Anthony Joshua’s bid to reclaim three of the world heavyweight title belts from Oleksandr Usyk in Saudi Arabia on Aug 20 will be shown on Sky Sports Box Office.
Sky outbid DAZN for the rights to the contest in a high-stakes deal in spite of Joshua having left Sky after nine years for a multi-year, multi-fight deal with DAZN, reportedly worth $100 million a year (£83 million).
It is understood that the bidding process reached more than $28 million (£23.3 million). The Saudis paid a reported £98 million to host the contest at the King Abdullah Sports City Arena, Jeddah.
Joshua’s DAZN deal was announced in mid-June, but with Sky claiming the broadcasting right, it represents a major boost for the television network, given Joshua’s high-profile departure.
Joshua lost the World Boxing Association, World Boxing Organisation and International Boxing Federation belts to Usyk on points last September in London. Talks are already under way for the winner to take on Tyson Fury, the World Boxing Council champion, if he returns from retirement, early in 2023.
Eddie Hearn, instrumental in persuading Joshua to switch allegiance to digital sports streaming platform DAZN with whom the promoter has an exclusive deal, remains the event promoter. Usyk and Joshua are set to earn around £50 million each. Usyk, 35, now regarded as in the top four pound-for-pound boxers in the sport, heads into the sequel as favourite.