By Keith Idec
Boxing fans in the United Kingdom have grown accustomed mostly to watching cards live on Sky Sports and BT Sport, or on pay-per-view.
There, though, pay-per-view shows usually cost £19.95, much cheaper than in the United States ($65-$100). On Saturday, boxing fans in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will be able to watch the World Boxing Super Series’ doubleheader for free, via live streams on its website (www.worldboxingsuperseries.com).
Promoter Kalle Sauerland announced during a press conference Wednesday that the World Boxing Super Series couldn’t come to an agreement with a British broadcasting partner. The card headlined by the Josh Taylor-Ryan Martin and Ryan Burnett-Nonito Donaire fights therefore will be streamed free of charge from SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland.
“Before I get questions on the UK TV, it’s quite simple,” Sauerland said. “We’ve received several offers, but there were no offers that suit us as a brand. And this is not about a fight. It’s about this tournament, it’s about building a brand and in the UK we will be making this absolutely free and available via our streams, which we will put out. They will put out all the details. There will be several different ways of watching it, but it will all be free, and no pay-per-view, no money involved. You can watch it for free.”
The Taylor-Martin/Burnett-Donaire card will be streamed by DAZN in the United States as part of the World Boxing Super Series’ exclusive content agreement with that streaming service. A monthly subscription to DAZN costs $9.99.
The winner between Scotland’s Taylor (13-0, 11 KOs) and Cleveland’s Martin (22-0, 12 KOs) will advance to the WBSS’ 140-pound semifinals. In that round, the Taylor-Martin winner will face Russia’s Ivan Baranchyk (19-0, 12 KOs), the newly crowned IBF junior welterweight champion.
The Burnett-Donaire victor will advance to the WBSS’ 118-pound semifinals. Either Northern Ireland’s Burnett (19-0, 9 KOs), the WBA’s “super” world bantamweight champ, or Las Vegas’ Donaire (38-5, 24 KOs) will battle South Africa’s Zolani Tete (28-3, 21 KOs), who owns the WBO bantamweight championship.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.