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TOGETHER Matchroom Boxing and Sky Sports have done a tremendous job of raising the profile of boxing in the UK over the past decade. Their divorce, confirmed last week when Eddie Hearn announced a new, exclusive five-year deal with DAZN, heralds a new era in British boxing.
Not too long ago, the up-and-coming Hearn pestered Sky Sports for exclusivity. He aspired to be the channel’s sole promoter at a time when other ad agencies were sharing hosting responsibilities with Matchroom. As is often the case with Hearn, he got his way.
Now it may seem like the roles have reversed as Sky Sports tried to convince the influential and charismatic Hearn to sign a new exclusive contract with them. The truth is that a split, not quite harmonious, but as peaceful as this kind of split can be, just had to happen. In the coming years, both sides will become big players in boxing, and as a result, the sport could become healthier.
Hearn will surely do well with DAZN. After all, success is in his blood. But it won’t happen overnight. He may have had a rough time when he realized how good he was at it at Sky Sports, not only on an impeccable and extremely hardworking production team, but arguably the most formidable marketing machine in the business. While Hearn played a dazzling role in nurturing both his reputation and the boxing talent he worked with, his job was undoubtedly made easier by platforms from which he could shout that talent. But if someone assumes they’re only doing it for the money, or doesn’t care what real boxing fans want, then pay close attention to the talent pool they’ve gathered to launch their latest venture. In particular, the lead commentator is one of the most respected figures in all of the sport.
How Eddie Hearn will miss Sky Sports, they will miss it too Eddie Hearn… His silky tongue and thirst for financial gain are not to everyone’s liking, but no one can deny that when he proudly exhibited his work to the world, his name became a household name that caught the attention of the web. But to say that their success was solely due to him is to do the channel a huge disservice. Behind the scenes of Sky Sports is a group of talented and knowledgeable people who love sports as much as you and me. The good news is that those are people who have faced an uncertain future for several weeks as reports of Matchroom and DAZN leaked. link-up will continue to work for Sky Sports Boxing, feeling somewhat relieved now that Hearn is gone. They will be joined by new people such as former Matchroom stalwart John Wischhusen (though not as head of Sky Boxing as reported), Ben Shalom of Boxxer, and James Elliott of Evolution Media Capital, as the channel showcases other ad teams and fighters who used to struggle with it. get exposed. In short, with the fire in the stomach of Frank Warren and BT Sport not over yet and the new Fight Zone app taking shape, British boxing should open up nicely.
Boxing News wishes everyone the best in their new travels. As always, we will follow this closely with great interest.
FOR those of you it was annoying that Floyd Mayweather on this week’s cover put yourself in our shoes. While no one at BN confused his recent show with the sport of boxing, his “comeback” was by far the biggest story of the week. We are simply doing our duty by honestly reporting it and, with one eye trying to shift as many copies as possible, recognizing the interest in him. Also, look at the front pages of every newspaper around the world; they always tell the most important story, good news or bad news. For example, a newspaper report about Donald Trump’s antics does not mean that the newspaper supports these antics. The same rules apply here.
The death of former WBC welterweight belt holder Keith Mullings at just 53 was as shocking as his greatest win. In fact, he ended Terry Norris’ career in 1997 after being selected the following year to make it easier for Norris to take on a lucrative fight with Oscar De La Hoya. We’ll be posting our full tribute to the fearless warrior in our issue next week. Our thoughts are with his friends and family.
CONGRATULATIONS to 11 British boxers and their teams who qualified for the Olympics. A stunning achievement in a challenging time for amateur boxing. Watch the highlights of the European qualifiers on BBC 2 Sunday at 11:30 am.
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