DEONTAY WILDER may take the threat posed by challenger Johann Duhaupas seriously, but UK TV decision-makers clearly do not. Wilder’s second defence of his WBC heavyweight title marks the first time in exactly six years that the belt in question has been put up for grabs and not shown live on UK TV, unless a last-minute deal is agreed before Saturday night (September 26).
On the same date in 2009, champion Vitali Klitschko’s 10-round retirement victory over a gutsy Chris Arreola was available to UK fans via the internet only – on the Seconds Out site. Since then, 10 consecutive WBC heavyweight title fights have been broadcast on British shores, by either BoxNation, Sky Sports or Primetime. Wilder’s impressive title-winning effort against Bermane Stiverne was on BoxNation, while his first defence – a harder-than-expected triumph over game Eric Molina – found a home on Sky.
Even such uninspiring match-ups as Vitali vs Albert Sosnowski and Manuel Charr have been given televised exposure in the UK. This is a damning indictment on the unbeaten Wilder putting his crown on the line against a 6ft 5in Frenchman who lost just two fights ago to the current European king, Erkan Teper.