Eddie Hearn signs ‘historic’ deal with DAZN to ‘change face of boxing’ in the UK
Eddie Hearn has confirmed Matchroom Boxing has signed an exclusive deal with DAZN in the UK.
The promoter believes the move will give him the “firepower” to change the face of the sport.
Matchroom's 10-year exclusive boxing deal with Sky Sports will finish at the end of this month.
And a new five-year contract with the streaming giant will kick off with Hearn's 'Fight Camp' series at the end of July which will see events held at the former Hearn family home for three weeks in a row this summer.
He said: “It's an historic announcement. It's a five-year deal for our UK events.
“For 25 years plus we have been aligned with Sky Sports.
“This deal in our key market is something we are extremely proud of.
“It's probably the most exciting move we have ever made as a business.
“Now we have the firepower and artillery to change the face of the sport here in the UK in the terms of the fights we are making and the value we are offering.
“It wasn't an easy decision to make to leave Sky Sports.
“It was a really difficult decision for us because as a business we sit across Sky with a number of sports and boxing has been a huge success over the last 10 years.
“When they understood and found out about the structure and the deal, I felt they had to shake my hand and say, 'Good luck to you son'.”
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Hearn refused to confirm how much the deal is worth.
But it is understood to be at least nine-figures over the course of the five-year deal.
Hearn said: “To prise us away from a partner like Sky where we had a number of rounds of negotiations, it had to be a seismic deal.
“I felt that over the past few years with the inflation of purses, we have been more reliant on the pay-per-view model and the debate was always is a fight pay-per-view or not.
“What this allows us to do is sit those cards on regular fight nights on the DAZN platform.
“You can imagine the firepower needed to do that.”
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Matchroom's deal will see 16 UK shows a year on the streaming channel as well as their events in the US, Spain and Italy.
The deal kicks off in late July with three shows at 'Fight Camp' back-to-back before Josh Warrington's rematch with Mauricio Lara on September 4 in Leeds.
But Anthony Joshua's summer outing will only be on DAZN outside of the UK.
The WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion has one fight left on his current contract with Sky Sports.
So if he defends his titles against Oleksandr Usyk in August or September then it will still be on Sky Sports Box Office.
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Joshua is expected to sign a new deal with Matchroom but is still considering extending his contract with Sky Sports rather than teaming up with DAZN in the UK.
Hearn's Matchroom Media arm will be responsible for all the production of shows in the UK.
There will be an announcement next week on commentary teams and pundits for the expansion into the market on these shores.
The streaming giant is focussed on boxing for now but has not ruled out bidding for Premier League rights here in the future.
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