FIGHT fans in the UK should expect to have to pay to watch the mouth-watering clash between unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez on September 16.
The fight – which is the biggest that can be made in the sport – was yesterday confirmed for the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, with HBO broadcasting on pay-per-view in the US.
All the major broadcasters in the UK will be scrambling to win the rights, though that decision has not yet been made. Promoter Eddie Hearn, linked with Sky Sports and their Box Office branch, believes that wherever it goes, it will be pay-per-view.
“You look at Canelo against Golovkin, whether you wrap that into a night [with a UK card]. If it’s not pay-per-view [on Sky], we won’t get it because someone else will put it on pay-per-view,” he told Boxing News.
ITV launched their pay-per-view platform earlier this year while BoxNation also have the option, which was made available for the aborted Tyson Fury-Wladimir Klitschko rematch last year.
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While Golovkin-Canelo is an excellent fight, neither name stands out to the more casual fan base in the way Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao did back in 2015. As such, the number of people paying over £15 for a fight that will begin at around 4am UK time could be relatively low.
There is also the spectre of Mayweather’s mooted fight with UFC star Conor McGregor, which could also land in September. Hearn admits that he and Sky are keeping an eye on developments for that fight, given that it would be a sure-fire hit in terms of pay-per-view, despite being a mismatch on paper.
“Then you have Mayweather against McGregor, which I don’t like, but does a stack load of pay-per-views,” he continued.
“With that one, as long as you’re honest in your selling; ‘we don’t know what will happen, it could be a mismatch, but here it is.’ What you can’t do is call it a great 50-50 fight, but if we [Sky] don’t do it, someone else will.”
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