It will be broadcasting three Top Rank cards this month involving Naoya Inoue (19 June) and Lomachenko (26 June). Anthony Joshua’s upcoming bout with Oleksandr Usyk is widely anticipated to follow in late summer.
Sky Sports and Boxxer, meanwhile, will work collaboratively including with other promoters to bring elite fighters to Sky Sports Boxing.
Sky Sports, Boxxer and Top Rank will reveal a more detailed fight schedule for the remainder of 2021 as well as a refreshed editorial approach over the coming weeks. This wide-ranging partnership will benefit the very top of the sport as well as at grassroots levels, with a commitment to engage with the British Boxing Board of Control on how to ensure sustainable growth. Sky Sports and Boxxer say they are committed to developing initiatives to support grassroots boxing and the facilities to grow the sport and will outline further details in August.
Sky Sports managing director Jonathan Licht said: “We’re very excited to partner with Top Rank and Boxxer to bring more world-class boxing to Sky Sports. Top Rank is 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 has 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.”
Top Rank president Todd duBoef said: “For decades, Sky has been the leading sports brand in the UK. The world’s biggest sporting events and boxing matches have been cultivated under the Sky banner. Top Rank is honoured to partner with Sky to continue to grow the sport both locally and globally for years to come.”
Boxxer’s Shalom said: “Sky Sports has been the bedrock of British boxing for many years. We have been waiting for the opportunity to offer a transformative approach to the sport and we are delighted that Sky Sports has bought into this vision. We believe this will take the offering for fans to new heights. Sky will show the best fights from around the world alongside a powerful UK schedule.”
British Boxing Board of Control general secretary Robert W Smith said: “The British Boxing Board of Control is delighted that Sky Sports has reconfirmed its commitment to British boxing that already spans in excess of 30 years.
“Sky Sports’ next chapter in boxing represents a fantastic opportunity for many as they will continue to broadcast major events, in addition to supporting the boxing pyramid in this country.”