Matchroom Boxing have completed a deal with United Kingdom-based streaming service DAZN, with an official announcement expected this evening at a press conference in New York.
The deal – which Matchroom Boxing supremo Eddie Hearn described as a “major announcement that would change boxing forever” – comes with a guarantee of 40 live shows to be screened in a calendar year, featuring action from the U.K. as well as stateside under the banner of Matchroom USA.
Following a similar recent announcement by Top Rank’s Bob Arum, in which the legendary promoter unveiled a streaming deal with the newly-formed ‘ESPN+’, Hearn and Matchroom have moved swiftly in partnering up with DAZN, a company fast becoming known as “The Netflix of Sport”.
It is understood that fighters with ties to current U.S. networks – such as former World middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs – will not be appearing on DAZN. However, Hearn will be given full license to showcase his sizeable U.K. stable in an attempt to make a splash on the ever-growing online scene.
After teasing the announcement over the last couple of weeks, Hearn spoke recently of the deal affording him the opportunity to offer fighters regular dates, as well as hefty pay-packets.
“It [the deal with DAZN] opens up the floodgates for us to have a bigger budget than anybody.” said Hearn, in an exclusive interview with Boxing Social.
“To be able to go up to fighters and say “you can have regular championship boxing, this is a long-term deal with a huge amount of dates and we can plan your future” – and it’s going to be attractive to a lot of people.”
Hearn would go on to talk of his plans to add significant star-quality to his roster, eyeing major U.S. names such as Errol Spence Jr., Adrien Broner and would-be-Joshua-foe Deontay Wilder as those he would be interested in approaching.
“I stress, we [Matchroom Boxing] are after those who do not have a promotional agreement.” Hearn stated.
“Who is a target for Matchroom USA? The Charlo brothers, Adrien Broner, Mikey Garcia, Errol Spence, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Deontay Wilder.”
While some remain skeptical as to the impact a deal with DAZN [pronounced ‘Da Zone’) will have on Hearn’s attempted assault on the U.S. market, it is nevertheless an exciting move for Matchroom Boxing.
It is worth noting that unified World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua – the undoubted jewel in the crown of the Matchroom stable – is no longer under contract with broadcaster Showtime, leading to speculation that the WBA/WBO/IBF World champion may land at DAZN when he returns to action.
However, with reported interest from rival network HBO, it is unclear as to whether Joshua’s situation aligns with that of Matchroom Boxing and DAZN.