Big-time boxing arrives on BT Sport on April 8 as the broadcaster stages its debut Fight Night Live as part of its new partnership with dedicated fight channel BoxNation.
In what promises to be a dramatic night of action across BT Sport and BoxNation from the Manchester Arena, WBO world lightweight champion Terry Flanagan tops the bill as he defends his belt against tough Russian Petr Petrov in front of his home fans.
A win for Flanagan in his native city could then result in a mouth-watering unification clash against WBA Lightweight Champion Jorge Linares.
The blockbuster card will also showcase British boxing’s first female Olympic gold medal winner and double Olympic Champion, flyweight Nicola Adams, taking on Argentinian Virginia Carcamo in what will be her first professional fight over four two minute rounds.
The first world title fight of the night will see the eagerly anticipated meeting between Liverpudlian Liam Smith and Welshman and current British Champion, Liam Williams.
Smith, the former WBO World Super-Welterweight Champion will be bidding to reclaim the interim version of his crown, having lost his one and only fight against the Mexican Canelo Alvarez last year.
The Manchester show is the first of 20 premium live boxing events a year on BT Sport and simulcast on BoxNation as part of a landmark deal with top boxing promoter Frank Warren, with a further ten events per year, including top tier pay-per-view events and other high-quality domestic shows, exclusively on BoxNation.
BoxNation, the UK’s first and only dedicated boxing channel, is also now part of BT Sport’s pack of channels and available to all new and existing BT Sport customers as part of their subscription.
Commenting on the deal, promotoer Frank Warren, who is also chairman of BoxNation, said: “This is the beginning of a new era for the sport in this country and I am delighted to be working exclusively with a broadcast and telecommunications powerhouse in BT.
“Iconic fight nights have the ability capture the imagination of the public, and I am looking forward to building some fantastic events with BT Sport.
“This long-term deal will give BT Sport customers access to BoxNation and my talented stable of fighters and we are delighted to be giving BoxNation, a channel we have worked so hard to build, the vast distribution it deserves.
“I am looking forward to doing what I do best, building boxing stars and promoting memorable events. 30 events a year across both BT Sport and BoxNation will allow me to give my fighters the contests and exposure to become household names.
“This deal is the beginning of a new era not just for me, but for British Boxing and I cannot wait to get started.”
BT Sport Fight Night Live launches on Saturday, April 8, with experienced boxing presenter Paul Dempsey hosting the network’s coverage from Manchester Arena.
He will be joined at ringside by former world champion Richie Woodhall and acclaimed boxing journalist and broadcaster Steve Bunce, with John Rawling commentating on the action alongside Richie, and Ronald McIntosh will be roving reporter.
The undercard action kicks off at 5.30pm over on BoxNation, before live coverage begins at 8.30pm over on BT Sport 1, with the main event also simulcast on BoxNation.
BT Sport’s live coverage will be a world first as the sport will be shown in Ultra High Definition with Dolby Atmos on its 4K UHD channel, available to BT TV customers, while virtual Reality highlights of the fight footage will be published near live through BT Sport’s social media platforms.
Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: “I am really excited that after months of build-up BT Sport is counting down the days until the first fight night to be shown on the network and online.
“We have some great fights on the first night, with two world title fights, Nicola Adams debut and Daniel Dubois making his professional bow.”
“We have an exciting line-up of highly experienced and respected presenters, commentators and pundits who won’t miss a punch nor pull a punch in making sure we capture all the action and the stories of each and every fight.”
“Innovation is at the forefront of everything we do at BT Sport and our new digital series ‘No filter Boxing’ will reach out and engage an entirely new boxing audience providing them with unique behind the scenes content in the build-up to all our big fights.”
BT Sport subscribers will be able to watch all the fights online via BTSport.com and via the BT Sport App, which features access to BoxNation, while free video clips and fight highlights will be available to watch shortly after broadcast.