Boxing has officially gone nuts for UK fans. Matchroom Boxing’s confirmation on Thursday of a rematch between Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora taking place on Pay-Per-View is the final straw for some punters.
As their United States counterparts are saving a fortune on PPVs with the demise of HBO and the formation of streaming service DAZN, things have gradually gotten worse for the Brits.
Over the next two months alone, and as people rush around getting their Christmas shopping done, there are PPV’s on November 10, December 1 and TWO on December 22. Add to that a James DeGale v Chris Eubank Jr. clash yet to be made public and it’s a fair whack in the pocket.
Whyte v Chisora 2 adds to the already announced Josh Warrington v Carl Frampton event. Warrington v Frampton is on BT Sports Box Office that same night. It means fans now have to choose which event to order.
It’s a sad state of affairs. The move marks a complete turnaround from the days when UK fans balked at the prices American buyers were forced to pay.
Matchroom Boxing and Frank Warren have both upped their PPV game recently. Strategies that will see fans ultimately expected to pay more money than their original subscriptions.
Sky is already costing most people over £80 with broadband, whilst BT is not far behind. BT Sports alone is £28 plus for HD.
Something has got to give. And unless DAZN or some sort of similar service begins soon, fans could revolt against the whole practice.
The ultra mega-events are certainly PPV worthy, like Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao or a Conor McGregor crossover. But charging for the likes of Whyte v Chisora, Usyk v Bellew, Warrington v Frampton and every single Anthony Joshua fight no matter the opponent is getting beyond a joke for some.
One reprieve is that Canelo v Rocky Fielding looks set to be broadcast on Sky Sports on December 15.
Twitter has been awash with complaints since the reports of December 22 were made public. Many are now threatening to cancel their sports packages.
Nov 10 – Usyk v Bellew (Sky)
Dec 1 – Wilder v Fury (BT)
Dec 22 – Warrington v Frampton (BT) / Whyte v Chisora (Sky)
TBC Dec or Jan 2019 – DeGale v Eubank Jr. (ITV)
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay