10
Aug
2020

Sky v BoxNation: Competition to rival the darts split of the 90’s

Phil Jay 27/06/2013

The recent announcement that the remainder of the ex-Sky televised boxing promoters are joining the BoxNation revolution with Frank Warren has pushed the sport further towards a two-bodied system that mimics the BDO/PDC rivalry in darts

Whilst the mighty Sky have decided to stick solely with Matchroom, BoxNation have set about mopping up the rest of the domestic scene’s major stables in a bid to compete with massive array of talent currently enjoyed by figurehead Eddie Hearn.

With Hearn recently linking up with David Haye, more depth and resources have been gathered, although BoxNation did counter that by striking a deal with former light-welterweight king Amir Khan.

The way developments are happening, it seems to be coming to a point where if you are a British fighter going places, then you either go with Hearn at Sky or one of BoxNation’s new crop of handlers – with the prospect of a Golden Boy v Top Rank situation raising its ugly head.

America’s two biggest promotional outfits are still at logger heads after years of bickering, with the fans the only ones to miss out as the super-powers refuse to do business with each other.

BBBC purse bids and other means have helped to make a select few fights between Matchroom and BoxNation’s main player Frank Warren recently, although regular accusations and bad blood are forever simmering on the surface and threaten to erupt at any point.

If fighter animosity was ever to add to that, there could become an even bigger problem between both sides that could eventually see some of more sought after fights enjoyed by UK fans fail to even reach the negotiations stage, let alone be made.

Battles like those between Nathan Cleverly and Tony Bellew and James DeGale and George Groves would certainly have had less chance of happening under the current climate, with British boxing currently now in a precarious position in regards to sealing the biggest fights around.

Scott Quigg v Carl Frampton is a prime example as Ricky Hatton’s handling of Quigg was likely to get the fight made as Frampton stood with Hearn. Now that BoxNation are involved with Frampton and Hearn is behind Quigg, the clash looks to be another that is largely out of reach, even with a massive amount of hype already built up.

Two separate entities on different channels has more than a little of the darts shake-up about it, something Hearn’s father Barry is all too aware of – although Sky’s coverage of the PDC is dwarfing BBC’s BDO stable in terms of money and prestige.

BoxNation are heading in the right direction by launching a new HD format though and with rumours that Channel 5 are unsure about their deal with Mick Hennessy, there could soon be another promoter joining the revolution against the satellite network.

Whether any of it is good for boxing in Britian is another debate entirely though…