BOXING: Matchroom Sport announces two-year deal with Sky Sports

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Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Sport have signed a new agreement to be the principal boxing promoter on Sky Sports for the next two years.

Matchroom Boxing will stage up to 20 live shows on Sky Sports during both seasons featuring Hearn’s ever-expanding stable of world class boxers, including Carl Froch and Kell Brook.

The first event of the new deal taking place on September 8 at the Alexandra Palace in north London as Tony Bellew’s clash with Edison Miranda tops a huge bill with five title fights.

On the same night, Sky Sports will show live coverage of Super Six champion Andre Ward defending his WBC and WBA super middleweight World titles against Chad Dawson from California.

Speaking of the new Sky deal, Eddie Hearn said: “I am delighted that Matchroom has reached this ground-breaking agreement with Sky Sports.”

“The future of boxing for fight fans and TV viewers is deeper bills with more title fights and more competitive fights in packed out arenas.

“We have a great stable of talent at Matchroom Sport and they will benefit from regular boxing at high-profile, atmospheric events, as our leading lights Carl Froch, Kell Brook, Darren Barker, Gavin Rees and Carl Frampton fight in huge title fights in the coming seasons.

“Sky Sports and Matchroom Sport want to deliver across the board for fight fans – broadcast quality shows, using Ringside, Sky Sports News and skysports.com to build our boxers, and help create new heroes.

“We are looking to develop close relationships with fighters, promoters and international broadcasters to ensure an exciting future for the sport of boxing on Sky Sports.”

The big night of boxing at Ally Pally on September 8 is just the first in a series of shows that will have Sky Sports viewers on the edge of their seats over the next two years, with five stellar shows already lined up before December.

Carl Frampton defends his Commonwealth and IBF Inter-Continental titles against two-time world champion Steve Molitor on September 22 in Belfast, with support from Paul McCloskey taking on WBA number 9 Manuel Perez, Martin Lindsay challenging Lee Selby for the British and Commonwealth featherweight titles, and Eamonn O’Kane taking on Craig Windsor Jr for the Celtic super middleweight title.

The Prizefighter series line-up sees Anthony Crolla, Derry Mathews and Gary Sykes face-off for the Lightweights II trophy in Liverpool on October 6 where Rocky Fielding boxes for his first pro title in ‘Rocky and the Prizefighters’.

Kell Brook takes the final step towards a world title on October 20 as he faces Hector Saldivia in a final eliminator for the mandatory position for the IBF welterweight title at the Motorpoint Arena Sheffield, where Jamie McDonnell is also in an IBF World title final eliminator against South African bantamweight Vusi Malinga.

Carl Froch boxes for the first time as a three-time World champion on November 17, defending his IBF super middleweight title against Yusaf Mack at the Capital FM Arena where he produced a stunning knockout win over Lucian Bute.

In addition to the new Sky Sports deal, Matchroom Sport have teamed up with bookmakers Betfair who will become the promoter’s official partner and title sponsors at each televised event.

Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom shows, along with fights involving Amir Khan, will be the only live boxing on Sky Sports in the months to come after the broadcaster dropped Frank Maloney and Ricky Hatton’s shows from their future schedules.

It was reported that Sky wanted to reduce its live boxing coverage to save money in the wake of increased costs for other sports rights such as football and Formula 1.

CLICK HERE for details of all forthcoming live TV boxing

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