Promoter Frank Warren has confirmed an agreement has been reached to allow Billy Joe Saunders a one-off title defense on Sky Sports this year.
Saunders hits the road again as the WBO middleweight champion heads to the United States in the fall to defend his crown against his mandatory challenger in Demetrius Andrade.
With Warren settling for Eddie Hearn’s plan when discussing a potential deal to avoid a WBO purse bid, part of that arrangement was to allow Matchroom USA rights over the contest.
This means Saunders v Andrade will be broadcast exclusively on DAZN in the United States and Sky Sports in the United Kingdom.
“We are Bill’s exclusive promoter and will remain that after this fight. Both of us were happy with the terms and think Billy wins the fight whether it’s here or in Andrade’s back garden,” said Warren.
“As Billy has shown against Lemieux he’s not fazed by a trip away.
“Win, lose or draw (he’ll win, and) BJS will be back on BT Sport after this fight. We fancy this fight big time and it’s the right money so that’s he’s prepared to travel,” he added.
Photo: Vincent Ethier / Stacey Verbeek
A deal came about when the World Boxing Organisation called a purse bid for the contest to be staged on July 25, which was eventually called off when Hearn and Warren, usually fierce rivals, amazingly managed to reach an agreement late on.
The fight itself is already being rumored to take place on October 20, potentially in Providence, Rhode Island – giving Andrade solid home advantage for his maiden bout under Hearn’s stewardship.
Saunders has impressed away from home recently when defeating David Lemieux last December on Canadian soil in what is largely recognized as one of the best performances by a British fighter outside the UK in some time.
Hearn’s snatching of Saunders v Andrade is the second huge clash confirmed for his new DAZN streaming arrangement following the announcement of Anthony Josuha v Alexander Povetkin on July 17.