Anthony Joshua is set to turn his back on Sky Sports – the broadcasting company he has fought with his whole career – in favour of DAZN
British former world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is set to confirm that he has left his deal with Sky Sports to join lucrative streaming service DAZN ahead of his world title rematch with Oleksandr Usyk this summer, according to reports.
DAZN have assumed the role of the exciting, new and influential player in this current digital era within the sports entertainment market. Joshua has fought on Sky Sports for the entirety of his career, with promoter Eddie Hearn previously securing an exclusive deal with the broadcaster to the Brit’s fights.
However, Hearn has now negotiated a £100million-per-year deal with DAZN after Joshua’s deal with Sky Sports expired after his clash with Usyk at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September. The Watford-born star has been the subject of a bidding war since, but he is set to join forces with DAZN starting immediately with his Usyk rematch.
There are ambitious plans for fights around the world, including in Africa, but Joshua is first looking to win back the IBF, WBA and WBO belts from Usyk in a bout slated to take place in Saudi Arabia in August. The heavyweight rivals are set to meet in Jeddah on August 20 – with the date and venue set to be confirmed this week – where they will share a pot of over £100million.
The bout will undoubtedly be a pay-per-view event for British viewers who can stream it on DAZN, which is owned by billionaire Sir Len Blavatnik.
Joshua’s deal with DAZN is reportedly a multi-year, multi-fight deal with a minimum requirement of two fights a year. DAZN is looking to build their biggest events around the British superstar, who is hoping to cement his boxing legacy by reclaiming his titles against Usyk.
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DAZN had reportedly even felt they had missed out on Joshua’s signature with Sky Sports initially feeling confident in retaining the 32-year-old. However, the global sports subscription service suddenly emerged as favourite as an announcement is set to be made next week.
It brings Joshua’s time with Sky Sports to an end, with the broadcaster showing his clash with Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium in 2017 – watched by over 1.5million people on PPV – as well as his revenge bout against Andy Ruiz Jr in Saudi Arabia in 2019, where he became a two-time world champion. The Brit has been with Matchroom Sport throughout his career, and he signed a life-time deal with the promotion last September.
“We’ve built some great foundations over the years and I appreciate Matchroom – the company, the team, the family business,” said Joshua at the time of inking his deal with the promotion, which is run by Hearn. “That’s kind of what drew me towards you guys as well, the integrity that the Hearns have when it comes to boxing and business.
“I’ve felt comfortable during my years as a boxer and I always felt that the business outside of sport is harder than the actual fighting due to the history and some of the problems that some fighters have had. So, to be with Matchroom Sport has been a blessing for myself, my family and my team.
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“Outside of that, what Matchroom Sport have done is created an environment for boxing fans. The shows that we have managed to put on have been phenomenal. When I walk out to fight, I look around and I’m like, ‘mate, this is unbelievable’.
“From where we began, to the middle of the journey, the foundations we have created are phenomenal and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. In my humble opinion, what better place to be than Matchroom Boxing?
“I have heard that my signature was hot property. I’m happy where I am. A handshake is good enough for me, but the signature solidifies it and I’m happy where my signature is.”