DAZN deal ribbed as Top Rank “change game” with Sky Sports “upgrade”
Top Rank couldn’t help having a little dig at DAZN’s deal with Eddie Hearn after taking over as the number one source of boxing with Sky Sports in the UK.
Hearn left Sky behind after a decade at the helm with Sky’s Head of Boxing, Adam Smith. Going it entirely alone with the company shortly after taking over from his father Barry in 2010, the Matchroom boss decided the grass was greener with streaming service DAZN.
Only Anthony Joshua remains with Sky. The heavyweight champion has at least one more fight on Sky Sports Box Office.
This move led to a massive gap in the UK market. The biggest platform on the other side of the Atlantic was up for grabs.
Bob Arum wasted little time agreeing on a deal to show all of Top Rank’s future shows. And except for Tyson Fury, they will showcase their massive crop of talent exclusively on Sky Sports.
Under the terms, Top Rank has the run of Sky Sports alongside British promoter John Wischusen, ironically formerly of Matchroom.
Arum has the opportunity to strengthen his position in the British market and make Top Rank an even bigger name worldwide, just as Hearn is attempting to do so.
When DAZN announced that they’d secured Hearn’s UK stable, they put out the slogan “Game. Changed.” Top Rank’s Carl Moretti has since mocked this.
Their Vice President of Boxing put out the same slogan as Top Rank confirmed their intentions to expand overseas.
In response to Moretti, some UK fans were happy with what they stated was an “upgrade” from Hearn’s clutch of UK fighters.
While other Hearn fans said, it was unlikely to make a dent due to the time of Top Rank’s broadcasts.
WBN had already reported that Top Rank would work with a UK promoter. Ex-Matchroom Sport Head of Boxing Wischusen will help put on their shows at UK primetime.
TOP RANK BOX OFFICE
Top Rank will also have the option to use the Sky Sports Box Office platform to showcase their UK and Irish fighters like Josh Taylor and Michael Conlan. Also, pound-for-pound stars Vasyl Lomachenko, Naoya Inoue, and Teofimo Lopez.
Bringing those fighters over to the UK to headline top shows would be a game-changer in itself -if it happens.
Todd DuBoef, the man who takes over from Arum when the Hall of Famer retires, is delighted with the partnership.
“For decades, Sky has been the leading sports brand in the UK. The world’s most significant sporting events and boxing matches have been cultivated under the Sky banner.
“Top Rank is honored to partner with Sky to continue to grow the sport both locally and globally for years to come,” he said.
Game. Changed? – Time will tell.