After a bidding war with DAZN, BT Sport and the BBC, Sky Sports have pipped their competitors to earn the broadcasting rights for Anthony Joshua’s August showdown with Oleksandr Usyk.
Following their first fight last September, Joshua and Usyk meet in Saudi Arabia on August 20 in a rematch for the WBA, WBO, IBO and IBF heavyweight titles.
Joshua signed a long-term deal with DAZN as recently as last month, but Sky Sports emerged as the winner of a recent bidding war for the broadcasting rights.
After the Saudi organisers paid £88million for hosting rights, the broadcasting bidding battle followed suit, and Sky Sports reportedly pipped their competitors with a £25million bid.
DAZN were their closest rivals, while it is believed that both BT Sport and BBC also bidded for the rights.
With the fight now set to be held on Sky Sports’ pay-per-view arm, Sky Sports Box Office, it now marks a nine-year partnership between the broadcasting company and Joshua, with Sky showing all of his professional fights since his first back in 2013.
It is believed that DAZN’s “ground-breaking” deal with Joshua will then commence after the Usyk rematch.
Joshua signed a “long-term global partnership” with DAZN four months ago, which reportedly made the 32-year-old a global ambassador for DAZN, as well as an adviser and shareholder.
But with the deal not securing rights to the Usyk rematch, they’ll have to wait until after August to start their partnership.
It is believed that the deal is in place to broadcast Joshua’s next 10 fights.